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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Translocate (capture & release) wild primates from abundant population areas to non-inhabited environments Primate Conservation

Key messages

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  • One replicated study in Belize found that the majority of black howler monkeys survived for at least 10 months after translocation from abundant population areas to an uninhabited site, along with other interventions.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated study in 1992–1993 in tropical forest at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CWSB), Belize found that the majority of wild black howler monkeys Alouatta pigra captured and translocated to a site with no resident howlers along with other interventions, survived for at least ten months and reproduced. Twelve (86%) out of 14 reintroduced monkeys survived for at least ten months after release. One male and one juvenile disappeared two months post-release. Two infants were born in two of the three release groups, 3-8 months post-release. Howlers were captured at the Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS), 100 km north of the CWSB. Tree species diversity overlapped by 60% between both locations. Prior to release, monkeys underwent veterinary screens. Three groups were released into habitat without resident howlers. They were allowed to adapt to local conditions before release. Six individuals were fitted with ball-chain radio-collars and six were implanted with radio-transmitters, but signals got lost six weeks post-release. 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. (2019) Primate conservation. Pages 439-491 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.