conservation—new reports from the field


The September  tally of the IUCN Species Survival understand—information on demographics, populations, Commission Primate Specialist Group lists  species, habitat requirements and loss, extent of occurrence, area  subspecies and  genera of . Ninety-five pri- of occupancy, threats, and conservation measures in place. mates—% of the primate taxa known today—were first de- Once compiled for a species, the question is: what ap- scribed just in this millennium. The majority,  of them, are proaches are needed for its conservation? The obvious strat- lemurs, along with seven primates from Africa,  from Asia, egy is to deal with the threats, be they pernicious processes and  from the Neotropics. That so many new species can (hunting, illegal wildlife trade, emerging infectious diseases be discovered in this developed age is astonishing. and epidemics, forest loss, degradation and fragmenta- As has been repeatedly documented, hunting—mostly il- tion, and negative interactions with people) or catastrophic legal—and the devastation of habitats, unabated through the events (resource extraction such as logging and mining, and s and s and into the st century, have resulted in infrastructure development, including roads and dams, widespread population declines. The  IUCN Red List which spark the colonization of once remote forests). assessment for primates included  species and sub- The other strategy is remedial, with mitigatory measures species:  (%) were ranked as threatened. Forty-three dealing with the safety and growth of the remaining pop- (%) of  lemurs, however, were categorized as Data De- ulations, or population, as the case may be. The key tools ficient. A follow-up workshop for the lemurs in  ad- are protected areas and community conservation areas. dressed the data gaps, and the result was a new total of  Others target conservation management: population sur- threatened primates, %of then assessed. Following veys and monitoring (now benefitting from satellite im- Red-Listing workshops from  onward, including a se- agery, camera traps, drones and genetic studies), law en- cond for lemurs in , the latest update of the Red List forcement, disease prevention, reforestation, enrichment of (-, July ) now has  primates assessed, with degraded forests, wildlife corridors and bridges, land-use  (%) categorized as threatened. planning, captive breeding, population genetics, rewilding, The  lemur Red List assessment listed  species and translocation and the control of invasive species. subspecies as threatened:  Critically Endangered (%of The Primate Specialist Group focuses on its mission of the  assessed) and  as Endangered (%). The  re- zero extinctions for the primate order. This has included a assessment determined that  lemurs were threatened, wide range of activities, from Red-Listing, conservation ac- with  Critically Endangered (%ofthe assessed) and tion plans, the establishment of best practices, funding for  Endangered (.%). The number categorized as Vulner- numerous conservation projects, and the maintenance of able increased from  in  to  in . Currently only communications networks, especially through its five jour- two lemurs are categorized as Least Concern! With nearly nals. The first action plan was a global strategy (Mittermeier, all lemurs threatened, we are seeing their gradual progres- ), which was followed by regional plans for Asia, Africa, sion from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. The change Madagascar and Mesoamerica, and many species-specific in numbers for the African primates from the  to the plans, including, since , for the great .  Red Lists also reflects increasing endangerment. Sixty- The eight articles in this issue of Oryx present an array three (%) African primates were categorized as threatened of research initiatives encompassing  primates, all threat- in ,and (%) in .Newassessmentsof ened. They focus on field surveys, but with objectives and Neotropical primates and  Asian primates have yet to be methods suited to the particularities of the status, distri- posted on the Red List website. Sixty-two per cent of all bution and habitats of each species. Using the traditional primates are threatened... and counting! survey technique of line transects with distance sampling, So what is being done about this? The Red List assess- Yanuar et al. () estimated densities of the north-west ment process provides a framework for what we need to Bornean orangutan Pongo pongo pygmaeus, counting nests in the peat swamps between two protected areas. They docu- mented a decline in numbers and ascertained that densities

ANTHONY B. RYLANDS* (Corresponding author) and RUSSELL A. MITTERMEIER* were lower than in the nearby protected areas. IUCN Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group Twenty-three of the  gibbon species and subspecies E-mail [email protected] are now ranked as Endangered or Critically Endangered. ELIZABETH A. WILLIAMSON Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Syxaiyakhamthor et al. () surveyed the northern white- Stirling, UK cheeked gibbon Nomascus leucogenys in the Nam Et-Phou *Also at: Global Wildlife Conservation, Austin, Texas, USA

Oryx, 2020, 54(6), 751–752 © Fauna & Flora International 2020 doi:10.1017/S0030605320000939 Downloaded from IP address:, on 02 Oct 2021 at 10:49:42, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at 752 Anthony B. Rylands et al.

