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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Put up signs to warn people about not feeding primates Primate Conservation

Key messages

  • One review in Japan found that aggressive interactions between Japanese macaques and humans declined after prohibiting tourists from feeding of monkeys.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A review in 2010 at multiple sites in Japan found that aggressive interractions between free-ranging Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata and humans decreased after food provision by tourists was prohibited and the message was clearly transmitted. After decades of primate feeding by tourists, the practice was banned and the number of aggressive incidents of macaques on people decreased at multiple sites as well as the macaque road collisions at sites where tourists used to feed monkeys from the cars (no data included). The distance to tourists also increased after the ban (no data provided). No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. The shop used by tourists to buy food for macaques at Takasakiyama Nature Zoo was closed in 1993 and the feeding of primates was prohibited and advertised using signs and direct advice by rangers during educational talks. In 1952-1972 food provisioning took place at 41 free-ranging monkey parks to attract tourists and reduce crop damage but resulted in rapidly increasing populations, crop and forest damage and the need to control macaques. Food provisioning by tourists was prohibited in the 1990s. 


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.