Best Practice Guidelines for Surveys and Monitoring of Great Ape Populations
The IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group has published guidelines for surveys and monitoring of great ape populations. These guidelines address a need which has existed since great ape studies began – the challenge of collecting consistently high-quality data for comparison between a wide variety of sites, and often across many years.
This need is driven less by academic interest than by the urgent demands of field-based conservation. The maelstrom of threats which now endanger all the great apes must be addressed by immediate action on every scale: initiatives at individual sites, strategies on the regional and national level, and species-wide action plans and international accords. All of these efforts must be founded on accurate field data – and to fully understand the impact of specific threats, and to measure if conservation programs are succeeding, it is essential to have baseline density estimates and sustained monitoring of great ape populations.
This publication outlines current approaches to these issues, offering guidance and perspective on choices that must be made by wildlife biologists, site managers, government agencies and the conservation community at large. This report provides an overview of the variety of survey methodologies that have been developed, as well as a decision tree to help select the approach that is best for a particular site or situation, depending on available resources. As a continuation of this report, a series of modules will be made available online, which will present detailed information on survey design, field techniques, analytical approaches, and practical issues such as logistics, finance and standardized reporting.
These IUCN guidelines will help researchers to standardize their data collection and, just as importantly, will allow for improved comparisons between datasets. This will complement the A.P.E.S. database (http://apes.eva.mpg.de), which is intended to serve as a repository for survey data on great apes, and to analyze trends in their populations. These survey and monitoring guidelines, combined with resources available via A.P.E.S., are important steps towards a comprehensive understanding of the conservation status of great apes, at both the population and species level.
The full PDF of Chapters 1 & 2 is available below:
Panduan Survei dan Pemantauan Populasi Kera Besar
Panduan Amalan Terbiak Survei dan Pemantauan Populasi Kera Besar
Suggested citation: Kühl, H., Maisels, F., Ancrenaz, M. and Williamson, E. A. 2008. Best Practice Guidelines for Surveys and Monitoring of Great Ape Populations. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.
A series of online modules are also available for download. These modules present detailed information on survey design, field techniques, analytical approaches, and practical issues such as logistics, finance and standardized reporting. The following modules:
- Chapter 3: Survey design
- Chapter 5 [Section 5.1 - 5.3] Field Issues: Logistics and data collection protocols.
- Chapter 5 [Section 5.4] Conducting Interviews in the Field.
- Chapter 6: Training.
- Chapter 8: Standardized reporting.
can be dowloaded at: http://apesportal.eva.mpg.de/database/surveyGuidelines
Additional guidelines will be posted on the Best Practices page as they become available.
The Primate Specialist Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Arcus Foundation in the publication of this report.