Louey National Protected Area in northern Lao, using Tinsman et al. () intended to map a purported hy-  an auditory sampling technique. This , km protected brid zone between the black lemur Eulemur macaco and area is an important stronghold for the species. They re- blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons in northern corded, however, a population density that was low com- Madagascar. There was no evidence of a hybrid zone, but pared to other populations, which they attributed to hu- they discovered that E. macaco’s range was smaller, and man disturbance and poor habitat quality. that of E. flavifrons larger, than previously thought. They Once widespread, by the s the cao vit gibbon evaluated threats from hunting and habitat loss, and the ef- Nomascus nasutus was thought to be extinct. It was, how- fectiveness of the protected areas, and highlighted the need ever, rediscovered in  on the border of China and to update population estimates and expand initiatives with Viet Nam. Ma et al. () report on auditory surveys in local communities.  and  in the two protected areas where it occurs: These eight field studies illustrate the immense value of the Bangliang Gibbon Nature Reserve in China and the range-wide surveys. They facilitate the collection of data Trung Khanh Cao Vit Gibbon Conservation Area in fundamental for assessing a species’ conservation status Viet Nam. The population had evidently slightly increased and understanding the threats it is facing, and are vital for but is still only – groups and – individuals. well-informed conservation strategies, in addition to their Johnson et al. () report on a range-wide survey essential role in assessing and monitoring demographics for the Critically Endangered Celebes crested and population trends (Rylands et al., ). Macaca nigra on . Resource extraction and agricul- ture have resulted in the almost entire loss of its lowland habitat. The authors used camera traps in  localities to model the species’ occupancy in the remaining habitats, References also mapping the environmental and anthropogenic factors  that may correlate with absence or presence. They estimate FREIRE FILHO,R.&PALMEIRIM, J.M. ( ) Potential distribution of and priority conservation areas for the Endangered Caatinga the area of occupancy and extent of occurrence, provide an howler monkey Alouatta ululata in north-eastern Brazil. Oryx, assessment of the species’ baseline status for future monitor- , –. ing, and document previously unknown populations. JOHNSON, C.L., HILSER, H., LINKIE, M., RAHASIA, R., ROVERO,F., Freire Filho et al. () used prior surveys of the de- PUSPARINI,W.etal.() Using occupancy-based camera-trap pleted and patchy populations of the Maranhão red-handed surveys to assess the Critically Endangered primate Macaca nigra across its range in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oryx, , –. howler Alouatta ululata in the dry forest of north-east Brazil MA, C.-Y., TRINH-DINH, H., NGUYEN, V.-T., LE, T.-D., LE, V.-D., LE, to map potential habitat (a surrogate for occurrence) and H.-O. et al. () Transboundary conservation of the last anthropogenic variables, and identify areas where surveys remaining population of the cao vit gibbon Nomascus nasutus. are needed and where conservation measures would be Oryx, , –. most appropriate. Also in Brazil, Moraes et al. () report MCHUGH, S.M., CORNEJO, F.M., MCKIBBEN, J., ZARATE, M., TELLO, C., JIMÉNEZ, C.F. & SCHMITT, C.A. () First record of the on a similar exercise over a large swathe of the centre and Peruvian yellow-tailed woolly monkey Lagothrix flavicauda in the north-east, examining the ranges of the bearded capuchin Región Junín, Peru. Oryx, , –. Sapajus libidinosus, blonde capuchin Sapajus flavius, and MITTERMEIER, R.A. () A Global Strategy for Primate Conservation. red-handed howler Alouatta belzebul. Their aim was to es- Unpublished report. WWF, Washington, DC, USA. timate the potential area of occupancy within their extent of MORAES, B., RAZGOUR, O., SOUZA-ALVES, J.P., BOUBLI, J.P. & BEZERRA,B.() Habitat suitability for primate conservation in occurrence. They clearly show the considerable disparity of north-east Brazil. Oryx, , –. these two measures in extensive distributions over areas RYLANDS, A.B., WILLIAMSON, E.A., HOFFMANN,M.&MITTERMEIER, with widespread loss and wreckage of the natural vegetation R.A. () Primate surveys and conservation assessments. Oryx, of the tropical savannah—the Cerrado—of central Brazil, , –. the Atlantic Forest, and the south-east of the Amazon basin, SYXAIYAKHAMTHOR, K., NGOPRASERT, D., ASENSIO,N.&SAVINI,T.  which is suffering as the so-called Arc of Deforestation moves ( ) Identifying priority areas for the conservation of the Critically Endangered northern white-cheeked gibbon Nomascus relentlessly north. leucogenys in northern Lao. Oryx, , –.  Also in the Neotropics, McHugh et al. ( ) report TINSMAN, J.C., ESCHMANN, C.L., SOLOFONDRANOHATRA, J.S., on their discovery of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey RALAINIRINA, J.R., HOLDERIED,M.&MCCABE,G.() Range Lagothrix flavicauda in the Región Junín in the Peruvian and conservation updates for the Critically Endangered blue-eyed Andes, extending the known range of this Critically En- black lemur Eulemur flavifrons and the Vulnerable black lemur Eulemur macaco. Oryx, , –. dangered atelid by more than  km to the south. The YANUAR, A., FEHSE, J., CHIVERS,D.&SUGARDJITO,J.() New authors emphasize the urgency of expanding the search estimates of orangutan density in Sungai Palin watershed, Kapuas for this species to previously neglected regions. Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Oryx, , –.

Oryx, 2020, 54(6), 751–752 © Fauna & Flora International 2020 doi:10.1017/S0030605320000939 Downloaded from IP address:, on 02 Oct 2021 at 10:49:42, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at