Conservation Medicine: A Solution-Based Approach for Saving Nonhuman Primates

  • Sharon L. DeemEmail author
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


Challenges that threaten the long-term survival of nonhuman primates (NHP) include habitat fragmentation, hunting, and increasingly, infectious diseases. In addition to direct mortality from noninfectious diseases (e.g., hunting) and infectious diseases (e.g., Ebola), human-driven alterations of environments that support NHP often contribute to a decline in population viability. This decline is frequently the result of physiological stress, poor reproduction, decreased immunity, and exposure to novel pathogens. To better understand the diseases that threaten NHP populations, a conservation medicine approach—the application of medicine to augment the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems—is imperative so that we may provide management solutions to help ensure the long-term survival of NHP. Additionally, it is crucial that we gain a better understanding of pathogens at the interface of nonhuman and human primates since the zoonotic potential may create conservation challenges, or alternatively may provide the impetus for conservation actions to be practiced (e.g., minimize bushmeat trade).


Anthropocene Emerging infectious diseases Human–nonhuman primate interface One health Zoonoses 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation MedicineSaint Louis ZooSaint LouisUSA

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