Join our zoo community

Do you think a troop of monkeys could survive in the UK

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by garyjp, 2 Oct 2015.

  1. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2014
    Posts:
    1,104
    Location:
    Ware
    Bit of a theoretical question do you think a troop of monkeys could live wild in the UK if so where and what species ?
     
  2. TriUK

    TriUK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2013
    Posts:
    78
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Hanunaman Langurs and Rhesus Macaques in any UK city for a start. I think Gelada on the SW coastline of S Devon & Cornwall and Barbary Macaques in the Potteries....., oh, they're already there! A silly thread really!!
     
  3. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2013
    Posts:
    384
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    Pretty easily. Macaques live in much colder climates than Britain experiences, and they aren't half bad at coexisting with humans.

    Indeed, before the last ice age there were macaques all over Europe. It's probably just bad luck that they didn't make it back before we arrived and started doing this civilization thing.

    The only real obstacle for them would be that humans probably wouldn't let another feral animal loose in Britain. Especially if it could remotely be construed as dangerous. We can barely co-exhist with seagulls.

    Barbary macaques, Japanese macaques, Tibetan macaques, Assam macaques and Arunachal macaques should have no trouble at all. Crab-eating macaques Stump-tailed macaques and Rhesus macaques would probably do fine too, especially in the south.
     
  4. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    764
    Location:
    Schwerzenbach, ZH, Switze
    I would add some langur species like Golden stump nosed monkeys f. e. or maybe even some colobus (sub)species. Also Tschakma baboons from South Africa would have a good chance to survive.
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    16,340
    Location:
    omnipresent
    but what would the colobus eat during the winter?
     
  6. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    764
    Location:
    Schwerzenbach, ZH, Switze
    Leaves from introduced plants...;)

    (To be honest: You're probably right, there won't be enough food for them - I forgot that fact).
     
  7. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    1,124
    Location:
    sw england
    It is certainly an interesting question. When one considers that a number of species particularly macaques live in pretty severe climates in northern Asia, then one would think that the UK winter is not a problem. I would definitely rule out any colobines due to a lack of suitable browse species in winter. Even snub-nose monkeys feed on very specific species, such as bark and lichens, and also vertically migrate mountain sides in order to survive the worst. I'm just not convinced that a relatively mild damp climate is comparable.
    It was noted above that Barbary macaques once lived in the UK, but this was during warm inter-glacials. Despite being tough critters that cope with severe snow in the Atlas mountains, Barbary macaques did not survive the in-coming ice-age in Europe. Why did they not venture back into Europe post-Ice Age? Maybe there is a good reason for there lack of survival in Europe. Are there are self-sufficent colonies of introduced primates in Northern Europe, such as those in Texas and the Caribbean? Note: zoos don't count. Would be a fascinating experiment.
     
  8. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2013
    Posts:
    384
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    I've already asked this question on the TetZoo. Essentially they are not back in Europe because of geographic barriers, the fact that we're only just out of the last glacial maximum and a bit of bad luck.

    There is a fair chance that eventually they would recolonize Europe. And fallow deer, another interglacial species currently native to "warmer" parts of the world now thrive in Europe after being introduced.

    Episode 19: Sillysaurus Answers your Cash for Questions! ? Tetrapod Zoology Podcast
     
  9. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    1,575
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Sometime in the 20. century a troop of Barbary macaques was really released wild somewhere in Germany (or France, I don't remember). It thrived for many years and started making such a damage that they were finally got rid of (it was several decades ago).
     
  10. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    1,124
    Location:
    sw england
    Good point about Fallow deer. Rabbits would also fall into this category.