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Hello colleagues, in the coming months I will be investigating the presence of drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus) in an area where they have not been seen for years (Pico Basilé Natural Park, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea). It is a rainforest, with altitudes of about 1000-2000 meters. Obviously, I have considered line transect surveys, as they have been widely used for estimating abundance of primate populations. However, there are some issues to consider.
1. It is a very steep area, which will prevent me from drawing completely straight transects.
2. I will perhaps not even find the species. Therefore, as it has been done with the species in other areas, indirect evidence such as fecal remains will be sought. I also thought it appropriate to incorporate signs of human activity into the data (cartridges, rubbish,...) as bushmeat hunting is the main cause of biodiversity loss on the island.
3. I will also have trap cameras, which I intended to strategically place in front of fig trees, a key food in the diet of the species.
I am just starting in the field. I have done fieldwork before, but related to other very different taxa in a very different environment. I've been checking the literature but still, I wanted to ask you to recommend me a study that has used similar methods (nonlinear transects), or that has considered fecal remains to assess the presence of a primate species (I don't even want to say density, because I do not know or if we find them). Or maybe some other publication that explains how to propose different sampling methods according to the field conditions, how to calculate the distance between transects, etc. Or any other key issues they deem appropriate to explain to me.
Thank you so much!
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Hello Oriol,
I think you are approaching your fieldwork strategically. You are right to consider the extent to which (or even if) so-called "standard", or "classic", field methodologies can be applied in Pico Basilé NP on Bioko:
1. "It is a very steep area, which will prevent me from drawing completely straight transects."
My doctoral research on black lemur socioecological responses to anthropogenic habitat disturbance was similarly in a protected area (a small mountain) where the topography was quite challenging. So, in establishing my study site's path system, and during my initial surveys to select a specific field site on the massif, I used the topography to my advantage as much as I could. For example, linear transects could be adapted to the observer(s) (i.e., you and any assistant(s)!) using ridge-lines or the upper edges of ravines to move in a linear fashion. Of course, this approach would make your survey transits generally altitudinal in nature -- not a bad thing, and there is a comparative literature on altitudinal sampling (but, not what one reads about in the majority of literature on conducting survey transects of primate populations). Trying to move along natural elevational "pathways" in the landscape would largely avoid the logistical challenges of having to try and "bush-whack" your way horizontally/latitudinally up and down across a landscape where steep slopes predominate.
2. "I will perhaps not even find the species. Therefore, as it has been done with the species in other areas, indirect evidence such as fecal remains will be sought. I also thought it appropriate to incorporate signs of human activity into the data (cartridges, rubbish,...) as bushmeat hunting is the main cause of biodiversity loss on the island."
Yes -- you should look for multiple signs that might indicate presence of drills and/or the activity of bushmeat hunters in the ares. In addition to cartridges, *any* evidence of temporary hunting camps should be recorded (and mapped, or pinpointed with GPS) -- e.g., evidence of shelters such as lean-tos and/or campfires; evidence of bush-knives (i.e., 'panga', 'coup-coup") being used to clear brush or paths; etc.
3. "I will also have trap cameras, which I intended to strategically place in front of fig trees, a key food in the diet of the species."
In addition to placing camera traps at large fig trees, if there are any streams or natural clearings that drills might cross where the width of the crossing would permit the possibility of gaining group count data (if drills are present), it would be worthwhile to place a camera trap in any such setting (at least for a brief period to see what might be caught on camera).
4. "... fecal remains to assess the presence of a primate species...".
This would be very tricky at best. Unless you see a drill defecate, and can then locate those fecal droppings, you don't know what species deposited the feces. Then there are the technical issues -- if you were to collect fecal samples, that sets up a situation where you would need the necessary lab materials & equipment to fix and store the fecal samples. Otherwise, they would simply grow mold. I suppose fecal samples could be dried in the sun (and then later re-hydrated using distilled water for whatever testing you envision). But, in a rainforest habitat, trying to sun-dry fecal samples might simply be futile!
Hope some of this feedback proves useful. Good luck with your project!
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I'm am traveling to Laos to work with rescued animals and would like to help enhance the enrichment program for the animals to keep them stimulated while they recover in captivity. 
