Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Avoid/minimize logging of important food tree species for primates Primate Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One before-and-after study in Belize found that a black howler monkey population increased over 13 years after trees important for food for the species were preserved, alongside other interventions.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A before-and-after trial in 1985-1998 in secondary riparian forest in the Community Baboon Sanctuary, Belize, South America found that a population of black howler monkey Alouatta pigra, for which important food trees were preserved in large clearings alongside ten other interventions, increased by 138% over 13 years. The population increased from 840 to over 2,000 individuals (138% increase), although no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether this difference was significant. Additional interventions included the protection of the sanctuary by the communities surrounding it, preserving forest buffer strips along property boundaries and a forest corridor along the river, constructing pole bridges over man-made gaps, involving local communities in the management of the sanctuary, creation of a museum for education purposes, an eco-tourism and research programme, presence of permanent staff, and monetary (income from employment, tourism and craft industries) and non-monetary (e.g. better education) benefits  to local communities for sustainably managing their forest and its wildlife communities. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Junker, J., Kühl, H.S., Orth, L., Smith, R.K., Petrovan, S.O. & Sutherland, W.J. (2018) Primate conservation. Pages 393-445 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.