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Expedition Field Techniques
PRIMATES
by Adrian Barnett
Geography Outdoors:
the centre supporting field research, exploration and outdoor learning
Royal Geographical Society with IBG
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR
Tel +44 (0)20 7591 3030 Fax +44 (0)20 7591 3031
Email go@rgs.org Website www.rgs.org/go
November 1995
ISBN 978-0-907649-69-4
Front cover illustration: Line drawing by Madeleine Prangley of West African
Cercopithecus - Diana monkeys
Expedition Field Techniques
PRIMATES
CONTENTS
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Why primates?
Section One: What you can do - Part one: simple stuff 1
1.1 Species inventory of a primate community 1
1.2 Single species studies 1
1.3 Comparison of communities in different habitats 2
1.4 Records of group size 4
1.5 Diet 5
1.6 Group composition 7
1.7 Range size 7
1.8 Rare or common in an area? 8
1.9 Effects of hunting 9
1.10 Geographical boundaries 9
1.11 Tourism and ecotourism impacts 12
1.12 What data to take 12
1.12.1 Examples of data needed on a daily basis 12
1.12.2 Recording oddities 13
Section Two: What you can do - Part two: more detailed stuff 15
2.1 Calls and vocalizations 15
2.1.1 Recording calls (for own sake) 15
2.1.2 Recording calls for later analysis 16
2.1.3 Other possible work with calls 17
2.2 Faeces 17
2.2.1 Faecal analysis (food) 18
2.2.2 Faecal analysis (endoparasites) 18
2.2.3 Faeces ecology 19
2.3 Associations with other species 21
2.4 Carnivory in primates 22
2.5 Pennies from heaven 22
Expedition Field Techniques
Section Three: Inappropriate topics 23
3.1 What you probably can’t do 23
3.2 What you should never do 25
Section Four: Field methods 27
4.1 Transects and trails 27
4.1.2 Line transect sampling 32
4.2 Observation 32
4.2.1 Preliminaries 32
4.2.2 Recording data 34
4.2.3 Guarding against between-observer variation 35
4.2.4 Identifying individuals 35
4.3 Other methods 36
4.3.1 Middens 36
4.3.2 Souvenir shops 37
4.3.3 Markets 37
4.3.4 Interviewing local people 38
4.3.5 Collecting plant material 41
4.4 Vegetation surveys 42
4.4.1 Role of vegetation surveys 42
4.4.2 Classifying vegetation types and format 42
4.4.3 Phenology 46
4.5 Safety 46
4.6 Medical aspects 47
Section Five: Miscellaneous hints 51
Section Six: Pre-fieldwork preparation 53
Section Seven: Equipment 56
7.1 Field 56
7.1.1 Data gathering equipment 56
7.1.2 Collecting equipment 59
7.1.3 Sound-recording equipment 60
7.2 Equipment recommendations (base) 60
7.2.1 Preserving optics 60
7.2.2 Preserving film 60
7.2.3 Preserving tapes and tape recorders 61
7.2.4 Keeping notes (and making multiple copies) 61
7.3 Labelling and storing specimens 61
7.4 Publications 62
Section Eight: Appendices 64
Section Nine: References 85
Acknowledgements
Many people helped with this book, sharing experiences, opinions and
fieldwork, too many to list (so if I miss you out, I’m sorry). I would, though,
especially like to thank Madeleine Prangley (for patience and artwork),
Alexia da Cunha, John Dutton, Mark van Roosmalen, and also David
Chivers, Ymke Warren, Alfredo Cuaron, Mauro Galetti and Atul Gupta for
their additional comments. The library staff at The Zoological Society of
London, Natural History Museum and Science Reference Library were all
exceedingly helpful. Deborah Boys at the Expedition Advisory Centre
demonstrated amazing patience in dealing with delays and semi-legible
modifications. Finally, I would like to thank the Royal Geographical Society,
Fauna & Flora International and British Ecological Society for funding many
of the expeditions which gave me the experience on which to write this book.
This book is dedicated to the late Warren G Kinzey, a great primatologist,
and to Alexia da Cunha who introduced me to monkeys.
Introduction1
This handbook has been written with undergraduate and post-graduate
students in mind. It is intended as a guide for people who have little or no
previous experience of primatological fieldwork. There is a UK bias for such
things as sources of information. This is unavoidable, given the available
space, time and resources. It is hoped that advice will at least help non-UK
residents in their preparations.
With the exception of gibbons, working with apes is outside the scope of
most expeditions. Consequently, techniques for studying great apes are not
dealt with here.
Expeditioners are, by and large, an innovative lot and new field
techniques are devised on many expeditions. But we need to hear about them
to incorporate them into future editions of this manual. So if you have a good
idea please send it care of Geography Outdoors - things won’t get better
without you.
1 Though a few species of primates occur in temperate zones, the majority
occur in the tropics (very loosely between the tropics of Cancer and
Capricorn). Comments in this publication are generally intended for such
species.
Expedition Field Techniques
Why Primates?
Studies of primates can either be the main reason for your expedition or one
theme of your fieldwork. There are several good reasons for including
primates in your study:
• Most primates are diurnal, vocal and group-living. This means that, of all
the mammal groups you are likely to encounter, primates are probably the
ones you are most likely to see and/or hear on a regular basis and with
sufficient clarity to be able to make positive and verifiable identifications.
Also though there are exceptions (see Section 1.10), primates are
generally well known taxonomically and biogeographically. This greatly
helps with field identifications.
• primates are popular animals and are of general interest. They tend to be
included in field guides (generally unlike rodents, bats and quite a lot of
small carnivores). This too aids identification.
• in general (see Section 1.9 for some exceptions), primates are good
indicators of general ecosystem health and are thus helpful in
conservation planning.
• enough work has been done for it to be generally quite clear what kind of
questions fieldwork could be answering. Often these can be of a very
basic nature. Data such as group size, food and habitat preferences are
still needed for whole species or for certain parts of their range. Gathering
such data is well within the compass of an expedition.
• studies on primates can be integrated with other fieldwork - for example
observations on birds and studies of fruiting and flowering patterns of
trees. It is therefore a good way of making the most of the effort you
spend on fieldwork.
• people are interested in primates. This includes sponsors, the media and
local government officials. Searching for a rare monkey is widely
regarded as a much saner (and more supportable) pastime than trying to
locate a rare slug.
• there are a large number of journals specializing in primates, and wellstructured ways of accessing the information they contain. This simplifies
your literature search, and it also means that there is a good chance of
being able to find somewhere to get your results published. (such journals
are listed in the appendices).
Bourliere (1985) has reviewed the role of primates in tropical ecosystems.
