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Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Apr;30(4):215-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.02.002. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

Apes in the Anthropocene: flexibility and survival.

Author information

1
Anthropology Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK; Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA-FCSH/UNL), Lisbon, Portugal. Electronic address: khockings@brookes.ac.uk.
2
Anthropology Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.
3
Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology, George Washington University, Washington DC, WA 20052, USA; Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal.
4
HUTAN/Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme, Sabah, Malaysia.
5
Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology, George Washington University, Washington DC, WA 20052, USA.
6
School of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK.
7
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
8
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama, Japan; Japan Monkey Centre, Inuyama, Japan.
9
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
10
School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.
11
Department of Anthropology and Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
12
Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

We are in a new epoch, the Anthropocene, and research into our closest living relatives, the great apes, must keep pace with the rate that our species is driving change. While a goal of many studies is to understand how great apes behave in natural contexts, the impact of human activities must increasingly be taken into account. This is both a challenge and an opportunity, which can importantly inform research in three diverse fields: cognition, human evolution, and conservation. No long-term great ape research site is wholly unaffected by human influence, but research at those that are especially affected by human activity is particularly important for ensuring that our great ape kin survive the Anthropocene.

KEYWORDS:

anthropogenic disturbance; ape cognition; behavioural flexibility; great apes; hominin coexistence; human–wildlife interaction

PMID:
25766059
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2015.02.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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