Approximately 65% of primate species are facing extinction, with threats including the impacts of linear infrastructures such as roads, railways, and power lines, associated with habitat loss and fragmentation, direct and indirect mortality, and changes in animal behavioral patterns. Nevertheless, this is an often-overlooked topic in primatology, and there is limited information on which regions and species are most affected by linear infrastructures. Here, we provide a global assessment of priority areas and primate species for conservation by integrating information from global-scale open-access data sets on the distributional ranges, traits, and threats to primate species and linear infrastructures, together with a systematic literature review and a questionnaire sent to primatological societies. We produced a bivariate map that reflects the patterns of co-occurrence of the Conservation Value and Infrastructure Density. From this map we highlight Primate Mitigation Areas (regions with high Primate Conservation Value and Infrastructure Density), which are areas where infrastructure mitigation should be prioritized; and the Primate Preservation Areas (regions with high Primate Conservation Value and low Infrastructure Density), which represent areas that should be preserved from further infrastructure development. Primate Mitigation Areas primarily include the Atlantic forest of Brazil, the Guinean forests of West Africa, and most of Southeastern Asia, whereas Primate Preservation Areas are found principally in the Amazon and Congo River basins. Our assessment also produced a list of priority species affected by infrastructures, with the great apes and gibbons ranking highest. Global infrastructure projects, especially the Belt and Road Initiative, can seriously affect both priority areas (particularly preservation areas) and the most vulnerable species, due to the massive sprawl of linear infrastructures and associated human activity. Thus, we call for dedicated strategic environmental and social assessments throughout these different economic corridors within the Belt and Road Initiative planning process, prior to developing the different projects. Our assessment can serve as a tool to coordinate management actions and legislation around the world.
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Thanks to all primatological societies that shared this questionnaire with their membership, including the African Primatological Society, American Society of Primatologists, Asociación de Primatología Argentina, Asociación Mexicana de Primatología, Asociación Primatológica Colombiana, Asociación Primatológica Española, Associação Portuguesa de Primatologia, Associazione Primatologi Italiani , Australasian Primate Society, China Primate Society, Gesellschaft für Primatologie, Grupo de Estudio de Primates del Ecuador, International Primatological Society, Lemur Conservation Network, Malaysian Primatological Society, Primate Ecology and Genetics Group – The South African Primatology Association, Primate Society of Great Britain, Primate Society of Japan, Red Boliviana de Primatología, SE Asian Primatological Association (SeAPA), Sociedad Latinoamericana de Primatología (SLAPrim), Sociedade Brasileira de Primatologia (SBPr), Société Francophone de Primatologie (SFDP), and Wildlife Conservation Socienty of Congo. We further want to thank the researchers who agreed to answer our questionnaire, including Allison Lau, Andrea, Andrea, Audrey Maille, Bernardo Urbani, Braulio Pinacho Guendulain, Catarina Casanova, Chloë India Wright, Cristina Rogado, Cynthia Thompson, Daniel Vilasboas Slomp, Darby Proctor, Ekole Nelson Betobe, Elaine Christina Oliveira do Carmo, Eldianne Moreira de Lima, Eloy Revilla, Erick Allan dos Santos Silva, Fabiano Rodrigues de Melo, Fabrizio Dell'Anna, Faical Boutlib, Fernanda Abra, Fominka T. Nestoral, Fotang Chefor, Gerson Buss, Giada Cordoni, Giovanni Di Panfilo, Gregorio Guzzo, Isa Aleixo-Pais, James Bukie, Jean-Pascal Guery, Jerry Nkenku, Juan Carlos Ordóñez, Juan Carlos Ordóñez, Julie Teichroeb, Júlio César Bicca-Marques, Karen Strier, Keren Klass, Laura Praill, Lavinia Germani, luca sineo, Marc Ancrenaz, Marcelo Derzi Vidal, Marco Ciannavei, Mariane Kaizer, Mark Harrison, Miquel Llorente, Monica Carosi, Nadine Ruppert, Natalie Uomini, Partha Sarathi Mishra, Paul A. Garber, Pauline Zablocki-Thomas, Raymond Vagell, Rebecca Smith, Romina Pavé, Rui M. M. Sá, Sabina Koirala, Samara de Albuquerque Teixeira, Saulo M. Silvestre, Sebastián O. Montilla, Shasta E. Webb, Sheheer T. Ali, Smitha D. Gnanaolivu, Susan Lappan, Susan M Cheyne, Tania Minhós, Tanvir Ahmed, Tiago Falótico, Tremaine Gregory, Valerie A.M. Schoof, Vicente Guadalix Carreras. FA and MD were funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT, CEECIND/03265/2017 and CEECIND/03798/2017, respectively). RB received a postdoctoral grant from Comunidad de Madrid (2018T1/AMB10374). We thank Paul A. Garber and two anonymous reviewer for reviewing and commenting on an earlier version of the manuscript.
Handling Editor: Joanna Setchell.
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Ascensão, F., D’Amico, M. & Barrientos, R. No Planet for Apes? Assessing Global Priority Areas and Species Affected by Linear Infrastructures. Int J Primatol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-021-00207-5
- Behavioral changes
- Belt and Road Initiative
- Habitat loss and fragmentation
- Transportation infrastructures