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Conservation  
   effectiveness

Introduction

Despite intensive conservation efforts, great ape populations continue to decline*. While the threats to great apes are increasingly being documented, the evidence base for great ape conservation actions is still weak**. This lack of evidence significantly hampers the effective protection of great apes. To improve this knowledge gap, we launched a new project in January 2024, named “Strengthening the Conservation Evidence Base for Great Apes” (full proposal available here). This 5-year research project, which is generously funded by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, aims to develop evidence-based recommendations for effective great ape conservation.

More specifically, the project will evaluate effectiveness of frequently implemented interventions across the great ape range and under different socio-economic conditions and fill important conservation evidence gaps by designing studies to experimentally test the effectiveness of interventions that address important threats and/ or are frequently implemented, but lack conclusive evidence.

To do this, we will use statistical approaches that integrate site-specific information on interventions and threats from the A.P.E.S. Wiki with survey data on great ape population trends archived in the A.P.E.S. Database on the one hand, and an expert-based knowledge approach where we will draw on the knowledge and expertise of key stakeholders to identify the vulnerability of great apes to important pressures and prioritize conservation management interventions to be tested. Finally, we will also evaluate the impact of past and current conservation spending and assess great ape conservation costs under different conservation scenarios.

*) Junker et al. (2012). Recent decline in suitable environmental conditions for African great apes. Diversity and Distributions

**) Junker et al. (2020) A Severe Lack of Evidence Limits Effective Conservation of the World's Primates. Bioscience.

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GOALS

With information available in the A.P.E.S. Wiki and Database, together with results on conservation effectiveness and costs, we hope to be able to provide useful tools for a wide range of users, including conservation practitioners and researchers, funders and philanthropists, policy makers and representatives from large-scale development projects to help guide conservation decision-making.

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Contribute to this Project

We are planning to establish a new Working Group on Conservation Effectiveness (more information to follow soon), so if you are interested in joining this group or in finding out more about this project, please do not hesitate to contact Jessi Junker at jjunker@rewild.org.

Watch this site for project-related news, updates, and first results over the coming months!

Forest Canopy - Petite Savane Bai - Lobeke NP - Cameroon - Byler 5-26-14.JPG
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