Action

Guard habituated primate groups to ensure their safety/well-being

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    60%
  • Certainty
    40%
  • Harms
    0%

Study locations

Key messages

  • A controlled, before-and-after study in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo found that a population of mountain gorillas increased over 41 years after being guarded against poachers, alongside other interventions.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A controlled, before-and-after study in 1967-2008 in tropical moist montane forest in Volcanoes-, Mgahinga-, and Virunga National Parks in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo found that a mountain gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei population where individual animals were closely guarded against poachers alongside ten other interventions, increased in size over time. Annual population growth was 4.1%, resulting in an overall population increase of 168% over 41 years. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether this increase was significant. Increased protection through the guarding of gorillas explained 60% of the difference in growth rates between this population (treatment) and a second, unguarded population in the same area (control). The remaining 40% were likely accounted for by veterinary interventions for snares, respiratory disease, and other life-threatening conditions. As part of an ecotourism- and research project, gorillas in the guarded population were habituated to human presence, where visitors/researchers had to follow strict health procedures; these included keeping a safety distance to the gorillas, wearing face-masks, spending only a limited amount of time with gorilla groups, ensuring that visitors/researchers were healthy, and disinfecting visitor’s/researcher’s clothes, boots etc. Dead gorillas were clinically examined. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Junker, J., Kühl, H.S., Orth, L., Smith, R.K., Petrovan, S.O. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Primate Conservation. Pages 431-482 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Primate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Primate Conservation
Primate Conservation

Primate Conservation - Published 2017

Primate Synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

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