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Tailored Enrichment Strategies and Stereotypic Behavior in Captive Individually Housed Macaques (Macaca spp.)
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How do differing methods of data collection allow researchers to capture differences in personality, habit, and psychopathology in primate subjects?
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As a matter of practicality, it's an environment that is frequently modified and provides opportunities to learn.
As a conceptual matter, the gold standard, in my view, is an environment that affords the animal the opportunity to engage in all of the types of behavior that it would exhibit if it were not captive and were living in the typical environmental conditions for the species. This requires some knowledge of the behavioral ecology of the subject species, or at least closely related species from similar habitat types.
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Hi everyone,
I am writing my MSc thesis about vocal communication in woolly monkeys and I want to make a general description of their different types of calls. I want to obtain various acoustic parameters such as duration, frequency range, low frequency, high frequency, maximum amplitude, average frequency, initial frequency, and final frequency. Hence, I have to analyse my recordings using SoundRuler, but I've never used this software before. I've read the instructions but I have some questions anyway.
- I recorded in stereo, so when I introduce the recording in the software, it asks me if I want to analyse left or right channel. Can I analyse both separately and then calculate the mean of both channels?
- Also, when I introduce the recording, I mark the section that I want to analyse using green bars. Once this section is marked, I proceed to do the analysis. Is it as easy as clicking the "manual" button? When I do it, it appears a table with the different values of the parameters, but I don't know if it is as "simple" as that.
That's all at the moment. Thank you for your answers!
Laura.
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Hi Laura,
I agree with Pavel regarding the channels and amplitude. I also don't use SoundRuler (sorry!) but I thought it might be useful to add that you need to be sure there is no background noise overlapping your calls of interest. If for example these recordings were made at a zoo, there may be visitors chatting, or in the field there could be other animals calling etc. on your recordings. If there is, then you can either need to filter it (if it does not overlap in frequency with the monkey calls), or if that's not possible, you could manually extract the frequency measures, or simply eliminate those calls from your analyses. It might be that you can use the read-out on all your "clean" calls (i.e. no background noise, one individual calling at a time) and in that case it could be just as simple as you say!
Good luck with your interesting project!
All the best,
Esther
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Bit of a strange one, I am doing a critical analysis of the use of line transects in primate abundance studies. I have found many papers which have a robust study design with many replications etc. However, I am looking for papers which have a questionable study design i.e low replication/lack of randomisation/missing key assumptions. Any suggestions?
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 Dear Thomas,
Take a look at our paper comparing trails and roads used to count primates using the line transect method. I hope it would be useful to you. Bests
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I am having difficulty finding ways of getting camera traps set up at canopy level (looking for primates) without tree climbing equipment. Any suggestions? 
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Thanks for your answers. The camera traps will be fixed in place and left for multiple days. Do you possible have any papers which have used these techniques?
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I need to find useful information about behavioral imprinting in non-human primates because the literature that I have reviewed does not show a conclusion about the existence of imprinting in these species. 
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Would natural selection act strongly on a vertebrate that suckled and constantly carried  its young? Especially with an offspring that was altricial, e.g. incapable of independent locomotion for long period?
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Looking for any published data that could be used to determine body fat percentages and muscle mass in nonhuman anthropoids as a function of sex. The data for a particular species could be obtained from separate sources.
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And this: Zihlman, A. L., & Bolter, D. R. (2015). Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapienshas implications for changes during human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(24), 7466–7471. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1505071112
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Remains are currently housed at NMNH, but I'm curious about the circumstances surrounding her death. Thank you.
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Thank you so much, Tim!
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Very good, I am currently in research practices Coast gorilla at the zoo in Barcelona, and would like to know behavior that catches my attention:
- Why are gorillas, especially the dominant male, and sometimes sub-adults, walking straight ahead, stop, look, and they turn around with your body, to continue in the same direction opposite?
They do it very often, to walk straight, stop, give that swing with the body and then continue in the same direction or near that direction ... It is curious because they do.
THANKS FOR EVERYTHING
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Spinning can be a play behavior. I've witnessed it in immature gorillas.
This is spinning for play, adult male gorilla.
