A problem shared is a problem reduced: seeking efficiency in the conservation of felids and primates.
Macdonald DW., Burnham D., Hinks AE., Wrangham R.
Threats faced by mammalian species can be grouped into one of a handful of categories, such as habitat loss, unsustainable hunting and persecution. Insofar as they face common threats, diverse species may benefit from the same conservation intervention, thereby offering efficiencies in conservation action. We explore this proposition for primates and felids by examining coarse scale overlaps in geographical distributions, using IUCN Red List assessments of the primary threats posed to each species. A global analysis of primates and felids that face common threats reveals the greatest overlap is in Central and South Asia, where up to 14 primates and felids co-occur. More than 80% of the land where at least 1 threatened species of either primate or felid occurs also contains at least one threatened species of the other taxon, yet over 60% of these grid cells containing both threatened primates and felids lie outside Conservation International's hot spots. A review of IUCN Action Plans of the threats to felids and primates strongly supports the hypothesis that they are often the same and occur in the same place. In principle, steps to conserve big cats have the potential to benefit several species of threatened primates, and vice versa.