Abstract # 218:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2005 09:30 AM-10:00 AM: Session 16 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation

The Evolution of Team Monkey: Macaque Conservation Strategies in the 21st Century

L. Jones-Engel1, G. Engel1,2, M. A. Schillaci3, R. Grant1, G. Anderson1, A. Fuentes4 and R. Kyes1,5
1Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Box 357330, Seattle, WA 98115, USA, 2Swedish/Providence Family Practice Residency, Seattle, Washington, 3Department of Social Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 4Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 5Department of Psychology, University of Washington Seattle, Washington
     The ASP Conservation Committee awarded our research team a grant in 2002. Our proposal called for a comprehensive five-year study of human-primate interactions that contribute to the bi-directional transmission of infectious agents. Our initial field site was at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve in Sulawesi, Indonesia. However, once we were in the field, it became apparent that our methods for trapping wild monkeys was dangerous for both monkeys and researchers and our equipment for storing biological samples was woefully inadequate. Though data were successfully collected during this field season the important lesson learned was that our protocols needed to be refined in order to safely collect data on large numbers of primates. Over the ensuing years our protocols for trapping, sampling and storage have evolved. Working with the design shop at the Washington National Primate Research Center we created a 2m x 2m x 2m durable, lightweight and portable aluminum trap that has safely trapped several hundred primates throughout four countries in Asia. The Deep Chill™ shipper uses dry ice to reliably keep our samples at -78.5°C for up to two weeks at a time while we are in the field. We conclude that this funding mechanism helped to identify and solve methodological problems encountered in a critical period of our conservation research. This project was partially funded by the ASP Conservation Fund.