Part of the series Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects pp 315-349


Predicting Future Effects of Multiple Drivers of Extinction Risk in Peru’s Endemic Primate Fauna

  • Sam ShaneeAffiliated withNeotropical Primate ConservationAsociación Neotropical Primate Conservation Perú Email author 

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Multiple anthropogenic drivers of extinction risk in primates are increasing. The expansion of urban areas, road networks, and agricultural frontiers are threatening primates through habitat loss, fragmentation, and increased incidences of hunting. Man-made climate change is affecting habitat quality and availability, particularly in rare ecosystems. Three of Peru’s endemic primate species, the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda), the San Martin titi monkey (Plecturocebus oenanthe Sensu, Byrne H, Rylands AB, Carneiro JC, Alfaro JWL, Bertuol F, da Silva MNF, Messias M et al. (2016) Phylogenetic relationships of the New World titi monkeys (Callicebus): first appraisal of taxonomy based on molecular evidence. Frontiers in Zoology 13:1–26) and the Peruvian night monkey (Aotus miconax), have naturally restricted distributions in the foothills of the country’s northeastern Andes. Montane forest habitat in this area not only suffers from the highest rates of deforestation in the country but is also predicted to be among the most at risk areas from the effects of man-made climate change. Using data from extensive published and unpublished field surveys, this study modeled the species’ historical, current, and future distributions. To best estimate the effects of multiple drivers of extinction risk, I used models of future climate change scenarios coupled with predications of expanding human settlement and hunting over multiple timescales. Results of these models predict a reduction in niche availability for A. miconax and L. flavicauda and an increase in niche availability for P. oenanthe. In all cases predicted habitat loss was less than in previous studies. However, when taking into account anthropogenic disturbance, habitat loss is much more severe. I suggest that predictive modeling is a useful tool for conservation, but should always use the most up-to-date data and results should be interpreted with caution based on expert knowledge of the species and area. Future climate change is predicted to increase threats to many species but deforestation and hunting will remain the major threats for many primates.


Species distribution model Maximum entropy Aotus miconax Callicebus oenanthe Lagothrix flavicauda Climate change Agricultural frontier