Section One
WHAT YOU CAN DO - PART ONE: SIMPLE
STUFF
The following is intended as a guide to fieldwork themes, either for
expeditions who are not concentrating solely on primates, do not feel they
have a great deal of field experience or who are not going to be in any one
place for a long period of time. Each or any of these can be done for one
species of primate or as many species of the primate community as time,
logistics and equipment will allow. If some of this stuff looks basic, then a
quick glance through the literature will show you that fundamental
information is still lacking for even some quite familiar species.
1.1 Species inventory of a primate community
There’s nothing wrong with a simple list of what you saw. If you can assign
relative abundances to the various species, so much the better (see Section
4.1 for quantitative indices). In a well-studied area comparison of such data
with that from previous years can help assess the effect of disturbance (such
as hunting, logging, road construction, eco-tourism). In little-studied areas it
may be all there is to go on (see Agoramoorthy, 1989; Barnett & da Cunha,
1991; Buchanan-Smith, 1991a,b; Cameron et al., 1989; Carpaneto &
Gippoliti, 1990; Chivers & Burton, 1988; Choudhury, 1988; Christen &
Geissmann, 1994; Kinzey et al., 1988; Martins et al., 1988; Mitani, 1990;
Peres, 1993a; Prangley et al., 1994; Raxworthy & Stephenson, 1988;
Rylands et al., 1988 as examples).
It is important to be absolutely sure of what you have seen. You should
be familiar with the likely species from your pre-expedition researches (see
Section 6) and from the field guides (see Appendix) and the photographs you
have bought with you (see section 4.3.5). Sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 give some
tips of how to find and observe monkeys in the field.
1.2. Single species studies
The usual motivation for these is because the species is rare, little known or
threatened. Ensure that the time and effort devoted to the study are enough to
ensure its representativeness and the validity of its conclusions. Good
examples of such conservation-focused studies include Alfred & Sati (1990),
Burton et al. (1995), Christen & Geissmann (1994), Duckworth et al. (1995),
Expedition Field Techniques
Haimoff et al. (1986), Hohmann & Sunderraj (1990) and Sugardjito et al.
(1989). Buchanan-Smith (1991a,b) shows how much can be done in a
comparatively short time. It can be very useful to upgrade previous census’
(e.g. Clarke & Zucker, 1994; Decker & Kinnaird, 1992).
Ideally, such studies should include: some detailed census work,
extrapolation to other sites, identification of factors which might reduce
densities, assessment of the extent of their current impact, prediction of
future trends for such threats and conservation recommendations. Examples
of such highly useful studies include Marsh (1986) and Wahome et al.
(1993).
Choudhury (1989), Ferrari (1995), Jones (1995), Rumiz (1990), Phillips
(1995) and Stevenson et al. (1994) provide examples of single species
studies with a more ecological focus.
Pets can be useful sources of additional data (see Hamada & Watanabe,
1994; Watanabe et al., 1991).
Some species have restricted distributions. When checking old records,
remember that the political geography of areas changes over time, new
countries arise and the boundaries of old ones change (e.g. see Oates &
Anadu, 1989).
Decker & Kinnaird (1992) contains useful information on the kinds of
statistical tests needed for comparing populations from different sized
forests.
1.3 Comparison of primate communities in different
habitat types
Some species show great behavioural plasticity and occur in undisturbed
areas, as well as farmbush and secondary forest. Others abhor anything
except pristine habitats. Some may have very exacting requirements (see
Thomas, 1991 as an example).
Surveys comparing the primates of existing areas of impacted land with
pristine ones can often predict the future of an unspoilt site should it suffer a
similar fate. Try to choose study sites which, had one not been impacted,
would have been (as close as is possible) ecological and sociological
replicates. Try to ensure that the patterns and intensity of current hunting
practices in each are known. Reviews on the topics of primates and habitat
destruction are given by Barnett (1991b), Hill et al. (1994), Johns & Skorupa
(1987) and Skorupa (1986). Johns (1986a,b), Johns and Johns (1995), Silva
Lopez et al. (1988), Ross & Srivastava (1994) and Wilson & Wilson (1975)
provide examples of field studies. Note that altitude can be an important
influence on the ecology and social organisation of species. (See Hall, 1963;
Henzi et al., 1990; Iwamoto & Dunbar, 1983; Whiten et al., 1987 and
references therein).
You may want to document the species, their proportional composition to
the primate community, the absolute numbers of individuals, of each species
and the size of troops. You may also wish to record any dietary differences,
and the frequency of polyspecific associations. Try to look at more than just
one pair of sites, as you cannot guarantee the representativeness of a single
one. Remember also that some differences between groups may be ‘cultural’,
reflecting different social histories of the groups involved (e.g. Chapman &
Fedigan, 1990; Lefebvre 1995; White, 1992).
Fragmentation of forests (following disturbance) changes things for the
monkeys which remain in the fragment. Illustrative studies of the parameters
involved include Bernstein et al. (1976), Bicca-Marques & CalegaroMarques (1995a), Chiarello (1993a, 1994), Galetti et al. (1994), Johnson et
al. (1991), Leighton & Leighton (1982), Lemos de Sa & Strier (1992),
Rylands & Keuroghlian (1988), Schwartzkopf & Rylands (1989) and Strier
(1989), Galetti et al. (1994) provides a useful study where primates in
fragments are compared long-term base-line data from continuous forests. As
an additional insight into such processes, it can also be instructive to compare
populations in prime and naturally marginal habitats (e.g. Mehlmann, 1989),
or those with agriculture (Oyare & Strum, 1984) shifting cultivations (Gupta
& Kumar, 1994) or tourist influences (Brennan et al., 1985; Lee et al., 1986)
(see also Fa & Southwick, 1985 for an overview). However, some fragments
(sacred groves, for example) may be small, but little disturbed. Under these
conditions they may support a rich fauna and flora (see Fargay, 1992 &
Dudley et al., 1992).
Don’t neglect plantations. Despite the traditional wisdom that they are
species-poor places (see Patterson & Ollason, 1994 for a recent field study
and Barnett, 1992 for a review), in some places they may be the only
substantial tree cover left. Are they used by local primates? If so, can you
assess if this is likely to be sustainable and contribute to the long-term
conservation of local primate populations? Would it cause unacceptable
commercial damage to the plantation? Ganzhorn (1985, 1987), Ganzhorn &
Abraham (1991), Kool (1993), Wilson & Johns (1982) provide examples of
this approach.
Expedition Field Techniques
Don’t forget the night shift. In South America there is only one genus of
nocturnal primate. But elsewhere (especially south-east Asia) there are many
and they make a suitable subject for comparative study. Gonzalez-Kirchner
(1995), Galetti & Pedroni (1994) and Weisenseel et al. (1993) are useful
introductions.
