With the majority of primate species being threatened with habitat change from both anthropogenic and natural causes, there are serious implications for the viability of many species, as well as for the ecosystems which they inhabit. This is exacerbated by the fact that over 80% of endangered primate species are endemic to biodiversity hotspots, which are are ecoregions that make up only 1.4% of the Earth’s land surface, yet contain most of its biodiversity. Thus, by examining threats to nonhuman primates in these areas we will also be looking at threats to these ecosystems in general and investigating options for long term conservation and viability of these valuable areas. Some of the threats to be considered are habitat loss (both natural and anthropogenic), hunting of species for human consumption, or medicinal use, the pet trade and disease risk to humans and non-human primates that may result from such practises.
Specifically this course, we will investigate issues of primate conservation by first understanding how primate biology and how intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence their vulnerability to threats. We will then look at how they interact with their natural environment and how we can determine population viability using population demographics, life history data and genetic variation. We will then discuss the primary causes of declines in primate populations, including analyses of major threats (listed above). We will also discuss issues associated with these declines such as marginalization of animals and groups, increasing conflict between humans and non human primates and genetic bottlenecks. Finally, we will critically examine the solutions and tactics proposed to reduce and hopefully eliminate these major threats to primates and associated ecosystems.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Integrate information learned about primate species biology and ecology with information regarding tropical forest dynamics to think about population viability and conservation in the long term.
- Identify key threats to primate species and the ecosystems they inhabit
- Select and combine information from a variety of academic resources to identify the pros and cons of commonly used conservation tactics and to critically evaluate the role of conservation agencies in past and current conservation projects
- Use a case study of the use of local traditions in grassroots conservation initiatives to understand how different cultures view primates and the importance of conserving them and their habitat
- Use historical examples to predict how biodiversity regions may be expected to respond to current habitat changes, both due to natural and anthropogenic phenomenon and to determine which species are more or less vulnerable to these new threats
- Discuss ideas relevant to course material and ask peers well-thought out questions on relevant to course readings as they relate to case studies presented
Midterm Examination 25% (LO 1, 2),
250 word proposal essay proposal 5% (LO 1, 2, 3),
3000 word essay 35% (LO 1,2, 3) ,
Tutorial presentation 20% (LO 4, 6),
1500 word online discussion 15% (LO 5)
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Workload2 hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week, plus an additional 4 x 1 hour tutorials to be held during the semester. It is expected students will have an additional 6.5 hours of independent study time each week (tutorial and lecture reading, tutorial prep, essay writing) to total 130 hours for the semester.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsCowlishaw G. & Dunbar, R. 2000. Primate Conservation Biology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
Assumed KnowledgeThis course does not assume any prior knowledge of primate biology or conservation practices.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|9431||18 Jul 2016||29 Jul 2016||31 Aug 2016||28 Oct 2016||In Person||N/A|