Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has made it clear that he is not a fan of the bounty programme that encourages the sale of monkey tails in Barbados for export.
He made his position known during the launch of the Biodiversity Conservation and Management website at his Ministry’s Warrens Tower II, Warrens, St. Michael office last Friday.
“If the world over, the green monkey is observed as an important symbol of ‘Barbadianism’, then I believe the green monkey deserves every protection and every support from the humans that shares it space,” the Minister stated.
He charged that the brewing contention between the green monkey, farmers and other human dwellers, was as a result of the persistent intrusion of human activity which caused the monkeys to stray away from their natural habitats.
However, Dr, Lowe said that as Government moved towards the protection of the Turners Hall Woods, a thriving habitat for the green monkey, and the replenishment of fruit trees there, the monkeys would be encouraged to return “home”.
The Minister said he asked the Director of the biodiversity programme to seek funding to implement a study to allow his Ministry to place devices on selected monkeys to track their movements, and allow for a better understanding of their behaviour.
“I think that we owe it to them to try to do something to protect them. I make the call again to my Ministry to start to aggressively pursue a programme that would yield some results in the protection of the monkeys,” he said, adding birds should also be included in the study, as the shooting and killing of birds as a sport had attracted international attention.