When comparing habitats it is important to compensate for differences in
the ease with which primates might be encountered. For example, animals
may be more easily seen in the more open canopy of a logged forest (see
Johns, 1985), Greater visibility may also be due to greater activity, because
food is scarcer and more widely dispersed in one habitat than in unlogged
forest another (Johns, 1986a,b). Take care to avoid flawed conclusions (for
example, one gibbon survey, based on call numbers alone, purportedly
showed that more gibbons lived in a post-logging forest and, hence, that
logging improved the environment for gibbons [but disturbed gibbons may
call more]).
Remember to check on the seasonality of habitat associations. You may
find that a species use different habitats in different seasons (see Boinski,
1987; Robinson, 1986; Zhao et al., 1991 as examples). If you are not on site
long enough to check this yourself then ask the local people. If you are on
site for a long time, asking locals will help you plan for such movements and
help corroborate your findings.
1.4. Records of group size and composition
Group sizes are important for two main reasons. Firstly, they can give you an
idea of social structure (see Crook & Gartlan, 1966; Eisenberg et al., 1972;
Clutton-Brock & Harvey, 1976, 1977; Dunbar, 1988; Terborgh, 1986; Van
Schaik & van Hooff, 1983; Wrangham, 1987 and Wright, 1986). Secondly,
they can tell you about disturbance levels. A group size which appears
smaller than standard is a good indication that the area is being heavily
hunted (Pinto et al., 1993). (Note that the animals may just be more shy
rather than less common). Group size is not absolutely constant (see
Beauchamp & Cabana, 1990) and may show seasonal fluctuations (see Henzi
et al., 1990).
Group (and sub-group) size may be related to foraging opportunities (see
Whitten, 1988), habitat quality (Dunbar, 1987) and food availability (Gaulin
et al., 1980; Phillips, 1995, Robbins et al., 1991) (among other things).
Group composition can be related to size of forest block (Dunbar, (1987).
However, as Henzi (1988) warns, “many males do not a multimale troop
make”.
Some species travel in small bands of five to six, other species move in
groups numbering several hundred. In the latter case there is generally some
hierarchical organization going on, with sub-groups of stable composition
forming during the daily foraging (leading to so-called ‘fission-fusion’
societies). These can greatly confuse estimates of group numbers. You
probably won’t have time to work out whose who and study the associated
simian soap opera (e.g. Koenig, 1995), but recording group and sub-group
sizes is useful as they are often still unsure for many species (e.g. see
Morland, 1991).
1.5 Diet
This is one of the most frequently studied aspects of the ecology of freeliving primates. But don’t let that stop you. There are often great changes
through the course of the year and over the geographical range of a species,
so your data may well be new or confirm previous work. The apparently
simple task of finding out what the animals eat can be a real challenge and a
simple list of known foods is often very helpful. Whether doing this or more
quantified work, you will need to have done back-up botanical research
before you go and be prepared to identify plant specimens when you come
back. It is important to discuss how you are going to record your data before
you go. Section 4.2 gives hints on observational methods for quantified
studies of diet. If you are using these then visit the local zoo and/or test the
effectiveness of your proposed techniques with trial observations in the
college or department cafeteria or in a local street market.
The wealth of existing anatomical, physiological and behavioural data
(see papers in Chivers et al., 1984; Clutton-Brock, 1977; Else & Lee, 1986;
Ferrari & Aparecida Lopes, 1995; Milton, 1980; Montgomery, 1978;
Rodman & Cant 1984; Smuts et al., 1987) should provide you with a good
base against which to compare your results and should help explain them.
(Also see the review by Cassini 1994). Julliot & Sabatier (1993), Oates
(1988), Peres (1994), Stanford (1991), Strier (1991), Van Roosmalen (1985)
and Yeager (1989) are classic examples of dietary studies and provide good
methodological hints including how to quantify the samples. Strier (1991)
includes a useful example of the statistical tests that may be used in dietary
analysis (see also Dodge et al., 1990 and Miles, 1990).
Expedition Field Techniques
Long-term studies show the great number and variety of food items in
most primate diets (e.g. Norton et al.; 1987; Rhine et al., 1989). Some of
these items are eaten very infrequently (see Peres, 1994 for an example), but
may nevertheless be of significance (see Srivastava, 1991 for an example).
Some times of the year food items may become superabundant and be used
by several species (e.g. Jones, 1995; Lambert, 1990; Leighton & Leighton,
1982; Ungar, 1995), that otherwise do not normally share resources (see
Terborgh, 1983 for an extended example). You may also record possible
competition (e.g. Gonzalez-Kirchner, 1995; Guillotin et al., 1994; Jones,
1994; Simmen, 1992; Ugar, 1995; Whitington, 1992). Studies have also been
done on the same species in different habitats (especially comparing natural
and artificial habitats e.g. Gonzalez-Kirchner 1995; Kool, 1993). Use of alien
species has also been investigated (e.g. Figueiredo et al., 1995) Wrangham et
al. (1993) provides a useful introduction to methodology for assessing
density of food items for terrestrial primates (see also Blake et al., 1990;
Hutto, 1990 and Smith & Rotenberry, 1990).
Remember, diet composition is variable both in time and space, especially
in seasonal environments (see Chapman & Chapman, 1990 for review:
Chapman, 1987; Chapman & Fedigan, 1990; Galetti & Pedroni, 1994;
Harcourt, 1986; Mitani, 1989; Overdorff, 1993; Phillips, 1995; Robinson,
1984; Watanuki et al., 1994 and Zhang, 1995a for field examples). These
variations may occur in cycles of several years (e.g. Hill & Agetsuma, 1995).
There may also be differences between sexes (e.g. Gautier-Hion, 1980; Rose,
1994) and age classes of the troop you are observing (e.g. Mori, 1995).
Cultural transmission within troops can also lead to differences in diet being
observed between troops (see Lefebvre, 1995).
Diet composition may be heavily influenced by negative factors (such as
the chemical composition of the food items and the mechanical difficulty of
handling or entering them) as well as positive ones (like their nutritional
content). See Ayres (1989), Corlett & Lucas (1990), Gautier-Hion et al.
(1985), Kinzey (1988), Kinzey & Norconk (1990, 1993), Kinzey et al.
(1990), and Ungar (1995) for field examples involving seeds and fruit:
Davies et al. (1988), Kar-Gupta & Kumar (1994), Lucas & Teaford (1995);
McKey et al. (1981), Milton (1979), Oates (1978), Oates et al. (1977, 1980)
for field examples centred on leaves, and Freeland & Janzen (1974), Janzen
(1971), Rhoades & Cates (1976) and Waterman (1983, 1984) for reviews.
Papers in Chivers et al. (1984), Montgomery (1978) and Morrison et al.
(1990) provide useful overviews of this subject. Glander et al. (1989)
provide an example of a primate diet that acts as a precautionary tale for
those who believe humans can always eat what monkeys do.
