St Kitts and Nevis continues to be plagued by it huge population of over 60,000 green monkeys who are spoiling much of its agriculture by eating it.
Brought to the islands from West Africa as exotic pets by European settlers in the 17th century, today the monkeys are putting pressure on native species, decimating crops and consistently evading efforts to scare them off.
“Feral animals, particularly monkeys and wild pigs, cause considerable yield loss to food production each year,” said Melvin James, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Director of Agriculture. “In 2018, crude estimates indicated that a total of 90 metric tons of food—one month’s production—was rendered unmarketable due to feral animal invasion of farms on St Kitts alone.”
St Kitts and Nevis are rich in biodiversity. But many species are fragile and susceptible to outside threats, including invasive animals, particularly the green monkeys.
The United Nations Environment Programme and partners are working with the St Kitts and Nevis government to research the impact of the green monkeys on biodiversity, agriculture, tourism, and households.
The sustainable management plan that will be developed in St. Kitts and Nevis will also be replicated in Barbados and other islands.