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Understanding People-Primate-Place Relations to Advance Conservation Aims 
Sian Waters (Durham University)
Erin Riley (San Diego State University)
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Wednesday 27 October, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

This panel will showcase research on the human-primate interface and the importance of understanding the embeddedness of people-primate relations within local social, cultural, and political economic contexts when developing conservation activities.

Long Abstract

In the contemporary era, as anthropogenic modification of habitats expands, human communities are increasingly encountering and living in close proximity to wildlife. People's relations with said wildlife typically vary in relation to a number of factors, including the wildlife species and ecological, sociocultural, and political economic contexts. Gaining an understanding of these relations and how wildlife are treated by people may facilitate the development of successful conservation strategies. This is particularly true of human and nonhuman primates (hereafter primates) where complex, often ambiguous relations exist, as people's perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour toward primates can shift dramatically in relation to where and how the primates are encountered, thereby indicating the place-based nature of people-primate relations. Research on the human-primate interface across an array of settings has shown that people-primate relations are shaped by social and cultural factors and failure to understand the motivations for people's behaviour towards primates may result in unforeseen negative consequences for primate conservation strategies. Moreover, such relations are not fixed but dynamic, changing in response to diverse factors sometimes related to the conservation activities being implemented. Our panel, consisting of up to eight short presentations of five minutes each, will include speakers from the Madagascar, India, UK, USA who will discuss their work on the human-primate interface and the value of understanding people-primate relations when developing conservation activities. The panel will be followed by discussion inspired by the presentations and supplemented with pre-formulated questions regarding related issues.

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