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Am J Primatol. 2020 Jan 1:e23087. doi: 10.1002/ajp.23087. [Epub ahead of print]

Anthropogenic influences on primate antipredator behavior and implications for research and conservation.

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Department of Environment and Sustainability, Program in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, New York.
Primate and Predator Project, Lajuma Research Centre, Louis Trichardt, South Africa.
Department of Anthropology, Durham University, Durham, UK.
Department of Zoology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa.
Department of Anthropology, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, New York.
Department of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York.
Department of Biology, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York.


Predation risk affects prey species' behavior, even in the absence of a direct threat, but human-induced environmental change may disturb ecologically significant predator-prey interactions. Here, we propose various ways in which knowledge of antipredator tactics, behavioral risk effects, and primate-predator interactions could assist in identifying human-caused disruption to natural systems. Using behavior to evaluate primate responses to the ongoing environmental change should be a potentially effective way to make species conservation more predictive by identifying issues before a more dramatic population declines. A key challenge here is that studies of predation on primates often use data collected via direct observations of habituated animals and human presence can deter carnivores and influence subjects' perception of risk. Hence, we also review various indirect data collection methods to evaluate their effectiveness in identifying where environmental change threatens wild species, while also minimizing observer bias.


antipredator behavior; conservation; human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC); human-shield effect; primate


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