IUCN Primate Specialist Group
Bristol Zoological Society, as part of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group, is co-organising an African Primate Red List Assessment Workshop in order to better understand the current threats and status of all African primates.
This five-day workshop will enable all African primates to be (re)assessed (a total of 188 assessments) to ensure that the most up-to-date information is available on the Red List, the basis on which many conservation decisions are made. In addition, they will also assess species being described for the first time or those that have undergone taxonomic revisions.
This workshop will build capacity within Africa as one of the largest gatherings of African nationals working on primates to date. It will bring together taxonomists, field conservationists and researchers, wildlife epidemiologists, conservation geneticists and small population experts from across Africa, as well as a small number from the United States of America and Europe. The workshop will enable the group to start developing coordinated Species Conservation Strategies for those most in danger and to explore the feasibility of developing a Pan-African Primate Conservation Group, a mechanism that works well in other parts of the world.
Across the African continent, primates face severe threats and while the well-known great apes often receive significant attention, the lesser-known primates are still subject to large-scale habitat loss and fragmentation throughout their range and many do not receive the same level of attention or efforts to protect them. The most recent list of the world’s 25 most endangered primate species (Schwitzer et al., 2014) featured five African species: the Rondo dwarf galago (Galagoides rondoensis), Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus roloway), Bioko red colobus (Piliocolobus pennantii pennantii), Tana River red colobus (Piliocolobus rufomitratus) and Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). In order to protect them, up-to-date information on their status is vital, as are coordinated responses to their declines.