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The overarching theme of this volume is the application of spatial analysis technology and its potential for tackling major questions foundational to research conducted by field primatologists. In the series of chapters that comprise this volume, the goal of the editors and chapter authors was to provide a thorough reference for “best” as well as innovative practices in collecting and analyzing data using global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS), including also the use of geo-tracking and remote telemetry apparatus via collars. The processes described are aimed at providing the most accurate measurements and interpretation of movement aligned with other forms of behavior. The authors have presented detailed mapping systems of multiple species and terrains that were distinct from one another and varied as examples for different types of field sites and their study requirements. Distinct ways in which mapping data might be collected, analyzed, and visualized, such that these examples provide models and insights for other researchers, were also discussed. These methods include studies that address theoretical and practical questions about life history strategies, individual and group movement, ecological problem solving, resource knowledge, foraging behavior, predator avoidance, social interactions and competition, and reproductive strategies. The application of GIS data provides insight into the interaction of biogeographical factors with behavior and also population-level genetics. Importantly, GPS data provide the foundation for detailed studies for conservation. A majority of primate species globally are on the brink of ecological disaster due to anthropogenic disturbances and pressures. Increasingly, scientists rely on the data provided by GPS technology to inform our attempts to stem habitat destruction and to protect parcels of habitat necessary to maintain viable primate populations and for the local human communities who are often equally at risk.
Almost all behavior can be assessed spatially, paving the way for insights into both the proximate and ultimate causes of expressed behaviors. Field primatologists following their focal group or individual animal identify and record essential data about where salient behaviors occur because behaviors do not occur in random locations, but in relation to what the environment and habitat specifically affords to a primate with regard to traveling, foraging, defending a home range, finding mates, and fulfilling other basic and essential needs. Recording the “where” and also the “when” and the “what” of a traveling primate’s behavior in conjunction with the biogeography of the habitat is a multilayered, dynamic problem. The spatial analysis tools, global positioning systems (GPS), and geographic information systems (GIS) analysis provide a stable and powerful means to apply cutting-edge data and analytic methods to the study of free-ranging primate behavior. In this way, primatologists can address Tinbergen’s “Four Questions” of mechanism, ontogeny, adaptive value, and phylogeny underlying behaviors (Tinbergen 1963), and develop an overarching picture of their primate species’ patterns of behavior, habitat use, and life histories.
Primatologists take it for granted that it is important to study primates. We rarely consider the unique quality of the information that we uncover, because we expect to be intrigued and surprised by what we find; we expect to be able to put together more of the puzzle pieces as well as to identify additional parts of the puzzle. The individual primates we observe and test, and the groups, populations, and species to which they belong, teach us about their day-to-day lives and the distinctive ways they survive, and help us uncover their specific past and the shared past of our common ancestors. Geospatial technology is critical to aiding primatologists in these efforts. Compared to previous technologies (e.g., a Brunton compass, tripod, a 50 m tape measure, onion paper, ruler and a good pencil with an eraser to hand-draw maps and paths), it is much easier, collects more accurate data and allows more accurate analyses using geographic information systems (GIS), and allows greater flexibility in terms of how to effectively implement these data for multiple types of analyses.
From foraging patterns in a single tree to social interactions across a home range, how primates use space is a key question in the field of primate behavioral ecology. Drawing on the latest advances in spatial analysis tools, this book offers practical guidance on applying geographic information systems (GIS) to central questions in primatology. An initial methodological section discusses niche modelling, home range analysis and agent-based modelling, with a focus on remote data collection. Research-based chapters demonstrate how ecologists apply this technology to a suite of topics including: calculating the intensity of use of both range and travel routes, assessing the impacts of logging, mining and hunting, and informing conservation strategies.
This thought-provoking book will ask what it is to be human, what to be animal, and what are the natures of the relationships between them. This is accomplished with philosophical and ethical discussions, scientific evidence and dynamic theoretical approaches. Attitudes to Animals will also encourage us to think not only of our relationships to non-human animals, but also of those to other, human, animals. This book provides a foundation that the reader can use to make ethical choices about animals. It will challenge readers to question their current views, attitudes and perspectives on animals, nature and development of the human-animal relationship. Human perspectives on the human-animal relationships reflect what we have learned, together with spoken and unspoken attitudes and assumptions, from our families, societies, media, education and employment.