Ethnoprimatology and Human-Monkey Interactions. Topics include human-nonhuman primate overlap, pathogen transmission, zones of sympatry and allopatry.
"The holistic of approach of ethnoprimatology includes hunting of nonhuman primates for food, keeping nonhuman primates as pets, bidirectional pathogen exchange, the impacts of habitat alteration and crop raiding, indigenous knowledge of nonhuman primate behavior, and the incorporation of nonhuman primates into myths, folklore, and other narratives."
—Wolfe and Fuentes, 2007
Why is it so important to understand HP-NHP interconnections now? Human populations continue to grow and other primates’ populations mostly shrink. Disease transmission probabilities are higher than ever and conservation realities require immediate attention.
Overlap and Conflict.
Realities of Disease and Habitat Change.
Understanding the interconnections between humans and non-human primates requires a spatial context as well as a temporal context. The long-term sympatry or allopatry can result in shifting ecological pressures, especially as the spatial contexts shift with anthropogenic alterations.
Due to the high levels of interaction between humans and non-human primates in areas where they exist in sympatry, especially in areas of extremely high human density, non-human primates are often at the involved in negative interactions with humans. This especially true in areas where monkeys exist as:
It is in these areas of co-occurring high human density and high non-human primate density that the risk of bi-directional pathogen transmission is greatest. The shared evolutionary history between humans and non-human primates makes the risk of a pathogen host-jumping event highest in these areas.
Non-human primates exist in multiple ways with humans. In addition to humans sharing space with wild primates, humans have a unique relationship with primates as pets, prey items, and in myth and folklore. In areas of allopatry (North America and Europe), non-human primates are seen as entertainment and as the "exotic other." In areas of sympatry (Africa, Asia, and South America), primates figure more prominently in everyday life.
Photos by A. Fuentes.
High density and range overlap may result in similar disease pressure and adaptation. It also creates a potential crisis for interspecies pathogen transmission. Within the macaques at Padangtegal, several disease outbreaks have been documented:
-X= significantly less than expected
+X= significantly more than expected
| AG 1 ||AG 2|| AG 4 || AG collapsed ||Bites|| AG 4 w/food || AG 4 w/o food || Bites w/ food || Bites w/o food
-X= significantly less than expected.
+X= significantly more than expected.
| Collapsed Agression ||Bites|| AM Bites ||AF Bites|| SAM Bites || IMM Bites || AG 4 AM || AG 4 AF || AG 4 SAM || AG 4 IMM
|Foreign tourists in Bali||Balinese temple staff and local users|
|-primarily European and Australian||-Balinese|
|-well vaccinated||-moderately well vaccinated|
|-recently traveled long distances||-high exposure to antibiotics|
|-potentially semi-immuno-compromised||-high familiarity with feral primates|
|-high exposure to antibiotics||-daily/frequent exposure to macaques|
|-little familiarity/exposure to feral primates|
Foreign tourists participate in behaviors that elicit responses, often negative, from macaques, including:
Photo by A. Fuentes
Macaques in Gibraltar exhibit the same behavioral trends involving interactions with humans. The high density of macaques in this small area, combined with the high level of foreign tourists that visit the area, result in a high level of interactions - including bites and scratches - with tourists.
Primates in Perspective. 2007. C.J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K.C. MacKinnon, M. Panger, S.K. Bearder. Oxford University Press.
Chapter 43: Ethnoprimatology: Contextualizing Human and Nonhuman Primate Interactions - Wolfe & Fuentes
Commensalism and Conflict: The Human-Primate Interface. 2005. J.D. Paterson and J. Wallis, eds. American Society of Primatologists.