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 (see map below)

Global distribution of primate species and the number/percentage of endangered species. Every hexagon can be clicked! Species distribution shapefile from IUCN Red list. I created the map with leaflet for R. Additionally, the sf: Simple Feature for R package and this blog were of great help. The code will follow soon.

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