The Section on Great Apes  


In the rainforests of Asia and Africa, great apes are severly threatened by poaching, disease and deforestation, both through slash-and-burn agriculture and industrial extraction. Effective conservation requires precise information, and this is not always easily found; it is a challenge simply to determine how many great apes still survive. The threats to their survival are vast and complex, so lessons learned must be shared, quickly and reliably.

In 2004, the Primate Specialist Group created its Section on Great Apes (SGA) to help researchers and conservationists understand the issues affecting great apes. Comprised of the world’s leading great ape specialists, the SGA facilitates the exchange of critical information, provides guidelines for research and conservation, produces regional and species action plans, and advises on effective conservation strategies.

The SGA has an extraordinary group of people to draw upon: pioneering primatologists like Christophe Boesch, Colin Groves, John Oates and Richard Wrangham; internationally recognized conservationists such as Jane Goodall, Russell Mittermeier and Birute Galdikas; and in-country primate experts like Jatna Supriatna, Suci Utami and Gil Basuta. The membership of the SGA provides a comprehensive perspective of great ape conservation through action plans, regional surveys and up-to-date status assessments.

For an overview of the SGA and its activities, read a summary here and download an SGA factsheet in PDF format (also available in French).

To access in-depth reports on the current status and conservation priorities for great apes, download our Action Plans and Regional Surveys.

The Primate Specialist Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Arcus Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.