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A severe lack of evidence limits effective conservation of the world's primates.

Junker, J. and Petrovan, S.O. and Arroyo-RodrÍguez, V. and Boonratana, R. and Byler, D. and Chapman, C.A. and Chetry, D. and Cheyne, S.M. and Cornejo, F.M. and Cortes-Ortiz, L. and Cowlishaw, G. and Christie, A.P. and Crockford, C. and De La Torre, S. and De Melo, F.R. and Fan, P. and Grueter, C.C. and GuzmÁn-Caro, D.C. and Heymann, E.W. and Herbinger, I. and Hoang, M.D. and Horwich, R.H. and Humle, T. and Ikemeh, R.A. and Imong, I.S. and Jerusalinsky, L. and Johnson, S.E. and Kappeler, P.M. and Kierulff, M.C.M. and Kone, I. and Kormos, R. and Le, K.Q. and Li, B. and Marshall, A.J. and Meijaard, E. and Mittermeier, R.A. and Muroyama, Y. and Neugebauer, E. and Orth, L. and Palacios, E. and Papworth, S.K. and Plumptre, A.J. and Rawson, B.M. and Refisch, J. and Ratsimbazafy, J. and Roos, C. and Setchell, J.M. and Smith, R.K. and Sop, T. and Schwitzer, C. and Slater, K. and Strum, S.C. and Sutherland, W.J. and Talebi, M. and Wallis, J. and Wich, S. and Williamson, E.A. and Wittig, R.M. and KÜhl, H.S. (2020) 'A severe lack of evidence limits effective conservation of the world's primates.', BioScience., 70 (9). pp. 794-803.


Threats to biodiversity are well documented. However, to effectively conserve species and their habitats, we need to know which conservation interventions do (or do not) work. Evidence-based conservation evaluates interventions within a scientific framework. The Conservation Evidence project has summarized thousands of studies testing conservation interventions and compiled these as synopses for various habitats and taxa. In the present article, we analyzed the interventions assessed in the primate synopsis and compared these with other taxa. We found that despite intensive efforts to study primates and the extensive threats they face, less than 1% of primate studies evaluated conservation effectiveness. The studies often lacked quantitative data, failed to undertake postimplementation monitoring of populations or individuals, or implemented several interventions at once. Furthermore, the studies were biased toward specific taxa, geographic regions, and interventions. We describe barriers for testing primate conservation interventions and propose actions to improve the conservation evidence base to protect this endangered and globally important taxon.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. doi:10.1093/biosci/biaa082
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:28 August 2020
Date of first online publication:26 August 2020
Date first made open access:28 August 2020

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