Abstract # 13446 Event # 185:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: (Room 309) Oral Presentation


A. L. Harrison-Levine1,2
1Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., Denver, CO 80205, USA, 2University of Colorado Boulder
     Over 62% of extant primates are threatened with extinction. Field primatologists are in a position to tailor their research to specific conservation questions and not only make recommendations based on results but also use science skills to evaluate conservation impact. By carefully selecting research questions designed to understand conservation threats, applying results to ensure specific threat-mitigation actions are taken, and testing hypotheses about whether recommended actions achieve desired outcomes, field primatologists can be directly involved in ensuring conservation impact. Here, ecological and human anthropological research results were applied to planning and implementing conservation actions for critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus avunculus) of northern Vietnam. Over 18 months, observations of human and monkey forest resource use were undertaken and were combined with 75 household interviews. Results showed concerning overlap between humans and R. avunculus: both rely heavily on large trees for survival. We hypothesized that implementation of a fuel efficient stove campaign would help mitigate the threat of timber consumption and tested whether actions taken resulted in a measurable threat reduction. Not only have our conservation actions lead to threat mitigation – including saving over 1,000 tons/year of forest timber essential for R. avunculus survival – we have also continued to see annual 5% increases of TSNM population size at this site over the past decade.