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 A.P.E.S. website are descriptions of the 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 is dependent upon the participation and support of the ape conservation and research community. 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. We welcome feedback and input from projects and biologists conducting field surveys that include great apes. Status reports will be produced by a Data Review Working Group, which will also review third-party requests for data access. 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.

GRASP & IUCN report to CITES on the status of great apes in 2018 

Using information from the IUCN A.P.E.S. database and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the IUCN SSC PSG Section on Great Apes produced a report on the status of great apes for CITES (the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

This report presents the current distribution, population trends over time and main threats to the survival of great apes. Despite the fact that it is illegal to kill or capture great apes and to trade live animals or their body parts in all great ape range states, law enforcement is a major challenge in many countries and poaching is the most significant threat to the survival of most great apes. The report also highlights the circumstances in which illegal trade occurs and provides a list of recommendations to the CITES Parties, the CITES Secretariat and other relevant stakeholders.

Citation: GRASP & IUCN (2018). Report to the CITES Standing Committee on the Status of Great Apes. United Nations Environment Programme Great Apes Survival Partnership, Nairobi, and International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland. PDF download

The State of the Apes – Arcus Foundation

Volume 1. Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation

The first book in this series, published in 2014, focuses on extractive industries and their impacts on great apes. Several chapters 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. Industrial Agriculture and Ape Conservation

Published in 2015, Volume 2 highlights the global expansion of industrial agriculture, especially palm oil production, and its consequences for great apes. 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 also available.

Volume 3. Infrastructure Development and Ape Conservation

Published in 2018, all chapters of this volume can be downloaded in English, French and Bahasa from the State of the Apes website.

Ape Population Abundance Estimates annex to 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 the State of the Apes book series. The latest version of the A.P.E.S. Population Abundance Annex can be downloaded here:

Unpublished survey reports

A small archive of unpublished survey reports, including four national surveys of African apes, is available on this website.

Please also visit the reports section of the A.P.E.S. Portal: