The Great Apes

IUCN SSC Ape Populations, Environments and Surveys (A.P.E.S.) database

The Ape Populations, Environments and Surveys (A.P.E.S.) database is a joint initiative of the Primatology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVAN) in Leipzig, Germany, and the Section on Great Apes (SGA) of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group.

The long-term goal of the A.P.E.S. initiative is to archive all existing ape survey data in a secure repository. Included on the website are descriptions of the A.P.E.S. database concept, downloadable policy documents, an interactive map, a web interface to update the catalogue of ape surveys, and the immediate possibility to electronically archive survey data sets. These can be accessed at

The success of the A.P.E.S. database depends upon the participation and support of the ape conservation and research community. To date, cataloguing reports has focused on ape surveys in Africa, but will now extend to Asian apes. Feedback and input from all projects and biologists conducting field surveys that include great apes would be most welcome. Status reports will be produced by a Data Review Working Group, which will also review third-party requests for data access.

Work is ongoing to catalogue existing ape surveys and researchers are invited to visit the A.P.E.S. website to verify that their own survey data are listed and cited correctly. For further information and general enquiries, please contact:

The database also forms the foundation of the A.P.E.S. Portal – a comprehensive and interactive website that provides both historical and up-to-date information on the global status of great apes.

Survey reports 

Some significant reports, such as national surveys of great apes that have not been published, can be downloaded here:

Brncic, T., Amarasekaran, B. & McKenna, A. (2010). Sierra Leone National Chimpanzee Census. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Freetown, Sierra Leone – download PDF

Campbell, G. & Houngbedji, M. (2015). Conservation Status of the West African Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) in Togo and Benin. Report to the Primate Action Fund, Arlington, VA – download PDF

There is also a small archive of older unpublished reports on our website.

The State of the Apes

The SGA and MPI-EVAN are collaborating to produce a bi-annual status update on all known populations of great apes as part of a book series produced by the Arcus Foundation titled "The State of the Apes". The latest version of the A.P.E.S. Population Abundance Annex can be downloaded here:

Volume 1, published in 2014, focuses on extractive industries and their impacts on great apes:

State of the Apes 2013: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation

Several chapters from this book can be downloaded in English from the State Of The Apes website, where readers will also find additional information related to this topic. French and Bahasa editions of State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation are freely available for download at:

Publié par la Fondation Arcus, un PDF du livre entier “La planète des grands singes 2013” est gratuit et disponible sur le site web suivant:

“Negara Kera 2013” can be downloaded here (unduh buku):

Volume 2, published in 2015, highlights the global expansion of industrial agriculture, especially palm oil production, and its consequences for great apes:

State of the Apes 2015: Industrial Agriculture and Ape Conservation

All chapters of this book can be downloaded in English from the State Of The Apes website. French and Bahasa editions of State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation are in preparation.