1.6 Group composition
As Coelho et al. (1977) and Eisenberg et al. (1972) have shown, the size and
composition of a primate group is an intimate expression of its functional
ecology. These details differ from place-to-place and season-to-season.
Though you are unlikely to be able to get detailed records of the kind that
allow the social dynamics of a troop to be followed in soap opera-like detail
(as Jane Goodall has done with the chimpanzees of Gombe), projecting your
numbers onto such theoretical constructs (e.g. Chapman et al., 1990), can tell
you a lot about what is going on (e.g. Morland, 1991).
You can record details of: absolute numbers, ratio of males to females,
ratio of juveniles to adults, presence and number of juveniles and babies.
Such data is especially valuable if you can compare troops of the same
species in different habitats.
In some species it is usual for the troop to split-up during the day, forage
either as individuals or as small bands, and then join up again at night (e.g.
Cords & Rowell, 1986; McFarland Symington, 1990; see also MacFarland,
1986). Such fission-fusion organization (which is distinct from the melding
of previously separate groups, see Isabel et al., 1991 and Menard & Vallet,
1993), has important consequences for the social ecology of the species (see
reviews by MacFarland, 1986; Terborgh, 1986).
Try to follow a small group from dawn-to-dusk to ensure you are not
making erroneous conclusions about group size and structure. Chapman et al.
(1993) have looked at the difficulties this poses for fieldwork and attempt to
define sub-group sizes in such primate societies.
1.7 Get an idea of range size
You are unlikely to be on site long enough to get a full estimate of the size of
the area used by a troop, but guestimates are very helpful, especially if you
can pin-point particular resources between which travel is taking place (e.g.
particular fruit trees). In some cases (with howler monkeys, gibbons and
some manabgeys for example, see Chivers, 1969 as case study), their use of
loud calls make it fairly easy to work out where the territorial boundaries lie.
(See also Falls, 1981; Johnson et al., 1981). Other species are not so
cooperative, but such analysis can still be done (see Kool & Croft, 1992;
Harrison, 1983; Isbell, 1983; Scanlon et al., 1989) as field examples and
Expedition Field Techniques
references therein). Such analysis will be facilitated if you have good maps
(aerial or topographic) to allow you to pinpoint ground features to which you
can refer. A simple recording of the location of a group in the morning
(before the group moves out from roosting place) and in the late evening, for
different reasons, may provide useful base-line information on range size.
It is easy to get lost in a forest, especially when you are trying to follow a
group of monkeys. Cutting a trail network is one solution (see Jermy &
Chapman, 1994 for techniques and Section 4.1) but you are probably not
going to be on-site long enough for it to be worthwhile in terms of effort.
Anyway, can you justify the general disturbance and destruction involved? A
less damaging alternative is to tie markers to mark trails rather than cutting
(but ensure you position the tags within your visual horizon).
You can also try and get information on whether the animals sleep in the
same place each night or if they are more mobile than that. Such data is
useful to assess the vulnerability of the troop, and the species in general, to
hunting. It also gives an indication as to the minimum size of area required
for a viable population of the species (see Kinnaird, 1988 as example) to
exist long-term in the area.
Remember, range size is highly dependent on food density and/or nutrient
content (e.g. Nagy & Milton, 1979; Zhang, 1995a) and population density
(e.g. Chiarello, 1993b). There may also be strong seasonal variations (e.g.
Mitani, 1989). Hayne (1949) provides a simple method of calculating range
size from expedition type data.
1.8 Rare or common in an area?
You are unlikely to get sufficient data to be able to quantify this with
certainty. This does not matter; to be able to report that a species previously
considered rare is common in your study area is a wonderful thing. Though
you will get some feel for relative abundance during your fieldwork, you
may want to extend this side of your work to include a historical element and
find out what happens at other times of the year (quite a lot of species of
primate have local migrations, see section 1.3). For this you will need to call
on local expertise. Guidance and techniques for doing this are given in
Bellamy (1992) and some extra hints given in Section 4.3.5.
1.9 Effects of hunting
There are several ways in which such a study may be made:
• interview local people - do they hunt, what, how often, why (and why not
others), how abundant were animals previously (e.g. Flannery et al.,
1995)
• compare areas known to be hunted widely with those little or never
hunted (e.g. Stearman, 1990)
• how does hunting of other animals affect primates?
• can primates be caught incidentally to hunting of other species, e.g.
mountain gorillas are caught in snares used to hunt duiker and bushbuck
• study areas formerly hunted and see how species have come back
• compare hunting techniques of recent colonists with those of tribal
peoples in area (Redford & Robinson, 1987)
• in addition to numbers, look at species composition of monkey
communities in hunted and non-hunted areas
• also are they more shy, do they spend more time in the tree-tops, are they
more vigilant, are the troop sizes the same?
Remember, primates may not always be the best indicator of hunting
pressure. Other groups may be more or less heavily hunted than them (see
Barnett et al., 1994; Bodmer et al., 1988; Prangley et al., 1994; and Smith
1986 as examples), especially since primates are often the subject of religious
or cultural prohibitions on hunting (see Mittermeier, 1987 for review and
Oates et al., 1992; Peres, 1990, 1991 as field examples). Topic reviews occur
in Hladik et al. (1993), Redford & Padoch (1992), Robinson & Redford
(1991). Robinson & Redford (1994) give techniques for estimating
sustainability of hunting in an area. Marks (1994) proposes a study form
designed to enhance local participation.
1.10 Check geographical ranges and define taxonomic
boundaries
Distributional data is important for conservation, taxonomy & evolution,
ecology and zoogeography (see Brockelman & Ali, 1987; Heltne &
Thorington, 1976; Oates, 1981) and for providing accurate information for
GIS databases.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the ranges of primates. Some taxa,
previously thought to be monotypic, are now being revised because of recent
Expedition Field Techniques
studies of patterns of their pelage variation (e.g. Groves & Tattersall, 1991).
In others, newly-recognised intermediates synonomise previously
differentiated taxa (e.g. Tattersall, 1986). While some taxa (previously
thought distinct) are really hybrid swarms (e.g. Groves et al., 1993).
Identification of zones of hybridization is also valuable (see Samuels &
Altmann, 1986). In other cases suppositions have been made about the
supposed distribution of a species and fieldwork later corrects these (e.g.
Boulbi, 1993). Genuine range extensions are also possible (e.g. Barnett et al.,
1994; Bicca-Marques, 1990; Bicca-Marques & Calegaro-Marques, 1995b;
Chiarello & Galetti, 1994; Fooden et al., 1994), as are finer definitions of
range limits (e.g. Fooden, 1991). Recognition of all such facts can be
important in later conservation planning.
It is also worth checking old records and hunters reports (e.g. Lane,
1990), as these can frequently result in the discovery of new localities and
new populations. When this occurs for species which are rare and
endangered, it can be of great importance for their conservation (see
Martuscelli et al., 1994).
