The Green Monkeys of Barbados
There are 6 species of the Chlorocebus primates or more commonly know as the Green Monkey is one of Barbados most mischievous residents, the Green Monkeys can be seen all over the island, from cheerfully swinging in the trees of some of the island’s beautiful natural habitats, to bounding along the beaches. So called for its golden/green-tinged fur, the Green Monkey has a shimmering coat of green-gold fur and pale hands and feet. With little black faces, piercing red eyes and golden whiskers, these Barbados locals can’t be missed!
Senegal and Gambia in West Africa
Brought to Barbados from Senegal and Gambia in West Africa by settlers and slaves as pets in the 17th century, a number of them are believed to have escaped or been released and colonized the island.
The Green Monkey fast became synonymous with the independent island nation, whose distinctive calls can be heard ringing out across the island. The monkeys are very family-orientated, and mothers tend to carry their young for up to one year before allowing them to explore unsupervised.
Most active in the morning and evening, Green Monkeys love to eat fresh fruit and vegetables and you might well see a troop of them in the trees of local fruit orchards, feasting on the plump fruit together. The monkeys are usually found in groups of 20 – 50 individuals, have a close-knit family structure akin to that of ‘Old World’ monkeys, and are very territorial, taking to the trees when alarmed.
Barbados is said to have between five and seven thousand Green Monkeys roaming the island, particularly in the parishes of St. Andrew, St. John, St. Joseph and St. Thomas, where the natural vegetation is thick and lush. However, the best place to see these unique is at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, which rests in the northern parish of St. Peter and is home to an incredible variety of natural fauna and flora.
Links to monkey call references:
“Green monkeys are known to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. They have distinct calls which they use to warn others in the group of predators, and even have specific calls for specific predators.”
Wikipedia Green Monkey