Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 19, 2016 (SKNIS): Officials at the Department of Agriculture are taking another look at the threat posed by monkeys to crop production and personal property.
On Wednesday’s (May 18) edition of Working for You, Director of the Department of Agriculture, Melvin James, said a number of new methods are being discussed to control the monkey population and the harmful impact on agriculture.
“We are engaging some of the research institutions … that have information on controls that have been done with other wild animals elsewhere, sometimes deer and monkeys too,” he said, noting that sterilization and other forms of birth control are being contemplated.
Efforts to trap monkeys will also intensify. Director James said a trapping group has been contracted to capture the animals. They will operate primarily in the farming districts on island and will be deployed next month.
Mr. James announced that in July, the government will convene what he described as a “Monkey Summit.”
“We are having a one-day symposium to discuss monkeys in St. Kitts,” he said. “We are looking at historical information, the development of the species over the years, where they [are] now, the challenges we have and what we are doing about it,”
Public and private stakeholders from around the island are expected to participate in the symposium. Consultants outside of St. Kitts and Nevis are also expected to attend the event.
Mr. James stressed that there are no plans or intention to eradicate the monkey population as they are a part of the ecosystem. “It’s about finding the best balance,” he stated.