Gibraltar: Monkey Barbary Macaques

The Gibraltar Barbary macaques are considered by many to be the top tourist attraction in Gibraltar. The Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population in the European continent, and, unlike that of North Africa, it is thriving. At present, some 300 animals in five troops occupy the area of the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.

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The Rock runs a length of 3 miles, from north to south and is 3/4 mile wide. Its total area is 2 1/4 square miles, though land increasedby reclamationis not reflectedin this in this measurement. The top of the Rock, 1,396ft high, is a sharp, knife-ridge extending for about a mile and a half from the north escarpment, which is virtually inaccessible.The ridge slopes gradually south for about a mile, terminating at the southern extremity, Europa Point, in perpendicular cliffs about 100ft high. The whole upper length of the eastern face is inaccessible and the steep upper half of the western slopes is uninhabited,having been designated a nature reserve.

Geologically, Gibraltar can be divided into two main parts. To the north is a plain, consisting of sand 30ft deep, atop4ft of clay and a bed of coarse sand 2 1/4 ft thick and limestone. The second part is a mass of the Rock to the south, consisting of compact Jurassic limestone, overlaid with dark shale, limestone breccias or sands.

 

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