MONA is not only home to rescued primates, the centre is also a natural haven and home to an abundance of native wildlife. The centre is surrounded by farmland, wooded areas, and areas left to grow wild. These subtly different habitats provide homes for creatures large and small. The air is always full of birdsong and you can often hear frogs and toads croaking in the mornings and evenings. When the sun is shining, lizards can be spotted warming themselves on the exposed stones and woodwork and we are regularly visited by mice and other small rodents.
So many of the world’s creatures are in danger of extinction, not only the primates we are caring for at the sanctuary but also the wildlife that surrounds us. Here at MONA we try to make our centre as wildlife friendly as possible. Where it’s practical, we leave areas to grow wild and we leave wood piles to decay naturally in order to provide a source of food and shelter. We have also created a Bug Hotel to encourage invertebrates to nest and breed in relative safety. This is a specially made structure that provides homes for many species of insects including a number of species of bee.
Invertebrates account for 97% of all animal species, so naturally many different invertebrate species can be found around Mona, including butterflies and caterpillars. Many types of spider can be found all over the sanctuary. This is great because Spiders are an esse part of the ecosystem as they eat many pest species such as flies, that can spread disease.
Because of our location we are lucky enough to see and hear many species of bird. When we’re cleaning enclosures, distributing food or relaxing during lunch we often joined by small flocks of Sparrows and Great Tits foraging for anything tasty we have scattered or disturbed. Less frequently, Cattle Egret, Grey Herons, Wagtails,Goldfinches, Robins and if we’re lucky Kingfishers and the Hoopoe Bird can be spotted. The wood and grasslands make a perfect hunting ground for birds of prey, so Buzzards and other smaller hawk species are always passing overhead.
Shrews thrive in wood and grassland areas, so Mona land is a perfect place for them to call home. We know from tracks left in the grass that the elusive Hedgehog often calls our sanctuary home. In fact, recently we found a Hedgehog nesting in some straw in one of our Chimp enclosures. We quickly relocated it to an area left to grow wild, safely out of the way of the Chimps.
At the other end of the size spectrum, we see sections of earth that have been ‘rotavated’ by wild boar. It’s very rare to spot one of these elusive mammals but we know when they have paid us a visit!
An Amphibian Chorus
Currently the world is facing a Reptile and Amphibian crisis; almost 20% of reptile species are endangered and more than 31% of Amphibian species are endangered. We are happy to see that many species are thriving here at Mona. The Common Wall Lizard can be spotted nearly every day, sunbathing on logs or running through the grass. Fire Salamanders have been spotted walking during the night and found hiding in logs.
Frogs and toads are more often heard and not seen, especially at night there is an amphibian choras! Sometimes we are lucky enough to spot the Mediterranean Tree Frog, they are striking green in colour.
Occasionally we spot one of the snake species that are resident at Mona. We have been able to identify both Smooth snakes and Grass snakes but we are sure more species are visiting us unnoticed.
So when you come and visit Mona you won’t only be visiting our rescued primates but also an abundance of native wildlife.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
- Help secure a lifelong future for all the primates at Mona by donating just £2 per month…
- If you go on holiday and see any primate (chimp, macaque or any type of monkey or ape) being used for entertainment or as a photo prop, don’t take part or have your photo taken and report what you have seen using this form
- Help raise awareness of Fundacion Mona’s work by telling your family, friends and colleagues about us. Also, visit and share our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts
- Come and visit us and see our work first hand. You can hear first-hand the stories of our rescued chimps and macaques and see how they live their life today
ONE LAST THING
It’s possible to help raise money for MONA just by doing your normal shopping online.
Easyfundraising is a great website where you can help MONA simply by doing your everyday online shopping with over 3,300 big name retailers like Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com, eBay, Boden, and M&S.
Every time you shop, we receive a small donation to say ‘thank you’ and it’s completely free too!
Just click the button below and select ‘MONA-UK’ as your supported cause.