Action: Educate local communities about primates and sustainable use
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One before-and-after study in Cameroon found that numbers of drills increased after the implementation of an education programme, alongside one other intervention.
Through passing knowledge on to communities living in/near primate habitat and raising their awareness about primate conservation, this intervention aims to develop changes in people’s behaviour that will benefit wild primate populations. Anticipated effects may include people adopting strategies for more sustainable resource use, making use of alternative meat protein sources (Wilkie et al. 2005, Junker et al. 2015), refusing to keep primates as pets (Akparawa 2006) or trade wild primates.
Akparawa J. (2006) World environment day - utilizing national event days for popular primate conservation education. International Journal of Primatology, 27, 238.
Junker J., Boesch C., Mundry R., Stephens C., Lormie M., Tweh C. & Kühl H.S. (2015) Education and access to fish but not economic development predict chimpanzee and mammal occurrence in West Africa. Biological Conservation, 182, 27–35.
Wilkie D.S., Starkey M., Abernethy K., Effa E.N., Telfer P. & Godoy R. (2005) Role of prices and wealth in consumer demand for bushmeat in Gabon, central Africa. Conservation Biology, 19, 268–274.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 1971-2002 in tropical montane forest in Bakossiland, Cameroon found that after the implementation of an education programme by the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) in 1992 alongside one other intervention, drills Mandrillus leucophaeus increased in population size by 1997. However, the authors did not provide information on the magnitude of the population increase. Drill group sizes did not change over time, season, habitat, or elevation. In addition, a drill hunting ban was initiated by Bakossi traditional chiefs in 1994. In 1997, a group of 400 drills was observed and since the year 2000, wildlife staff and villagers regularly reported direct drill observations in the area. Independent direct observations of drill groups and their size were recorded by different organizations working in the area. No data were provided on the impact of the education campaign on the species’ conservation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.