To avoid hybridization between distinctive populations, breeding
programmes need information on morphological variation in the wild (see
Lemos de Sá et al., 1990; Vandenberg et al., 1990). Observations on external
differences can provide a basis for more complex follow-up work involving
genetic studies (see Chaverud et al., 1993).
Studies may also reveal completely new taxa (e.g. Anon., 1989; Ferrari &
de Souza-Junior, 1994; Ferrari & Queiroz, 1994; Geissmann, 1989; Meier et
al., 1987; Niemitz et al., 1991; Queiroz, 1992; Simons, 1988), or rediscover
ones thought extinct (e.g. Meier & Albignac, 1989).
A look at the distribution maps in taxonomic revisions of various genera
should show areas with question marks, where the status of taxon (species or
sub-species) is unknown (see, for example, papers by Philip Hershkovitz for
many of the genera of South American primates - see list in Appendices for
these and other important taxonomic revisions). In such cases either it is
unknown if the animal in question actually occurs there, or it is uncertain
which of a species pair or sub-species live there. Being aware of this before
you go can help ensure you collect the right kind of information in a
verifiable and trustworthy manner (i.e. making sure you know the differences
between the taxa concerned - see Colyn, [1993] for an extreme example of
taxonomic and geographic complexity of primate coat colour). In getting
such information you can help conservation planning and provide data which
can help refine models of speciation patterns in the tropics (see Ayres &
Clutton-Brock, 1992 and Kinzey, 1982 as examples).
Be aware that occasional individuals with atypical colour patterns will
occur. These are often cytogenetic variants rather than a valid taxonomic
form (for an example see Lima & Seuanez, 1989; though see also Stanyon et
al., 1995). Also, because many species are still evolving or have only
recently come into contact, there are sometimes hybrid zones (see Silva et al.,
1992; Watanabe & Matsumura, 1991; Watanabe et al., 1991a,b; Rabarivola
et al., 1991 as examples). Be aware (by looking at museum skins and talking
to people who know the area well) of the possibility of seeing such aberrantlooking individuals and of their likely appearance.
Do not neglect pets. These, if the provenance is accurately known, can be
of value in biogeographical surveys (e.g. Watanabe et al., 1991b).
Try and be sure that your records are as accurate as possible. Try and
pinpoint your position, using the best available maps and (where possible)
aerial photographs and/or satellite images to back these up (the maps may not
always be up to Ordnance Survey standards). Rivers are often important
boundaries between taxa (see Ayres & Clutton-Brock, 1992 and Cheveraud
& Moore, 1990 for Amazonia, and papers in Gautier-Hion et al., 1988 as
examples in Africa and references in Geissmann, 1991 for South-east Asia).
Make sure you know from which bank you are making your observations (it
sounds simple, but some of these rivers wind a lot - left or right heading
downstream is the correct procedure, but is not always followed so take
care). If you have the opportunity, try checking the situation at the
headwaters of a boundary river - the situation there may be rather different to
that where the river is wide.
If there are local names for geographical features then try and record
them, especially if they do not appear on the maps you are using. This can
help you when cross-referencing to other maps, and may help you pin-down
the location of places currently listed as ‘unknown’ in the gazetteers of
collection localities of the species you are working with.
Errors can creep into the recording of locality data and to the
interpretation of data from maps. See Anderson (1965), and Heltne &
Thorington (1976) and Oates (1981) for a brief guide to these and BrandonJones (1995) as an example of the consequences and detective work required
to unravel them.
Expedition Field Techniques
Remember, you can always do follow-up work from previous studies (see
Clarke & Zucker, 1994).
1.11 Tourism and ecotourism impacts
You may wish to see how the social organisations, feeding habits and
reactions to humans are effected in troops exposed to tourist developments.
This can be especially important where ecotourism developments are
planned. See O’Leary & Fa (1993), Zhao & Deng (1992) as examples of
such studies, Cochrane (1994) for overview of the methodology for
ecotourism surveys.
1.12 What data to take
1.12.1 Examples of data needed on a daily basis
When you look through the primatological literature you will realise that a
lot of the work is based on really detailed note-taking. This has set very high
standards for field work. For all but the most cursory data a number of
components are required for the information to be taken seriously by other
primate workers (and by journal editors and reviewers of manuscripts).
Accordingly, every time you start looking at an individual or a group you
should try to record the following:
• time encounter began (local time, not GMT and using 24-hour clock)
• location on transect
• number of animals first seen (add any subsequent additions as they come
in)
• sex and (if possible) age composition of the group
• identify the species (primates often occur in mixed groups so check to see
if there’s more than one species)
• the light conditions the observations are being made under
• the weather conditions the observations are being made under (e.g. cloud
cover, raining or not, sunny or not)
• the general visibility between you and subject (an estimation of
vegetation density will do)
• the height from the ground at first sighting (add any subsequent changes)
• distance from self to nearest animal in group (estimated, you can always
do a more accurate measure later)
• the habitat type in which animals first seen (and add any subsequent
changes)
• if the animals are in a tree, try and note the tree species (and the rough
size of the tree - diameter at breast height [DBH] is normally sufficient:
or mark the tree and come back later)
• what was the group doing when first encountered (for methods of
recording subsequent behavioural data see Section 4.2.2)
• time encounter terminated.
1.12.2 Recording oddities
Try to make sure you record rare and unusual events (such as predation, an
animal falling from a tree etc.). Because they are so rarely recorded, such
natural history observations are useful, prized and readily find a home in the
‘notes’ section of the appropriate journal. For example:
• odd, unexpected or previously unrecorded dietary items (see Fedigan,
1990; Figueiredo et al., 1995; Goodman, 1989; Harcourt & Harcourt,
1984; Heymann & Hartmann, 1991; Huffman & Seifu, 1989; Iguchi &
Uzawa, 1990; Suzuki et al., 1990; Wahome et al., 1988; Watanabe, 1989)
• soil-eating (geophagy) (see Bicca & Calegaro-Marques, 1994; Davies &
Baillie, 1988; Ferrari, 1995; Izawa, 1993)
• unusual feeding methods (see Anderson, 1990)
• unusual drinking methods (see Ferrari, 1991; Gilbert & Stouffer, 1989;
Glander, 1978; Lehman et al., 1993)
• tool-use (see Galetti, 1990; Nishida & Nakamura, 1993; Westergaard &
Suomi, 1994a,b)
• predation on a monkey by bird of prey or carnivore (see Chapman, 1986;
Condit & Smith, 1994; Fay et al., 1995; Heymann, 1987; Maisels et al.,
1993; Olmos, 1994; Peetz et al., 1992; Sherman, 1991; Stanford, 1989)
• anti-predator defence (see Bartecki & Heymann, 1987; Gautier-Hion &
Tutin, 1988; Phillips, 1995; Sauther, 1989; Yeager, 1991), predator
avoidance (Cordeiro, 1992)
• unusual cross-species associations (e.g. Heymann, 1992; Puertas et al.,
1995)
• unusual reproductive events, e.g. twins (see Chapman & Chapman, 1986;
Stott, 1953; Winkler et al., 1989) or breech births (Moreno et al., 1991)
• unusual social interactions (see De Waal et al., 1993; Fimbel, 1992;
Heymann & Sicchar Valdez, 1988; Nakagawa, 1995; Palombit, 1993;
Schino et al., 1993)
• unusual vocalizations (see Symmes & Goedeking, 1988; Drubbel &
Gautier, 1993).
