Raising awareness about Barbary macaque issues is key to their conservation and reducing the demand for poached infants. Furthermore, irresponsible tourism can have many negative effects, including macaque health problems and aggression from feeding, transfer of disease to both humans and monkeys from close contact, increased risk of poaching as young macaques are habituated to humans, and increased risk of vehicular injury and death from macaques spending more time near roads, just to name a few. The Eco-Guards manage Tourist Sites within INP to increase the safety and welfare on monkeys within the park by stopping people from parking and feeding monkeys on the road which can be very dangerous, advising people on the dangers of feeding macaques, warning when people get too close to the animals, and preventing aggression from humans towards the macaques. The Eco-Guards engage in discussions with tourists, providing information and answering their questions. Tourists are also invited to answer surveys so we can understand their knowledge regarding Barbary macaques so we can better focus our conservation efforts. Preliminary results from these surveys suggest that very few people are aware of the problems associated with feeding wild macaques, suggesting increased awareness can remediate this issue, and that the majority of people do not even realize that Barbary macaques are an Endangered species. The Eco-Guards not only aim to make Tourist Sites within Ifrane National Park a safer place for macaques, but also more enjoyable and educational for visitors as well.
Visitors to the park are invited to answer surveys so we can understand the opinions and knowledge of people coming to see the monkeys so this information can be used to guide future education initiatives.