Changing Environments

According to the IUCN, about 60% of the ~500 primate species are threatened by extinction, and this is mainly the result of human activity

Environmental changes linked to human activities include landscape modifications, hunting and other interactions between human and non-human primates, and climate change:

Image - Predicted change in average annual temperature between the period 1960-1990 and 2061-2080 in primate habitats. The colors indicate the predicted change in ° C and the black line the distribution of extant primates. Predicted temperature change was taken from CMIP5. All 19 global climate models (GCMs) available on www.worldclim.org for the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 were averaged for this estimate. RCP4.5 represents the lower of the two middle stabilization scenarios of greenhouse gas concentration. Data accessed on Nov. 14, 2017 using the R package 'raster'.
Predicted change in average annual temperature between the period 1960-1990 and 2061-2080 in primate habitats. The colors indicate the predicted change in ° C and the black line the distribution of extant primates. Predicted temperature change was taken from CMIP5. All 19 global climate models (GCMs) available on www.worldclim.org for the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 were averaged for this estimate. RCP4.5 represents the lower of the two middle stabilization scenarios of greenhouse gas concentration. Data accessed on Nov. 14, 2017 using the R package 'raster'.

Primates seem to be especially vulnerable to these rapid changes because of their slow life-histories and long generation times. On the other hand, primates show considerable behavioral flexibility, which may help them to respond to environmental change in an adaptive way (Kalbitzer & Chapman, 2018). The question as to how such flexibility may help animals to respond to environmental changes associated with the ‘Anthropocene’ is generally discussed in behavioral ecology (e.g. here or here), and I would like to contribute to this discussion by investigating how environmental changes affect breeding seasonality, infant survival and adaptive social behavior in different species of primates.