Similar spinning play for infant gorilla
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We survey Bengal Slow Loris in several fixed transects in a forest of Northeastern Bangladesh, while we regularly encounter Particloloured Flying Squirrel (Hylopetes alboniger) and noted down with GPS co-ordinate. Surveys in the transect are not equal. Hence, a one year (at least 4 nights in a month) effort to the opportunistic encounters can reveal the accurate population size of the squirrel in the area?
If possible let me know data analysis patterns in estimating total population from the direct observations. 
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Tanvir -
I am glad you found our paper interesting, but I have to add that these are relative densities, which is not the same as absolute densities let alone population size. Relative densities and absence-presence data are important, but in order to get the absolute population size you have to use other methods as indicated in the previous discussion.
Cheers, Andreas
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Good scientists. What is the difference between white and brown iris iris or brown in chimpanzees? It is possible that white iris around the eye is a pattern of greater intelligence and higher rank over another individual?
Thanks for everything, I am studying a postgraduate / master of primatology and am new to this.
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I would like to train juvenile and adult baboons to use a hand dynamometer built for humans. The purpose is to test grip strength between control and experimental groups. I haven't been able to find any other studies doing this with large bodied nonhuman primates. I am trying to find background research to guide my study design.
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Anecdotal answer here.
Do not know if it would be of much help, but I met a person last year, while he was setting up an experiment to measure grip strength in macaques. He was going to use a regular handgrip dynamometer. I am not certain how he was going to motivate the macaques though.
It is work in progress, so there are no publications. I can send you a personal message with his contact details, if you would like to.
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Hi all, I need for a study the weight average of hands of Orangutans, Bonobos and Western Lowland Gorilla. Does anyone know where I can find these data please?
Thank you for your answers.
Ameline Bardo
PhD student
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Hi Ameline,  here I found some data in my research archive. Maybe they are of general  interest for you.
I did not refer to hand weight explicitly, but to the overall arm weights. However, these resources might provide hand weights as well.
Best, Marianne
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How can I calculate p value for rate analysis of particular lineage? I have used Mega 6 for estimation of dN/dS ratio ?
Kindly guide me.
 I have used 5 primates (human. Chimp, gorilla etc) orthologous sequence for rate analysis (dN/dS ) using Li Wu Lu method. Now I want to calculate P value for estimated dN/dS of each terminal branch (like for human branch).
I used the following method is it correct?
I wanted to calculate p value for dN/dS ratio of human lineage. I used z test formula mentioned in mega manual i.e. Z = (dN - dS) / SQRT(Var(dS) + Var(dN)).
In (dN - dS), I placed human dN and dS value.  For calculation of variance, I used dN and dS  value of all the terminal and ancestral lineage branches, e,g Var(human dN, chimpanzee dN, gorilla dN, orangutan dN, human-chimp ancestor dN, human-chimp-gorilla ancestor dN ).
After getting z value I calculated p value using online software.
Thanks
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ok Thanks
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There must be a management protocol specifically for primates in biological collections. I cannot find them ...
Thanks in Advance! 
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You could probably get this information from most universities that have primate reference collections or active primate labs - they must have protocols to be followed (depends on whether you're looking for info on bones, tissues, feces/urine, etc - protocols will differ). For me one of the best references for primate questions is/was Primate Info Net. PIN was connected to the Lawrence Jacobsen Library at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. The library is closed now, but much of the material is still there. You should be able to get information or at least a point in the right direction from the WNPRC staff. For questions, PIN contains the following statement "For additional information, contact Dr. Joseph Kemnitz, kemnitz@primate.wisc.edu".
You could also try to contact
Plenty of other collection locations com up with a Google search for "primate biological collections". Your best may be contacting the facilities that house the collections an ask about their protocols.
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Hi, i am working with a new a rare specie of primate in Colombia named Callicebus caquetensis recently described. 
Its is located in a high fragmented area and there are estimations of poblational size which barely reach 500 viable individuals. 
I must stand a methodology for the study of its poblational density and i am not sure about the usual line transect method.
THanks in advance. 
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Dear Johana,
As mentioned by the other colleagues, all methods have their strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, your choice should take into account the level of forest fragmentation of your study region. Highly fragmented is quite superficial. Can you tell us the number of forest fragments, their sizes and approximate shapes. Depending on their characteristics, the transect method is definitely not appropriate. Additionally, titi monkeys are "shy" primates, a characteristic that compromises our ability to sight them during transect censusing.
