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An information service for great ape conservation and research.



The Ape Populations, Environments and Surveys (A.P.E.S.) database is an initiative of the Section on Great Apes (SGA) of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and is supported by a large number of funding organizations, non-governmental and governmental organizations and research institutions.


The overall, long-term goals of the A.P.E.S. initiative are:


  • to archive all existing ape population survey data in a secure repository,

  • to make them available to the ape conservation and research community and

  • to provide up-to-date information on the status of apes

On this website you will find descriptions on the structure of A.P.E.S., policy documents regulating data deposition, access and release, information on how to request or contribute data, and information on the status of apes, their habitats and effectiveness of conservation efforts. We use Wikimedia to organize the information.


Please click on one of the icons below to get more information.

Status reports

Site & Taxon level information


Conservation effectiveness

Scientific articles

Expert-based information



A large network of ape conservationists, donors, scientists and experts in this field have helped collecting and compiling the information you find on this platform. The following numbers give you a brief overview of this effort. A more detailed summary report on the information available through A.P.E.S. you find here. It is updated four times per year. The current numbers are from 2022 September 12.

56 different data providers and 109 participating organizations

time period covered 1989 - 2021

13 ape taxa

456 sites in 24 countries
732 surveys with a total transect length of 6,388,420 km

1,613,819 records

Total number of ape signs: 413,680

420 other species observed with more than 300,000 records

Number of created spatial layers: 14

With A.P.E.S. data published scientific articles: 21

A.P.E.S. wiki includes 206 sites with detailed information



Upcoming workshops:

Regional Workshop on the Biomonitoring of Western Chimpanzees

Monrovia, Liberia, 17-19 October 2022

The workshop aims to identify data gaps and plan for their elimination within a regional biomonitoring scheme to assess western chimpanzee status and distribution. In addition, we will define a holistic framework for data collection, and participants will become familiar with the A.P.E.S. database.

Regional Workshop on the A.P.E.S. Wiki 

Monrovia, Liberia, 20-21 October 2022

In this workshop, we will expand and update the content of the West Africa section of the A.P.E.S. Wiki with the collaboration of regional conservation practitioners and protected area managers. Participants will also become familiar with the A.P.E.S. Wiki platform and its applicability for ape population assessments.


Workshop on the R-Software 

Session one: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, 14 & 22 November 2022

Session two: Musangue, Rwanda, April/May 2023

In this R-Software workshop we are going to train young academics in processing, analyzing and interpreting wildlife survey data with R.



The success of the A.P.E.S. database is dependent upon the participation and support of the ape conservation and research community. Efforts are ongoing to catalogue existing ape surveys and researchers are invited to visit the A.P.E.S. website to verify that their own survey data are listed and cited correctly. We welcome feedback and input from projects and experts conducting field surveys that include great apes. Status reports will be produced with the support of the A.P.E.S. database Working Group.

How can you contribute to A.P.E.S?

  • Providing data: The A.P.E.S project relies on the contribution of data on apes from across their range. Thus data sharing by those who collect them is vital for the project and allows others to use it under the strict A.P.E.S. data use policy.

  • Requesting and using data: One of the aims of the A.P.E.S project is to enable information sharing between conservationists, field practitioners, scientists, and other stakeholders. Re-using data stored in A.P.E.S. will help advancing ape research and conservation.​

  • Citing A.P.E.S: If you use the A.P.E.S database, please always cite correctly and acknowledge the data source. You can also support A.P.E.S by creating links to this site through your own websites.


Suggested citation:

Heinicke, S., Mundry, R., Boesch, C., Amarasekaran, B., Barrie, A., Brncic, T., ... & Kühl, H. S. (2019). Advancing conservation planning for western chimpanzees using IUCN SSC APES - the case of a taxon-specific database. Environmental Research Letters, 14(6), 064001.



Working Group Chairs: Hjalmar Kuehl and Dirck Byler

Datamanager database: Tenekwetche Sop

Datamanager Wiki: Isabel Ordaz-Nemeth

Website and database development: Lars Kulik

Working Group Members: Genevieve Campbell, Susan Cheyne, Imong Inaoyom, Paul Kouame N'Goran, Rebecca Kormos, Hjalmar Kuehl, Annette Lanjouw, Fiona 'Boo" Maisels, Isabel Ordaz Nemeth, Lilian Pintea, Andrew Plumptre, Johannes Refisch, G. Tenekwetche Sop, Ciara Stafford, Jacqueline Sunderland-Groves, Serge Wich, Liz Williamson