Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 10
  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: June 2012

7 - Trapping primates



There are many reasons to capture your study animals, including marking or radio-collaring individuals (Chapter 10), taking morphological measurements (Chapter 9) and biological sampling (Chapters 1 and 8). For small nocturnal primates, trapping may be the only way to gather data for density estimates (Chapter 6). Furthermore, it is essential for the determination of spatial distribution and social interactions of individuals, as the most effective method uses direct observation of radio-tagged animals (Sterling et al., 2000). Historically, studies in which wild, larger-bodied non-human primates (hereafter called primates in this chapter) are habituated for long-term observation have rarely included capture, perhaps because researchers have been understandably wary of its effects on subsequent behaviour and habituation. However, our survey (Jolly & Phillips-Conroy, 1993; C. J. Jolly and J. E. Phillips-Conroy, unpublished data) of more than 120 studies that combined observation with capture, and which involved about 65 primate species, showed that a careful capture–release programme using trapping will not cause a previously habituated population to change its behaviour towards human observers, and will not be associated with excess mortality or serious injury. Changes in ranging habits caused by baiting and trapping will be temporary at worst, and basic social organisation and structure will not be affected. The survey also showed that trapping has been used most often to catch diurnal–terrestrial and nocturnal–arboreal species. Diurnal–arboreal primates (apart from callitrichines) have generally been captured by darting (Chapter 8), a bias that seems unjustified.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Albernaz, A. L. & Magnusson, W. E. (1999). Home-range size of the bare-ear marmoset (Callithrix argentata) at Alter do Chão, Central Amazonia, Brazil. Int. J. Primatol 20, 665–77
Ancrenaz, M., Lackman-Ancrenaz, I. & Mundy, N. (1994). Field observations of aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Madagascar. Folia Primatol 62, 22–36
Atsalis, S. (1999). Seasonal fluctuations in body fat and activity levels in a rain-forest species of mouse lemur, Microcebus rufus. Int. J. Primatol 20, 883–910
Brett, F. L., Turner, T. R., Jolly, C. J. & Cauble, R. G. (1982). Trapping baboons and vervet monkeys from wild, free-ranging populations. J. Wildlife Manag. 46, 164–74
Charles-Dominique, P. (1977). Ecology and Behaviour of Nocturnal Primates. London: Duckworth
Charles-Dominique, P. & Bearder, S. K. (1979). Field studies of lorisid behavior: Methodological aspects. In The Study of Prosimian Behavior, ed. G. A. Doyle & R. D. Martin, pp. 567–629. New York: Academic Press
Dawson, G. A. (1977). Composition and stability of social groups of the tamarins (Saguinus oedipus geoffroyi) in Panama: ecological and behavioral implications. In The Biology and Conservation of the Callitrichidae, ed. D. G. Kleiman, pp. 23–8. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press
Ruiter, J. (1992). Capturing wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Folia Primatol. 59, 89–104
Dietz, J. M., Baker, A. J. & Miglioretti, D. (1994). Seasonal variation in reproduction, juvenile growth, and adult body mass in golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia). Am. J. Primatol 34, 115–32
Ehresmann, P. (2000). Ökologische Differenzierung von zwei sympatrischen Mausmaki-Arten (Microcebus murinus und M. ravelobensis) im Trockenwald Nordwest-Madagaskars. Ph.D. thesis, University of Hanover
Fietz, J. (1999). Mating system of Microcebus murinus. Am. J. Primatol. 48, 127–33
Fietz, J. & Ganzhorn, J. U. (1999). Feeding ecology of the hibernating primate Cheirogaleus medius: how does it get so fat?Oecologica 121, 157–64
Garber, P. A., Encarnación, F., Moya, L. & Pruetz, J. D. (1993). Demographic and reproductive patterns in moustached tamarin monkeys (Saguinus mystax): implications for reconstructing platyrrhine mating systems. Am. J. Primatol 29, 235–54
Gursky, S. (2000). Sociality in the spectral tarsier, Tarsius spectrum. Am. J. Primatol. 51, 89–101
Jolly, C. J. (1998). A simple and inexpensive pole syringe for tranquilizing primates. Lab. Primate News. 37 (2), 1–2
Jolly, C. J. & Phillips-Conroy, J. E. (1993). The use of capture in field primatology. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 16, 158[Abstract]
Kappeler, P. M. (1997). Intrasexual selection in Mirza coquereli: evidence for scramble competition in a solitary primate. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 45, 115–27
Melnick, D. J., Pearl, M. C. & Richard, A. F. (1984). Male migration and inbreeding avoidance in wild rhesus monkeys. Am. J. Primatol 7, 229–43
Müller, A. E. (1999). Aspects of social life in the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius): inferences from body weights and trapping data. Am. J. Primatol. 49, 265–80
Petter, J. J. & Hladik, C. M. (1970). Observations sur le domaine vital et la densité de population de Loris tardigradus dans les forêts de Ceylan. Mammalia 34, 394–409
Petter, J. J. & Peyrieras, A. (1970). Nouvelle contribution àl'étude d'un lémurien malgache, le aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis E. Geoffroy). Mammalia 34, 167–93
Savage, A., Giraldo, H., Blumer, E. S., Soto, L. H., Burger, W. & Snowdon, C. S. (1993). Field techniques for monitoring cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus oedipus) in Columbia. Am. J. Primatol 31, 189–96
Schwab, D. (2000). A preliminary study of spatial distribution and mating system of pygmy mouse lemurs (Microcebus cf. myoxinus). Am. J. Primatol. 51, 41–60
Sterling, E. J., Nguyen, N. & Fashing, P. J. (2000). Spatial patterning in nocturnal prosimians: a review of methods and relevance to studies of sociality. Am. J. Primatol. 51, 3–19
Wiens, F. (2002). Behavior and ecology of wild slow lorises (Nycticebus coucang): social organization, infant care system, and diet. Ph.D. thesis, University of Bayreuth
Wright, P. C. & Martin, L. B. (1995). Predation, pollination and torpor in two nocturnal prosimians: Cheirogaleus major and Microcebus rufus in the rain forest of Madagascar. In Creatures of the Dark: The Nocturnal Prosimians, ed. L. Alterman, G. A. Doyle & M. K. Izard, pp. 45–60. New York: Plenum Press
Zingg, J. (2001). Nahrungsökologie und Sozialverhalten von Zwergseidenäffchen (Cebuella pygmaea) in Ecuador. Diploma thesis, University of Zurich