Session 17: Conservation

Explores primate behavior in terms of conservation and anthropological theory. Discussion of endangered primates and the impact of humans on nonhuman primates.

1.  Key Concepts:

"Of the nearly 600 species and subspecies of primate recognized today, nearly one-third are in grave danger of going extinct." (Strier, 2007)

2.  Terms & Definitions:

Vulnerable 
Facing a high risk of extinction in the wild due to any of the following:
  • Reduction in population size of 30-50% over the last 10 years or three generations depending on the causes and reversibility of the reductions.
  • Extent of occurrence less than 20,000 km2 or area of occupancy less than 2,000 km2; Population size estimated to number fewer than 10,00 mature individuals and declining or unevenly distributed.
  • Population size estimated to number fewer than 1,000 mature individuals or restricted area of occupancy or number of locations.
  • Probability of extinction at least 10% within 100 years or three generations.
Endangered
Facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild due to any of the following:
  • Reduction in population size of 50-70% over the last 10 years or three generations depending on the causes and reversibility of the reductions.
  • Extent of occurrence less than 5000 km2 or area of occupancy less than 500 km2; Population size estimated to number fewer than 2500 mature individuals and declining or unevenly distributed.
  • Population size estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals.
  • Probability of extinction at least 20% within 20 years or three generations.
Critically endangered:
Facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild due to any of the following:
  • Reduction in population size of 80-90% over the last 10 years or three generations depending on the causes and reversibility of the reductions.
  • Extent of occurrence less than 100 km2 or area of occupancy less than 10 km2.
  • Population size estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals and declining or unevenly distributed.
  • Population size estimated to number fewer than 50 mature individuals.
  • Probability of extinction at least 50% within 10 years or three generations.

3. Conservation needs--the planet:

Top 25 endangered primates 2004-2006:

Common name
Latin name
Country
Greater bamboo lemur
Prolemur simus
Madagascar
White-collared lemur
Eulemur albocollaris
Madagascar
Silky sifaka
Propithecus candidus
Madagascar
Perriers sifaka
Propithecus perrieri
Madagascar
Mt. Rungwe galago
Undescribed
Southwestern Tanzania
Bioko red colobus
Procolobus pennantii pennantii
Equatorial Guinea
White napped mangabey
Cercocebus atys lunulatus
Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana
Tana River red colobus
Procolobus rufomitratus
Kenya
Sanje mangebey
Cercocebus sanjei
Tanzania
Eastern gorillas (Bwindi, Mountain, and Grauer’s
Gorilla beringei
Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo
Cross River gorilla
Gorilla gorilla diehli
Cameroon, Nigeria
Horton Plains slender loris
Loris tardigradus nycticeboides
Sri Lanka
Pig-tailed langur
Simias concolor
Indonesia
Miller’s grizzled surili
Presbytis hosei canicrus
Indonesia
Delacour’s langur
Trachypithecus delacouri
Vietnam
Golden headed langur
Trachypithecus poliocephalus poliocephalus
Vietnam
Western purple-faced langur
Semnopithecus vetulus nestor
Sri Lanka
Grey shanked douc
Pygathrix nemaeus cinerea
Vietnam
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
Rhinopithecus avunculus
Vietnam
Hainan black crested gibbon
Nomascus sp. cf. Nasutus hainanus
China
Sumatran orangutan
Pongo abelli
Indonesia
Black-faced lion tamarin
Leontopithecus caissara
Brazil
Buff headed tufted capuchin
Cebus xanthosternos
Brazil
Brown spider monkey
Ateles hybridus brunneus
Colombia
Northern muriqui
Brachyteles hypoxanthus
Brazil

From Strier(2007), course text.  Originally from Mittermeier et al. 2004.

Endangered and critically endangered taxa of primates largely come from Asia (~45%), Africa (~22%), and Malagasy (~16%).  More than 86% of the world’s endangered and critically endangered primates occur in just 10 countries.

4.  Primate patterns: what we’ve been studying

Primate population losses due to habitat destruction, exploitation, human encroachment, climate change, and other environmental degradations have impacted primates at every level.  In addition to direct population declines, remaining non-human primates' sustainability is threatened.  The following aspects of primate behavioral ecology have been negatively impacted by anthropogenic changes to their environment:

5. Humanity and conservation:

Humans are negatively impacting the global environment or local populations of primates via:

What is the role of the primatologist?

Is it always appropriate to see current behavior as adapted to particular circumstances?  Should we consider relationships between behavioral plasticity and survival?  What about the role or impact of opening new field sites?  Is a primatologist obligated to be an activist?

6.  Additional Material:

Required Reading:

Primates in Perspective.  2007.  C.J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K.C. MacKinnon, M. Panger. S.K. Bearder.  Oxford University Press.

Chapter 30: Conservation - Strier

Citation: Fuentes, A. (2006, November 22). Session 17: Conservation. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from Notre Dame OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.nd.edu/anthropology/primate-behavior/lectures-1/session-17-conservation.
Copyright 2012, by the Contributing Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License