• infanticide (see Fairgrieve, 1995)
Expedition Field Techniques
• cannibalism (Tartabini, 1991)
• odd colour variations (e.g. Hamada et al.,1992; Inagaki, 1992; Minezawa
et al., 1992)
Such records are not trivial pieces of data, nor indulgences to boost the
publication list of the aspiring. Such notes are published by established
primatologists just as often as by anyone else. What you will need is (i)
fieldcraft, (ii) luck and (iii) a good knowledge of the literature.
Primate surveying is no picnic! Drawing by Madeleine Prangley
Section Two
WHAT YOU CAN DO - PART TWO: MORE
DETAILED STUFF
This is intended for groups who are either intending to work pretty much on
primates alone (or at least have some members who are), or who are going to
be in one place for an extended period (say several weeks to months).
Remember that you need time to familiarize yourself with your chosen
study animal(s). According to Simon Bearder of Oxford Brookes University,
it takes at least one month to ‘get the feel’ for a primate species (and he
should know - he’s been working on bushbabies for the last 28 years).
2.1 Calls and vocalizations
2.1.1. Recording of calls (for own sake)
There are several reasons for doing this:
• identification confirmation - you may never see some species, only hear
them. Unless you are a skilled animal impersonator, possess a remarkable
ear or are musically trained you are unlikely to be able to usefully
reproduce the sound later. Tapes may be compared later with those in a
sound library in the home or host country.
• as an aid in interviews with local people - not everyone recognises
pictures, but calls may be familiar.
• the calls of the species may not be represented in the sound library
collections. Getting them will help future work.
• playing calls can help enrich the environment of captive animals (Anon.,
1987), your tapes may be of use broadening the variety of calls used.
• there may be racial or geographical variation. Documentation of this may
aid future work (including taxonomy, see Courtenay & Bearder, 1989;
Geissman, 1984; Hohmann, 1988; Oates & Trocco, 1983; Struhsaker,
1981; Zimmerman et al., 1988). (According to Brockelman & Ali [1987,
p.26] “vocalizations may become as useful to taxonomy as ‘hard’
characteristics and can be permanently stored [and] objectively
measured. They are, in fact, less variable within many populations and
more easily quantified than pelage features”).
• your recordings may be compared with those of a later or earlier
expedition to see if calls of individuals remain unchanged over time (and
Expedition Field Techniques
can hence be used for long-term identification) (see Butynski et al., 1992;
Chapman & Weary, 1990; Jones et al., 1993).
Aim for the best possible quality of recording. The equipment required
and the techniques to be used are given in Gulledge (1976) and Ranft (1992).
Whitehead (1995) provides an excellent introduction to current techniques of
recording primate sounds.
According to Gulledge (1976), the following information should
accompany each recording:
Species name Date
Tape number and track Weather
Location Terrain
Time recording begun Elevation
Recording equipment Habitat type
Subjects height location Disturbed?
Recording distance Background sounds
Recordist Calls recorded,
behaviours observed
Tape time (seconds)
The tape number and cut, date and time must be announced at the start or
end of each track.
Note: the use of ‘tape-luring’ (where a bird’s recorded call is played back to
attract it into visual range) is common in some sectors of ornithological study
(see Falls, 1981; Johnson et al., 1981) and has been used a lot with gibbons
(see Mitani, 1985) and howlers (e.g. Chiarello, 1995; Whitehead, 1995 and
see references therein) and in some studies of marmosets (e.g. Norcross et
al., 1994). Do not do this with primates unless you have checked the likely
effects this could have on the group you are looking at.
2.1.2 Recording of calls for later sonographic analysis of
structural components
The aim of this is quite sophisticated and is not to be done unless you are
going to spend a lot of time in post-expedition follow-up work. Sonograms
give you the frequency components of the calls and allow a physical
description of calls. One reason for doing this is to test theoretical predictions
of frequency components of calls and their relation to vegetation density of
the habitat (see Brown & Waser, 1988; Marten et al., 1977; Michelsen, 1978;
Morton, 1975; Richards & Wiley, 1980; Snowdon, 1989; Waser & Brown,
1986; Wiley & Richards, 1982 for theoretical background). Studies which
have made such analysies include Boinski & Mitchell, 1995, Drubbel &
Gautier (1993), Masters (1991), Newman et al. (1983) and Schon Ybarra
(1986). Duration of calls is also an important factor (see Sekulic & Chivers,
1986). If you wish to work in this field you will need to make top-quality
recordings, and the gear needed to achieve this may be more expensive (and
carry the kind of high insurance premium), than you want to bother with (see
Richard, 1991 for some more technical details). A useful example of the kind
of data you can get, how you can interpret it and what you will need to do, is
found in Halloy & Kleinman (1994).
As an addendum to this you may wish to test the attenuation of calls
which you have already chopped up by frequency and bought out from the
UK. Such specific project work is interesting, but probably not suitable for
short-term field studies.
2.1.3 Other possible work with calls
• pilot study of the vocal repertoire of a species (see Hohmann, 1989;
Palombit, 1992 as examples).
• pilot study of the natural history of the calls (the nature of the calls and
the contexts in which they are given) (see Haimoff, 1985; Pollock, 1986).
• study of individuality of songs of species that use calls in territoriality
(see Chapman & Weary, 1990; Haimoff & Tilson, 1985 as examples).
• study of social context of a call (e.g. age-specific and time specific ,
Hammerschmidt et al., 1994; gender-specific, Boinski & Mitchell, 1995;
Mitani & Gross-Lewis, 1995; Norcross & Newman, 1993; coordination
of troop movement, Boinski, 1993; and monitoring of individual
locations, Caine & Stevens, 1990; Jones et al., 1993).
Expedition Field Techniques
2.2 Faeces
The best overall review for faeces-related techniques is probably Putman
(1984). See Section 4.5 for health considerations.
For storage, material can either be dried and stored in brown envelopes
(accompanied by a sachet of silica gel), stored wet in a plastic jar with an
alcohol or chloroform-soaked cottonwool ball, or teased apart and the major
components stored separately. Weight can be recorded once the sample is
bagged, using a spring balance (remember to minus the weight of the bag).