Good luck in your research.
Best wishes,
Júlio César
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I am studying Macaca nemestrina on Peninsular Malaysia and was wondering whether there is any census data available on their rough population size?
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Population size of the pig tailed macaque in Dampa Tiger reserve in Mizoram, India has been estimated to 90 individuals. The troop size varies from 11-17 individuals.
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To avoid wasting paper and time on data entry, I'd like to digitise the collection of my observational data of chimpanzees. I only have access to apple products unfortunately, as I know Pendragon Forms can do this for windows-based tablets and palm devices. 
What I am envisaging is an app which would allow me to create drop-down menus for entering data into forms (e.g. focal individual, their nearest neighbour, distance to neighbour), and have it compile each observation into a single database. There doesn't seem to be anything specific to behavioural data collection available on iTunes, but I imagine a highly customisable survey-taking software would do the job just as well. I don't mind paying for something that fits the bill, but a subscription based service is not viable.
If anyone knows of something like this then I'd greatly appreciate hearing about it.
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Hi there,
This might do the trick
Cheers,
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Wild great apes commonly make their night nests around dusk and usually rise again at dawn, but do they sleep through the night? Does sleep come later in the evening, following a period of rest, or is there a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night? What is known about captive great ape sleep patterns? These questions may help us to understand the segmented sleep patterns thought to have been practiced by people in the West before Industrial Revolution.
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Nama--I think you're definitely driving at an important question!
Personal field experience in Uganda, at wild chimpanzee sites, tells me there is activity at  night.  I recall waking up several times throughout the night to pant-hooting chimps.  Zamma (2013) is the only reference I know actually addressing this issue.  In captivity I found interesting behaviors with orangutan sleeping platform construction and night time long calls throughout the sleep cycle.   
The question of how ape sleep affects our evolutionary interpretation of human sleep remains open; so little has been done in describing human sleep ecology outside the context of developed countries and lab conditions.
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Are there records of a non-human primate, pregnant with twins or more, giving birth to one offspring and then stopping labor so that the birth of a subsequent infant is delayed for multiple days (or even multiple months)? This is well-referenced in humans and is documented in medical literature, but I am asking specifically about recorded instances in non-human primates (prosimians in particular).
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It is very difficult to identify symptoms labor in prosominas or in non human primates. Even it is identified than interruption of parturition process  after first delivery is very difficult. Therefore such a delay in birth can not be feasible.
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I'm looking for incidences of both successes and failures, particularly with apes. I am aware for the success of the golden lion tamarin reintroduction program. Others I know of (no sources though) are the Perth Zoo orangutan reintroductions (Temara - success?), Semeru (failure, died snakebite). Also the recent problems with the Aspinall gorilla reintroductions (details, news sources would help here). Any additional info appreciated.
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Hi Bruce. Thanks for the article.
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We are trying to find some tutorial, guide, or video explaining how to use and run Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM) in SPSS software. We are working in animal behavior (primatology) and we need to analyze a 8 years' longitudinal database about the re-socialization and rehabilitation process of a chimpanzee sample.
Do you know where to get it? Some advice?
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Dear Miquel,
You will not find many GLMM guiding papers, however the better way to start is reading about GLMM at SPSS site
I leave here some good pdfs.
Hope it helps.
Cheers
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There are many contradictions in the literature as to the origin of the omo-cervicalis (aka, atlanto-cervicalis, levator claviculae) muscle in non-human primates.  Miller 1932 reports it's on the spinous process but all images (including his) appear to depict its origin on the lateral aspect of the pars interarticularis.    Any informed knowledge on this from dissection or otherwise?  Not from the usual literature citing Miller (ie., Aiello, Wood).      
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Dear Colleague,
Thank you for this interesting question. It shows us that there is still a lot to discover and to describe in anatomy, and that comparative anatomy e.g., primatology, can be of great value in this. In the recent past, e.g., with respect to functional anatomy of primates and their predecessors (like the marsupials that we studied), the Journal of Anatomy papers by the late Professor F.G. Parsons (1863-1943) did help us a lot ! I therefore attach this 1898 paper by Prof. Parsons, with his description of the levator claviculae muscle from p. 449 on, plus some sketches. Remarkably, he calls this muscle also "omo-trachelian". 
