Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

20 - Conclusion

from Part III - GIS Analysis in Broad-Scale Space


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.

Bezanson, M. and McNamara, A. 2019. The what and where of primate field research may be failing primate conservation. Evolutionary Anthropology 28: 166178.
Dolins, F. L., Jolly, A., Ratsimbazafy, J., et al. 2010. Conservation education in Madagascar: three case studies in the biologically diverse island-continent. American Journal of Primatology 72(5): 391406.
Estrada, A., Garber, P. A., Rylands, A. B., et al. 2017. Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: why primates matter. Science Advances 3: e1600946.
Estrada, A., Garber, P. A., Mittermeier, R. A., et al. 2018. Primates in peril: the significance of Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for global primate conservation. PeerJ. DOI 10.7717/peerj.4869.
Evans, K. 2019. Ancient farmers burned the Amazon, but today's fires are very different. National Geographic. Available at
Garber, P. A. 2019. Commentary, Distinguished Primatologist Address: moving from advocacy to activism – changing views of primate field research and conservation over the past 40 years. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.23052
IUCN. 2019. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-2. Available at
Janmaat, K. R. L. 2019. What animals do not do or fail to find: a novel observational approach for studying cognition in the wild. Evolutionary Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21794,
Kalan, A. K., Piel, A. K., Mundry, R., et al. 2016. Passive acoustic monitoring reveals group ranging and territory use: a case study of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Frontiers in Zoology 13(1): 34.
Muller, R. D., Muller, D., Schierhorn, F., Gerold, G., and Pacheco, P. 2012. Proximate causes of deforestation in the Bolivian lowlands: an analysis of spatial dynamics. Regional Environmental Change 12(3): 445459.
Pecanha, S. and Wallace, T. 2019. We’re thinking about the Amazon fires all wrong: these maps show why. Washington Post. Available at:
Peres, C. A. 1999. Ground fires as agents of mortality in a Central Amazonian forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15(4): 535541.
Peres, C. A. 2001. The fire next time: the potential for a catastrophic blaze threatens the Amazon. Time Magazine, 8 January: 48.
Rodrigues, M. A. 2019. Is science failing the world’s primates? The Revelator: Wild, Incisive, Fearless. Available at
Savage, A., Guillen, R., Lamilla, I., and Soto, L. 2010. Developing an effective community conservation program for cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) in Colombia. American Journal of Primatology 72(5): 379390.