Volume can be determined with a bagged sample and Archimedes’ method
(this can also be used for fruits).
2.2.1 Faecal analysis (food)
From direct observation you are unlikely to be able to compose a complete
list of the diet of the species you are studying. Analysis of faeces will give
extra data. Not only will it give you a more complete list of species and types
of food, but will allow you to see if, for example, the species is acting as a
seed predator (crushed seeds in faeces) or a seed disperser (whole seeds) for
various types of plant (see Figueiredo et al., 1995; Galetti et al., 1995;
Janson, 1983; Kinzey & Norkonk, 1993; Nunes, 1995; Wrangham et al.,
1994). Obviously, care must be taken to ensure you assign your collected
faeces to the correct species of primate. This is best done by collecting fresh
faeces under a troop while it is feeding. However, as size and consistency are
fairly constant, you may soon come to recognise the origin of the faeces you
encounter on the trail.
Such projects need planning and will be time consuming. Such work also
requires some extra equipment. It is best to have practised at home on faeces
of domestic or agricultural animals to have some initial experience.
Techniques and equipment are outlined by Figueiredo et al. (1995), MottaJunior et al. (1994), Putman (1984) and Rodrigues et al. (1993) (and
references therein). Note that not all food items are equally digestible, which
can lead to over-estimation of the importance of some dietary components
(see Montgomery, 1978; Putman, 1984; Rodman & Cant 1984 for
overviews). If it can be arranged, it can be most helpful to have a previous
seed collection to compare with the seeds found in the faeces.
2.2.2 Faecal analysis (endoparasites)
The number and variety of endoparasites can be investigated as an indication
of the health of the study animals. As this can be stress-related, such studies
can form a useful adjunct to conservation-based studies on the effects of
habitat disturbance and on the viability of isolated populations of primates
(e.g. Gilbert, 1994). Other papers to look at include Appleton et al. (1986),
Appleton & Henzi (1993), Araujo Santos et al., 1995, Bundy & Golden
(1987), Dewitt et al. (1991), Eley et al. (1989) and Freeland (1976). Parasite
checklists are available for some species (e.g. Dekeyser, 1955, Myers &
Kuntz, 1965). Jesse et al. (1970) provide an identification manual to the eggs
of intestinal parasites.
Allen & Ridley (1970), Cheesbrough (1981), Eley et al. (1989), Ritchie
(1948) give useful guidance to techniques required to analyse endoparasites
in faeces. Cox (1993) and García & Bruckner (1993) provide broad
guidelines for the identification of endoparasitic organisms to family level
and above (see also papers in Anon., 1966). Below this you will probably
need a detailed literature search and a rather better-equipped laboratory than
you can assemble out in the field. It is unlikely that you will be able to work
on protozoan parasites unless you preserve your material and bring it back.
This will probably require special permits from the national authorities and
from the airline you travel with.
2.2.3 Faeces ecology
One of the main reasons for doing this is to gain information on how
monkeys plug into the ecology of the forest they occupy. Again, this can be
used in conservation planning or environmental education. Such an
apparently esoteric study topic can yield data on the likely long-term future
of populations in small, isolated forests. It can also show the knock-on
effects of disturbances, such as logging and hunting. Habitat use by species
may be effected by parasite load (e.g. Freeland, 1976; Hausfater & Meade,
1982). Study topics can include:
• What decomposes monkey faeces?
Such a study would involve making a record of the sequence of things which
remove dung from the pile (e.g. dung beetles) and/or of the sequence of fungi
which emerge from it. Does this differ in different micro-climates? Does
what the monkey was eating have any effect on the number, diversity and
identity of the species which visit the faeces?
Techniques for dung beetle study can be found in Giller & Doube (1994),
Davis (1993, 1994), Davis & Dewhurts (1993), Davis et al. (1988), Doube
(1983), Hanski & Cambefort (1991), Hanski & Koskela (1977), and Nealis
(1977). An example of the effects of logging on the dung beetles community
are provided by Howden & Nealis (1975).
Expedition Field Techniques
Barnes & Barnes (1992) provide equations which allow decomposition
rates to be calculated. Basic studies on fungal succession are outlined by
Carroll & Wicklow (1992), Cooke (1979), Isaac (1993) and Winterhoff
(1992). Studies of faecal microflora are also possible (see Osawa &
Mitsuoka, 1990 and references therein).
These kinds of studies are not going to work unless you have worked out,
in advance, how you are going to identify your specimens. Can it be done in
the field, or must you collect and identify it in a museum? (always budget
time on the assumption that you will have to do the identifications yourself then help comes as a bonus). Also, be aware that rain can destroy your study
items (see White, 1995).
• What germinates from monkey faeces?
You can do this in situ, recording the number of seedlings that emerge from a
dropping whose location has been tagged. Information on the maximum
number of viable seeds is obtained by sequentially removing seedlings as
they come up. Other studies, where droppings are left alone would reveal the
extent and nature of faeces-borne seed competition. Removing the seedlings
from the droppings and growing them up back at camp should minimize the
chance of any loss to disturbance to the study and is more convenient (you
can divide seeds into form-species and, growing them up separately, can
keep better tabs on them, although this scenario is obviously a bit unnatural).
Studies to see for techniques, pitfalls and the kind of conclusions that can
be drawn from this kind of data include Chapman (1989), Estrada & CoatesEstrada (1984), Estrada & Fleming (1986), Janzen (1969), Murray (1986)
and Nunes (1995) provide overviews (see also papers in Vegetatio 107/108,
1993, which is a special issue devoted to seed dispersal and seed predation).
Identification of seedlings is difficult without a reference collection,
though it can be done (see de Steven, 1994). Experience counts, and your
best bet is probably an experienced (and long-suffering) botanist.
Germination studies can help to answer the question of whether the
primate under study is a seed-predator or a seed-disperser (or a mixture of
both) (e.g. see Ayres, 1989; Chapman, 1989; Gautier-Hion et al., 1993;
Kinzey & Norconk, 1993b; Peres, 1993). You may want to collect some
samples and check the number of species of apparently unbroken seeds. Try
and identify these and those which appear to be broken open (things in this
latter category may, of course, have been rather too big too pass whole
through the gut anyway). Food takes time to pass through the gut (see
Maisels, 1992; Chivers & Langer 1994 and Milton, 1981, 1984 on the
ecology of passage times). So, if you can identify seeds, try and locate the
nearest tree of the species concerned from where you found the faeces. This
will give you an idea of the minimum distance the monkey might move the
propagules.
Expedition Field Techniques
• What else visits monkey faeces?
As part of a general study, you may wish to record the other forest
inhabitants that make more transient use of faeces. This may include
butterflies which visit dung piles and use them (usually when quite fresh) as
a source of minerals. Rodents may scavenge seeds from them. The first are
quite easy to observe and identify (most modern butterfly field guides have
good colour plates which allow you to identify species from pictures). As
trapping would be rather too inferential, the second requires quite a lot of
sitting up with a red-filtered torch.