I  think that his explanations make sense, be they quite short. Unfortunately, I could not figure out right now, where his second lecture on head & neck anatomy was published.
Anyway, I still hope that this paper will give you some of the wanted information.
Wishing you success, with kind regards,
Koos Jaap van Zwieten
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What could be the possible parameters that need to be quantified?
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Hello Kumar
That is a great question! In my experience how you answer this question will vary upon the species and the resource. More specifically, how easy is it to observe feeding and to monitor the resource in question. A key point here is that it is not only the resource abundance, but rate of renewal which is often key in situ. Moreover, the traits you observe will be very species specific. Perhaps density is the answer, or biomass, but factors like growth rate, shell thickness, or reproductive output could also be key. You will need to pick the best parameter for your species!
However, the setups that I have used and seen before consist of experimental trials that examine some response variable (survival, growth, reproduction, etc) of each species individually. This is often repeated at different levels of the resource to see at what values of the resource the individual species can continue to flourish. In reality this can easily be your control replicate! 
The next step involves combining the two species at a level of resources considered limiting. I would actually observe the competition at different levels of the resource to not only see when it becomes limiting, but at what levels the two species can coexist. It is also useful to have different replicates with different densities of the 2 species. This will help you get a handle on the density dependent component of the competition. The obvious interaction between density and resource level could also be illuminating. By observing what happens to your response variable (survival, growth, etc) in the different treatments you should be able to get a good idea of the competition between the two species.
Hope this helps
Travis 
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The Little Fireface Project in Java, Indonesia aims to conserve the Critically Endangered Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus). We are currently evaluating the use of our slow loris bridges. So far we have found that 3 bridges were badly placed as they were not used for 4 months whereas a bridge that we placed well was used within 2 weeks by lorises and tree shrews. We put up the bridges as one of our study lorises dispersed into the village where she was most likely electrocuted. We would like to know more about the wildlife bridges used by other projects.
I hope that you can help me fill in the following questionnaire about wildlife bridges and send it on to any other organizations that you know who are using these bridges.
Thank you!Ask
 
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Denise,
Try contacting Dr. Robert Horwich from Gays Mills, Wisconsin.  He started constructing bridges for howler monkey crossings at Bermudian Landing in Belize, Central America, many of which are used frequently.
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I have some histological tooth sections marked Mandrillus but they are quite a bit smaller than Madrillus sphinx teeth. Are Mandrillus leucophaeus teeth smaller? I'm having a terrible time finding any data on this.
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Thank you, Jaime!  I've downloaded the paper.  
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I am conducting an analysis of the factors that influence the site selection of nests of all of the great apes, therefore I would greatly appreciate any advice on where I can find some data sets on this topic. Some of the factors I intend to look at include tree species, height of lowest branch from ground level, height of nest from ground level, distance from nearest food and water sources and direction of travel before and after nesting. Thanks for any help in advance!
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Fruth and Hohmann have a chapter "Nest building behavior in great apes: the great leap forward?" in the book Great Ape Societies (Marchant & Nishida, eds.). The chapter contains several tables with data from multiple sites for multiple species of great ape, with a comparison at the end. The data and the references in the chapter should be helpful.
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It's true that mental illness stigma is quiet prevalence in the United States, and I'm curious whether it happens to the animals as well. However, I do not have a background in psychology, and I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me some references.
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The topic is very interesting and complex. An example that might be useful, concerns one of the first experiments conducted by Harry Harlow on maternal deprivation in rhesus monkeys (around 1958). Some of the monkeys used in this experiment, once grown, developed character disorders and, once introducted (or re-introducted) in the peer group, were marginalized and - sometimes - physically abused by the other monkeys. In addition, recent studies underlines how monkeys with character disorders are driven away their group, most of the times before puberty.
