Monkey Forest Tales: Why is important to include some kind of biodiversity monitoring in long-term primate projects

In today’s post we are going to talk about why is important to include some kind of biodiversity monitoring in long-term primate projects, understanding long- term as projects with a duration of more than 3 years.
When I started Zocay Project my main goal was to calculate monkeys densities, basically counting each monkey species that I found in each fragment, for a 6 months period. But when the project expanded and because I was teach to register basically everything I saw, my database have information about other mammals apart from monkeys as well as some big birds.
Biodiversity monitoring is an important part of biological science; however, it is debated to what extent you should do monitoring and when to start doing mitigation or conservation actions. The answer to this is not always the same. In animals with long life spans such as primates monitoring can implies several decades. In some areas where census are done for primates, it is also common during those census to find other mammals and big birds like guans. So long term primate projects have the potential to also serve as biodiversity monitoring projects where general patterns of other species ocurrence can be detected and used to understand the functioning of the habitats in which those monkeys are living and the quality of those habitats. As well as the effects on some general conservation actions done at the beginning of those long term primate projects.
For our study area one of those patterns had been the use of regenerated areas in front of the farm house by monkeys and other mammals such squirrels and coaties. As well as the return of the colombian chachalaca to some of the farm forest fragments. This monitoring didn’t represent more finantial expenses for Zocay project and it is providing more support about the benefits to this fragmented areas of mitigation actions we implemented over 15 years ago. Therefore is and important aspect to consider while you are looking at monkey’s population trends in your study areas.
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