Abstract # 3:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 08:00 AM-09:00 AM: (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Keynote Address


A. Estrada
Estación de Biología Tropical Los Tuxtlas, Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz 95705, Mexico

The world’s primate fauna, represented by about 662 taxa, is an important component of the Earth´s terrestrial biodiversity. Moreover, primates are important to the health of their ecosystems because their presence and activities support a wide range of plant and animal life and ecosystems processes, and healthy forests provide vital resources for human populations and also important ecological services. Unfortunately, recent assessments suggest that about 50% of the world´s primate taxa are in danger as a result of habitat loss. Hunting and the pet trade are important added pressures. To understand and predict conservation pressures caused by human activity on primate habitats and populations is a complex task, as we need to examine multiple factors that are distinct from country to country, depending on particular historical, demographic, ethnic, political and economic conditions. However, some insights can be gained by examining, at a regional level, some of the underlying social and economic contexts of the problem. Here, I examine these contexts by illustrating trends in human population growth, poverty and human development, and urbanization for four primate-harboring regions. I also describe trends in loss of primate habitats as they relate to local and global market demands. I conclude by examining alternative scenarios of land-use leading to sustainable use of the land and conservation of primate habitats, bearing in mind principles of equity for local human populations.