Maybe this articles might be useful (at least for a “first step”):
- Harlow H.F., Dodsworth R.O., Harlow M.K. (1965), Total social isolation in monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 1965; 54(1): 90–97. (you can find it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC285801/)
- Gabbard, G..O. (2005), Mind, Brain, and Personality Disorder. Am J Psychiatry, 162:648-655. (here: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=177446)
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I'm organizing a symposium for the 2014 American Society of Primatologists meeting, exploring primate-human interface, interaction, & relationships across settings. I will be specifically addressing primate-human interactions & relationships in zoos. I am familiar with the findings of visitor effect studies (i.e. majority report humans = stressful). However, I'd like to examine the costs & benefits of interactions from multiple perspectives, e.g., animal welfare & behavior, visitor experience, keeper experience, research design & outcomes. I'd like to compile a benefit/cost list even if people do not have the research data to support these - personal experience is great.
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Hi Josh...I think you are familiar with the work we do here at the Lester Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo. Human-animal interactions are among several areas of interest for us and we have looked at this from several perspectives. (a) We have found relatively little effect of crowds on our apes' behavior across 10 years of study...we are writing up a paper right now that will summarize those findings; (b) Chelluri et al. (2013) describes an aspect of keeper-animal interaction in that even unscheduled, informal but positive interactions can have unintended consequences for the animals; (c) We examined the influence of building design on visitor behavior (e.g. Ross et al., 2012) but also have a forthcoming paper in final revisions that demonstrates that progressive building design can positively influence visitor attitudes about zoo apes and wildlife in general. To say that zoos have no positive effects on visitors is, in my view, shortsighted. The question is more aptly framed around evaluating potential positive and negative effects.
There is alot of work out there on the potential negative effects of zoo visitors on primate behavior/welfare but there is good reason to evaluate each of these studies in light of the specific facilities. Facilities that provide appropriate choices for zoo animals often do not have the negative effects described in some studies (see Ross et al., 2005 for a commentary on such a study).
In any case, it's an interesting field of study and I am glad you and others are taking a broad view of the potential questions. Sorry I will miss the ASP symposium.
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I have data on maternal kinship for chimpanzee groups and I am interested in looking at social relationships between group members. It is likely that close kin members will interact more often than non/distant kin members. Is there a measurement that scans or perhaps scores kinship on a scale (i..e mother-offspring is a stronger relationship than say aunt-niece)? We don't have genetic data on the chimpanzees, but we do know maternal kinships because they are captive.
I have seen a coefficient of relatedness in the literature, and was wondering how is works, and if it is the best approach.
Many thanks.
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Bruce, from what you have you can certainly calculate the genetic relatedness based only on the maternal relationship. If you think about the classic Mendelian patterns, first degree relatives share 50% of alleles in common, second degree 25% and so on. Half of the shared alleles will come from each parent.
But, in most primate groups, it is not as simple as that: if you try to draw the pedigree, you will almost certainly end up with loops (eg., uncle-neice matings) and this makes it very difficult to estimate allele sharing even if you do have paternal information. At the end of this exercise, you are not going to have clean groups of genetic relatedness (1/4, 1/8, 1/16), but rather a continuum of everything between 1/4 and 1/64. That might be okay for the question you want to ask, but perhaps you want to think about this before embarking on estimating coefficients of kinship as suggested by Dr Eding.
If you can get access to even a very abbreviated panel of SNP's to use in assigning paternity, I would agree with Joe that would be quite useful. Otherwise, you are going to have 50% of allele sharing being entirely unknown.
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I am comparing the honing complex of apes but cannot find a detailed description, or even a general description for the bonobo.
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Great, thank you, I will.
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I am conducting my PhD research in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University, UK. I am focused on the Chlorocebus genus and the conflict that arises when these adaptable monkeys live in close proximity to humans. Part of my research consists of developing distribution maps that highlight areas of potential conflict between humans and vervets. Any locality data would be greatly appreciated.
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Hi Aoife,
I don't know if you have found this but I just came across this report about wildlife conflict in the Vwaza Reserve in Malawi: http://www.cps.ceu.hu/publications/anthony/2009/5092
Vervets are recorded present there, although in their analysis the authors classified monkeys and baboons under the same category. It might be worth contacting the authors (Dr. Brandon Anthony and Jolly Wasambo) for further information. There are also people working in the reserve and this is their website http://www.nyika-vwaza-trust.org/index.html
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We are looking for information / papers about Macaca hecki activity budget. Can someone advise where to get it? Do you know some researchers working on it?
