Action: Strengthen/support/re-install traditions/taboos that forbid the killing of primates
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One site comparison in Laos found that Laotian black crested gibbons occurred at higher densities in areas where they were protected by a local hunting taboo than at sites were there was no taboo.
We know that in many areas of the world, people, communities and religions have taboos against the killing and/or eating of certain primate species (e.g. Brncic et al. 2010, Costa 2010, Jimoh et al. 2012, Xiang et al. 2013). However, it has also been suggested that the presence of other tribes, new religions/westernization, use of modern hunting equipment and poverty pose a threat to the effectiveness of taboos as a conservation tool (Jimoh et al. 2012). The strengthening, supporting or re-installing of traditions/taboos that forbid the killing of primates may therefore lead to a reduction in hunting rates.
The implementation of community policies/traditional hunting ban is discussed under ‘Implement local no-hunting community policies/traditional hunting ban’, and installing community control of anti-poaching activities is discussed under ‘Implement community control of patrolling, banning hunting and removing snares’.
Brncic T.M., Amarasekaran B. & McKenna A. (2010) Sierra Leone national chimpanzee census, September 2010. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary unpublished report.
Costa S.G. (2010) Social perceptions of nonhumans in Tombali (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa): a contribution to Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) conservation. PhD thesis. University of Stirling.
Jimoh S.O., Ikyaagba E.T., Alarape A.A., Obioha E.E. & Adeyemi A.A. (2012) The role of traditional laws and taboos in wildlife conservation in the Oban Hill Sector of Cross River national park (CRNP), Nigeria. Journal of Human Ecology, 39, 209–219.
Xiang, Z., Xiao, W., Huo, S. and Li, M., (2013) Ranging pattern and population composition of Rhinopithecus bieti at Xiaochangdu, Tibet: Implications for conservation. Chinese Science Bulletin, 58(18), pp.2212-2219.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison in 2007 in tropical forest in Nam Kan Valley in Nam Kan Provincial Protected Area, Laos found that Laotian black crested gibbons Nomascus concolor lu that were protected by a local hunting taboo occurred at higher group densities compared to other sites. In the survey area, average group density was estimated at 2.2 groups/km2 compared to 0.43 to 0.82 and 1.6 groups/km2 in Yunnan Province and Che Tao in northern Vietnam, respectively. However, no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether this difference was significant. The ban was implemented in 1975 by one of the local village heads. In Yunnan Province and Che Tao no hunting bans were reported to exist. An auditory survey was conducted in the survey area using eight single listening points stationed roughly 0.5-2 km apart, each of which were used on one to five days.