Invasive monkeys on St. Maarten

DAWN BEACH — Vervet monkeys appear to be taking over St. Maarten. Research by Nature Foundation into the monkey population found various breeding individuals and numerous infants. “This is worrying since this may lead to a sharp increase in the number of the monkeys.”

The foundation has received increasing complaints and reports of monkeys causing problems for residents throughout the Dutch side.


Nature Foundation has been conducting baseline surveys to determine the abundance and level of threat posed by the invasive monkey population. Extensive research on controlling the monkey population is also being conducted and government will receive a report from the foundation.

Experts used to dealing with monkeys and other exotic invasive animals will visit various locations in the country to come up with recommendations on the best way to approach the monkey problem.

Residents have contacted Nature Foundation about large groups of Vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) acting aggressively to residents and pets, overturning garbage bins in numerous districts, destroying gardens and garden furniture and defecating on people’s property. The monkeys have been known to act aggressively if they feel threatened and can also have a negative effect on our local flora and fauna. Monkeys are not picky eaters and will eat anything from bird eggs to ornamental and fruit plants and trees.

Residents are urged by the foundation to not approach these animals.

If monkeys are spotted, residents are asked to contact Nature Foundation so the animals can be recorded. If a monkey, raccoon or any other unusual animal is observed, contact Nature Foundation on tel. (1-721) 544-4267 or via

5 Responses to Invasive monkeys on St. Maarten

  1. Gail Kenyon says:

    Just saw a vervet monkey in the court yard at Westin, Dawn Beach Hotel. Looked healthy. Ran from staff who were trying to take its picture. December 11, 2014.

  2. Ellen Kleinelp says:

    Sorry…but I just got back from St Maarten and neither I or anyone else saw monkeys there. We even inquired of most people residing there about the so called monkeys…and they never saw them either.

  3. Kim Bleecker says:

    Saw 3 monkeys on pothole road to Westin and 1 monkey in Dawn Beach Estates at Beach House Gianna, while vacationing last week

Kalli De Meyer


Kalli De Meyer has dedicated more than twenty five years to nature conservation and sustainable resource management on the sleepy islands of the Dutch Caribbean. As DCNA’s Executive Director, she is in charge of managing the organisation, fundraising and representation as well as working with the nature conservation organisations throughout the Dutch Caribbean to improve networking and to strengthen local capacity for conservation.

Formerly Manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park, she has a BSc in Marine Biology and Ecology and an MSc in Oceanography from Southampton University in the UK.