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Thanks for your held patrick
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Lots of mammals are endangered at the taxonomic levels of the species, genus, or family. But, for virtually an entire infraorder of species -- 91 of 103 recognized species in the infraorder Lemuriformes, endemic to Madagascar -- to be declared by the IUCN as either "Vulnerable", "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered" is extraordinary. The Lemuriformes represent approximately a quarter of all species in the Order Primates, so their future has implications for our capacity to achieve a comparatively-based understanding of patterns of behaviour across primate species.
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Zsolt --
I would suggest that your cynicism is somewhat misplaced. You apparently do not fully appreciate the international nature of the prosimian biologist community. Yes, Americans and Canadians (like myself) will be attending the Congress, and for us the Congress venue is almost half a world away. But, there will also be a good number of Brits, and French and German and Italian prosimian biologists attending -- for them, getting to Madagascar is not such a long haul. Your comment also discounts the fact that there will also be primatologists from several African nations in attendance, as well as primatologists from south and southeast Asia; again, from those regions, travel to Madagascar is actually not that far. But, most of all, your comment totally discounts the participation in the Congress that Malagasy primatologists and students will have -- it is their country, and they must be the ones on the ground that advocate at the local level for lemur conservation, The international attention they will be able to point to that lemur conservation attracts, will be of great use to them domestically. One last point... 5-Star hotels do not factor into the Congress. The Local Organizing Committee decided to hold the Congress in a National Park (Ranomafana N.P., a rainforest in the southeastern part of the island); it is a 10-hour bus ride from the capital -- not a cushy, air-conditioned venue at all, far from it. Anti-malarial medication is recommended.
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I'm interested in writing a book that collects folklore about monkeys, apes, and prosimians (lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers) from all over the world. They are present in Africa, Europe (e.g. Spain), South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The book (or books if I gather enough material) will be split up according to countries with similar cultures like, for example, "Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East" or "China, Korea, and Japan." The end of each section will have an essay explaining each culture's particular view of primates (good or bad) and any reoccurring motifs. The end of the book (or books) will have an essay that compares all cultures for the overwhelming human consensus of primates. In addition, I will give brief backgrounds on the species involved, as well as sections on the evolution and migration of primates. There will be plenty of art, maps, charts, and photos. I'm hoping the work will serve not only as a go to source for such material, but will also preserve stories that might otherwise not be recorded. Most importantly, I hope the project will promote conservation efforts to save endangered primate species. It has been estimated that the great apes will be extinct in the wild in just a few decades if nothing more is done to save them. This would be a travesty since they are our closest living cousins in the animal kingdom.
I would like to have an internet database as a companion to the book(s). It will have oral folklore recordings, literature, art (paintings, pots, statues, textiles, etc.), and even songs. I might even have a section on scientific research, making it a more comprehensive source. All oral/written material will be presented in its original language, as well as translations in several languages to make it more accessible. I'm going to contact Jane Goodall about this over the summer to see if she would be interested in helping in some way. She could definitely help me collect material in Africa. I would love to get funding to go all over the world recording stuff.
Having read 'Journey to the West' (JTW) and the 'Ramayana,' I have a good fix on primate folklore from China and India (I’m open to additional material, though). I know JTW is quite popular in Japan, but I’m sure there are probably native stories concerning the snow macaques. I need many more stories from Southeast Asia. I’ve only seen one so far. I've already been pointed towards some Maya legends and a website full of the culture’s vases adorned with monkey patterns. I’m still interested in folklore from other cultures in that area. That goes for the Caribbean as well. I have zero stories from Africa(!), but I'm hoping to correct that.
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You are looking to delve into what is a very diverse and scattered (yet fascinating!) literature. In broad terms, the book you are proposing could be regarded as an aspect of "ethnoprimatology" (see, Sponsel, L., 1997. "The human niche in Amazonia: explorations in ethnoprimatology"; pp. 143-166 in: New World primates: ecology, evolution, and behavior (W.G. Kinzey, ed.). New York: Aldine de Gruyter). It was in this 1997 chapter by Sponsel that the term "ethnoprimatology" was coined.
You briefly mentioned traditional beliefs about the aye-aye that rural Malagasy hold -- you'll find a nice overview paper on this by Simons and Meyers (2001), "Folklore and beliefs about the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)", Lemur News 6: 11-16.
