The field site is located near the city of Azrou, in the Middle Atlas Mountains (33° 24’N – 005° 12’W). Azrou is a lively city of around 50,000 inhabitants and we currently rent two very nice flats in the city, with internet access and other facilities.
The study area is between 1,500 and 2,000 meters a.s.l. It is covered by large to small patches of oak and cedar forest (Cedrus atlantica & Quercus ilex) surrounded by large open plains. The field site is part of the Ifrane National Park. Other than the Barbary macaque, the area is inhabited by wild boars (Sus scrofa), jackals (Canis aureus), genets (Genetta genetta), other small mammals and several bird species. We currently work on 4 study troops, ranging in size between 20 to 35 monkeys and living in different forest patches. Three troops rely on ‘natural’ food while one troop lives near a small market and it is often fed by tourists and local people.