Best Practices

Surveys and Monitoring of Great Ape Populations

The guidelines for surveys and monitoring of great ape populations address the challenge of collecting consistently high-quality data for comparison between sites and across years. The need for standardisation is driven less by academic interest than by the urgent demands of field-based conservation. The maelstrom of threats which now endanger all the great apes must be addressed by immediate action on every scale: initiatives at individual sites, strategies on the regional and national level, and species-wide action plans and international accords. All of these efforts must be founded on accurate field data. To fully understand the impact of specific threats, and to measure conservation success, it is essential to have baseline density estimates and sustained monitoring of great ape populations.

This publication outlines current approaches to these issues, offering guidance and perspective on choices that must be made by wildlife biologists, site managers, government agencies and the conservation community at large. This report provides an overview of the variety of survey methodologies that have been developed, as well as a decision tree to help select the approach that is best for a particular site or situation, depending on available resources. As a continuation of this report, a series of modules are available online (see below).

These guidelines complement the goal of the IUCN SSC A.P.E.S. database (http://apes.eva.mpg.de), which serves as a repository for survey data on great apes. The guidelines, combined with resources available via the A.P.E.S. Portal, are important steps towards a comprehensive understanding of the conservation status of great apes, at both the population and species level.

Chapters 1 & 2 are available below:

English: Best Practice Guidelines for Surveys and Monitoring of Great Ape Populations

Kühl, H., Maisels, F., Ancrenaz, M. & Williamson, E.A. (2008). Best Practice Guidelines for Surveys and Monitoring of Great Ape Populations. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Français: Lignes directrices pour de meilleures pratiques en matière d’inventaire et de suivi des populations de grands singes

Kühl, H., Maisels, F., Ancrenaz, M. et Williamson, E.A. (2009). Lignes directrices pour de meilleures pratiques en matière d’inventaire et de suivi des populations de grands singes. Groupe de specialists des primates de la CSE/UICN, Gland, Suisse

Bahasa Indonesia: Panduan Survei dan Pemantauan Populasi Kera Besar

Kühl, H., Maisels, F., Ancrenaz, M. dan Williamson, E.A. (2011). Panduan Survei dan Pemantauan Populasi Kera Besar. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Bahasa Malaysia: Panduan Amalan Terbiak Survei dan Pemantauan Populasi Kera Besar

Kühl, H., Maisels, F., Ancrenaz, M. dan Williamson, E.A. (2010). Panduan Amalan Terbaik Survei dan Pemantauan. Populasi Kera Besar. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

A series of online modules are available at: http://apesportal.eva.mpg.de/database/surveyGuidelines

  • Chapter 3: Survey design
  • Chapter 5: Field Issues: Logistics and data collection protocols
  • Chapter 6: Training
  • Chapter 8: Standardized reporting

These modules present detailed information on survey design, field techniques, analytical approaches, and practical issues such as logistics and standardized reporting.

Additional resources:

White, L. & Edwards, A. eds.  2000. Conservation Research in the African Rain Forests: A Technical Handbook. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York. 444 pp. PDF 

En francais: Conservation des forêts pluviales Africaines: manuel des méthodes de recherche PDF

 

The Primate Specialist Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Arcus Foundation and the United State Fish and Wildlife Service for the production and publication of these guidelines.