("Lemur News" is available online through the Association Europeenne pour l'Etude et la Conservation des Lemuriens (AEECL) at: http://www.aeecl.org/lemurnews.shtml ).
I also touched on the aye-aye, as well as some other traditional Malagasy beliefs surrounding various lemuriform species in a 2005 chapter entitled: "Primates in the Forest: Sakalava Ethnoprimatology and Synecological Relations with Black Lemurs at Ambato Massif, Madagascar" (pp. 90-117 in: Commensalism and Conflict: The human - primate interface, James D. Paterson and Janette Wallis (eds.). Special Topics in Primatology, Series Editor, J. Wallis. Norman, Oklahoma: American Society of Primatologists). A copy of this chapter is available on my ResearchGate page.
A detailed examination of the complex nature of human--nonhuman primate interactions can be found in Loretta Cormier's (2003) book, "Kinship with Monkeys: The Guajá Foragers of Eastern Amazonia" (New York: Columbia University Press; ISBN: 978-0-231-12525-3). Cormier (2002) also presents a chapter entitled "Monkey as food, monkey as child: Guaja symbolic cannibalism" (pp. 63-84) in the book, "Primates Face to Face: The conservation implications of human-nonhuman primate interconnections", edited by A. Fuentes and L. Wolfe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; ISBN-10: 0-521-79109-x). Indeed, the entire "Primates Face to Face" edited volume by Fuentes and Wolfe would provide a wealth of information as well as other reference sources. Cormier also published a review paper in Ecological and Enviornmental Anthropology, EEA (2006), entitled: "A Preliminary Review of Neotropical Primates in the Subsistence and Symbolism of Indigenous Lowland South American Peoples" (pdf available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/icwdmeea/ ). Likewise, Agustin Fuentes (2006) had a paper in the same issue of EEA entitled: "Human-Nonhuman Primate Interconnections and Their Relevance to Anthropology". Erin Riley, Linda Wolfe and Agustin Fuentes (2011) teamed up on a chapter entitled, "Ethnoprimatology: Contextualizing Human and Nonhuman Primate Interactions", which appears as chapter 46 in the second edition of "Primates In Perspective", edited by Christina Campbell et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN-10: 0195390431).
An early, but still useful, examination of the ethnoprimatological dimensions and dynamics between humans and a nonhuman primate species (in this case, the crab-eater, or long-tailed, macacque, Macaca fascicularis) is Bruce Wheatley's (1999), "The Sacred Monkeys of Bali" (Waveland Press: Prospect Heights, Illinois; ISBN-10: 1577660595). An even earlier source, which is now, unfortunately, out of print, is the 1967 book by R.H. van Gulik, entitled, "The Gibbon in China: An Essay in Chinese Animal Lore" (Leiden: E.J. Brill). A partial version of van Gulik's book is available at:
Van Gulik's monograph also figures in the recent review paper by Thomas Geissmann (2008) on the use of gibbon depictions, and their symbolism, in east Asian art: "Gibbon paintings in China, Japan, and Korea: Historical distribution, production rate and context"; Gibbon Journal 4: 1-38. Gibbon Journal is available on the website of the Gibbon Conservation Alliance, www.gibbonconservation.org, and a pdf of this particular paper by Geissmann can be found at:
Finally, there is a recent review paper by Alves et al. (2010), entitled, "Primates in traditional folk medicine: a world overview", which appeared in the journal Mammal Review, Volume 40, No. 2, pp. 155–180 -- you can link to this journal through the Smithsonian Institution Libraries website at: http://www.sil.si.edu/eresources/silpurl.cfm?purl=03051838 .
This is by no means an exhaustive list of relevant titles, but will certainly put you on the lead to a large range of useful material. Good luck with your project!
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A great part of studies about ecology and behavior of primates approach the availability of resources (fruit, new leaves, flowers, insects and etc). However, I don't observe a standarization in this process. I would like to discuss about this theme and to know what other researchers think.
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I think the first step to the process that you describe is the completion of the tipical "time bydget activity" of a certain species in varius biotops of the natural environment, occupied by the same species. How you can study availability if you do not face the question "who" (i.e specie).