For Further Exploration
For those interested in gaining hands-on experience with primates, we recommend visiting Primate Info Net, where a list of field school opportunities and professional, educational, and volunteer positions are posted regularly. These listings can be found here:
To learn more about reducing the spread of potentially harmful images of primates, access Best Practice Guidelines for Responsible Images of Non-Human Primates, written by The Primate Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
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We are grateful to the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the various sources of funding that enabled us to write this Appendix, including Teaching Assistantships from the department of Integrative Biology (to JBK) and a Vilas Research Professorship (to KBS). We are grateful to A.J. Hardy for their significant contributions to the previous addition of this appendix, Irene Duch Latorre for her photograph and helpful additions, and to Kadie Callingham and Danhe Yang for the use of their photographs. We thank the editors of this volume for inviting our contribution and for the helpful comments that they and anonymous reviewers provided.
Figure B.1: In 1750 the world population was less than 1 billion. 1950 marks a point in which all regions of the world begin to rapidly accelerate population growth. Global populations are projected to approach 11 billion people by 2100. At this time, it is projected that the majority of the population will live in Asia, followed by Africa, North America, Europe, South America and Oceania. Populations in Asian and African will both far exceed those in all other regions of the world combined.
Figure B.2: Global distribution of primates and their main threats within the four major primate regions.
- There are a total of 162 primate species in Central and South America, of which 65 are threatened. These primates are threatened by 1. logging and wood harvesting, 2. annual and perennial non-timber crops, 3. hunting and collecting terrestrial animals, 4. livestock farming and ranching, and 5. wood and pulp plantations.
- There are a total of 106 primate species in Africa, of which 54 are threatened. These primates are threatened by 1. annual and perennial non-timber crops, 2. hunting and collecting terrestrial animals, 3. logging and wood harvesting, 4. livestock farming and ranching, wood and pulp plantations, and gathering terrestrial plants.
- There are a total of 107 primate species on Madagascar, of which 103 are threatened. These primates are threatened by 1. annual and perennial non-timber crops, 2. hunting and collecting terrestrial animals, 3. logging and wood harvesting, 4. livestock farming and ranching, 5. gathering terrestrial plants, and 6. wood and pulp plantations.
- There are a total of 116 primate species in Asia, of which 97 are threatened. These primates are threatened by 1. hunting and collecting terrestrial animals, 2. annual and perennial non-timber crops, 3. logging and wood harvesting, 4. livestock farming and ranching, and 5. gathering terrestrial plants.
A word diagram illustrates the extinction vortex. Threats and pressures such as hunting, habitat loss, environmental variability, and catastrophic events can directly decrease the population size of primates. Small populations can trigger the extinction vortex, a cascade of events that exacerbate problems, can prevent recovery, resulting in extinction. For example, small population size increases demographic stochasticity, inbreeding, and random genetic drift. All of these can lead to further problems such as loss of genetic variability, reduction of individual fitness and population adaptability, higher mortality, and lower reproduction. Ultimately all these problems result in ever smaller populations.