Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 August 2009
The chapters in this section have provided a series of geographically focused reviews of the diversity of ecological communities in the four major biogeographical regions currently inhabited by non-human primates – Africa, Asia, Madagascar, and the neotropics of South and Central America. The comparative data that are available for these different regions are by no means uniform. As a result, these chapters not only offer an opportunity to compare the similarities and differences in the primate communities of these different regions, but also highlight the gaps in our current knowledge. Despite differences in the scope and focus of the different chapters, several general themes emerge in the intraregional studies found in this section.
In all of the chapters, the authors emphasized that there are very few primate communities in the world today that have not been affected in some way by human activity (see also Tutin & White, chapter 13, Peres, chapter 15 and Struhsaker, chapter 17, this volume). In addition, it is important to keep in mind that many of the sites where primates have been most thoroughly studied have often been chosen precisely because they have extremely high numbers of species and often easy access from roads. As a result all comparisons either within regions or between them need to make some attempt to take these factors into consideration.