Effective conservation strategies need to be created based on accurate and updated data on the distribution and conservation status of the species of concern. Not surprisingly, the most diverse countries which are currently facing the greater threats, tend to be those with the greatest lack of information. This is the case for Ecuador, where deforestation rates have been extremely severe, especially in the coastal region, where less than 10% of its original forest cover remains. Given the fact that primates rely on habitat connectivity for their survival, it is crucial to understand the impact of threats to their populations. To obtain data on the current distribution of the four primates known to inhabit western Ecuador, several organizations worked together to conduct the first primate census in coastal Ecuador from October 2016 to March 2017. Teams of 2−5 people walked existing trails and recorded both visual and auditory detections. We also conducted semi-structured interviews to members of local communities to complement field data. We surveyed 83 locations, and recorded 260 independent detections, along more than 300 km of trails, The four species known to occur in the region were detected: the Ecuadorian mantled howler Alouatta palliata aequatorialis; the Brown-headed Spider Monkey Ateles fusciceps; the Ecuadorian White-fronted Capuchin Cebus aequatorialis, and the Colombian White-faced Capuchin Cebus capucinus capucinus. Two other species, Aotus sp. and Saimiri sp., were mentioned during the interviews. This project is a clear example of what can be achieved when different organizations unify their efforts towards a single goal that provides the basis for future research, and suggests specific conservation measures to improve the conservation status of the primates.
|Publicada - 2018