2.3 Associations with other species
Few primates forage alone. Most are accompanied, for at least some of the
time, by other primates, other mammals (often squirrels) or birds. There’s a
big literature on associations between primate species (niche separation
between species: Gartlan & Struhsaker, 1972; Jones, 1995; Mitani, 1991;
Pook & Pook, 1982 - predator response and vigilance: De Ruiter, 1987;
Harrison & Tardif, 1989; Heymann, 1990; Peres, 1993c - other aspects:
Garber, 1988 - see also American Journal of Primatology 21 (2), 1990,
which is a special issue on the topic). There are also papers on primates as
part of the mixed-species flocks of birds (e.g. Terborgh, 1990). The literature
on mixed-species bird flocks (which have many parallels with those of
primates) is also worth studying (see Munn, 1985; Powell, 1985 to start
with).
Many such studies have analysed the costs and benefits of multi-species
associations, including increased vigilance and access to food (e.g.
Buchanan-Smith, 1990). Anti-predation benefits of multi-species
associations have been reviewed by Peres (1993c).
It is also worth looking at what allows similar species to coexist in
allopartic populations and see if their feeding ecology in allopatry is the same
as in sympatric populations (see Gonzalez-Kirchner, 1995, Harcourt & Nash,
1986 and Jones, 1995 as examples). Oddly, some species appear to resolutely
refuse to associate with each other (e.g. Boinski, 1989).
Polyspecific associations make interesting topics of study, but obviously
need several encounters with the same (or a similar) troop each under
conditions which are equal except for the presence of the associated species.
The obvious problem with such studies is being certain you have accounted
for any other variables that may be operating, and you don’t know the full
recent history of a troop (it may, for example, have been traumatized
recently).
2.4 Carnivory in primates
Predation by primates is known to occur quite frequently in some species.
Some even eat other primates. It may be possible to identify them by their
hairs (see Inagaki & Tsukahara, 1993).
2.5 Pennies from heaven
Most primates are very messy feeders. They drop quite a lot of the material
they are feeding on. Some of this is because it is unsuitable (unripe, rotten,
the wrong thing), but they will often drop what appears to be a perfectly
good fruit after just one bite and then move on to eat another, apparently
identical one. Fallen fruit is an important food source, or welcome
supplement, for many floor-dwelling species (e.g. Bodmer, 1990, 1991;
Emmons, 1990). Many of which may act as secondary dispersers for the
seeds the fruit contains (e.g. Forget & Milleron, 1991). In the limited time
available to the average expedition, you are unlikely to be able to assess the
overall importance of fruit in the ecology of the species which forage on it,
but you can at least, document which species visit a patch of recently
dropped fruit. Recording how much of the fruit was removed can also help
your understanding of seed shadows of the tree species involved (see Janzen,
1970, for discussion of seed shadow ecology and papers in Vegatatio,
107/108, 1993).
An interesting project would be to measure how much fruit gets knocked
down by monkeys when they come and feed in a particular tree and see what
proportion is green, ripe, old etc. You would need to repeat this several times
with several trees to get meaningful data, but it would be worth it to get a
quantified estimate. It would also be interesting to test to see if fruits that had
had only one or two bites were, in some way, less nice than those from which
several bites had been taken (the criteria are probably chemical and you need
to have thought about it in advance so you could have your test-kit ready or
have the appropriate method of preservation to hand when you got back to
camp).
If you have a chance to collect fallen fruit on which a monkey has been
feeding, check it for insects (both adults and larvae). For some species of
ardent frugivore the tropical equivalent of the maggot-in-the-apple may be
the only regular ounce of animal protein they encounter.
Expedition Field Techniques
Section Three
INAPPROPRIATE TOPICS
3.1 What you probably can’t do
There are two categories - those which are morally dodgy and those which
are too logistically challenging.
In the first comes anything which involves capturing animals. This
includes:
• radio-tracking (despite its utility, see Campbell & Sussman, 1994)
• dactylographic (finger prints) analysis (e.g. Newell-Morris & Wienker,
1989; Suryobroto, 1992).
• blood protein sampling (for electrophoresis or blood parasites) (e.g.
Meireles et al., 1992; Walker et al., 1988; even though such studies can
be of great use in conservation and taxonomy e.g. Silva et al., 1993;
Williams-Blangero et al., 1990).
• tissue or blood sampling for mDNA analysis (e.g. Inone, 1995),
chromosome studies (e.g. Stanyon et al., 1995) or veterinary analysis of
ectoparasites (though some non-invasive sampling techniques exist e.g.
Woodruff, 1993 and such studies can help with taxonomic and
conservation work e.g. Sineo et al., 1986).
• detailed energetics studies of food choice involving captured animals
• biochemical correlates of social status (e.g. Sapolsky & Ray, 1989; Van
Schaik et al., 1991).
Trapping with live-traps is possible with arboreal prosimians (see
Harcourt, 1987), and tamarins (Savage et al., 1993). But for any other group,
such work inevitably involves the use of anaesethic darts to capture animals
for closer examination (see Brett et al., 1982; Glander et al., 1991; Lemos De
Sá & Glander, 1993), even if traps are used (see Brett et al., 1982; Eley et al.,
1989). Not only does this require specialist training to get the targeting and
dosage right, but it is arguable if any short-term project can justify or needs
this kind of interventionist approach. Handling can traumatise even the
largest and apparently robust species (see Laurensen & Caro, 1994). Also, a
blow gun or air rifle may give the wrong impression to locals about project
aims (getting the thing through customs could be fun too). Also species with
prehensile tails (most of the larger primates in the Neotropics) do not always
fall once immobilised by an anaesthetic, but many remain hanging by the tail
still well out of the researcher’s reach (see Glander et al., 1991).
Those in the second category include:
• detailed studies of social interaction (e.g. Andrews & Rosenblum,
1995; Bernstein et al., 1993; Butovskaya, 1993; De Waal, 1990; De Waal
& Luttrell, 1986; Feistner & Price, 1991; Idani, 1991). For such studies to
be successful, you would need detailed background knowledge of the
troop you are observing, this would require longer field time than you are
likely to have.
• studies of the ontogeny of behaviour (e.g. Westergaard & Suomi,
1993); reasons as above.
• analysis of time budgets (e.g. Defler, 1995; Harrison, 1985; Kurup &
Kumar, 1993; Singh & Vinathe, 1990), functional analysis of behavioural
repertoires (e.g. Bradshaw, 1993; Colell, et al., 1995) or optimal foraging
(e.g. Grether et al., 1992). You are simply unlikely to be there long
enough to obtain data that would be appropriate to answering
sophisticated questions in, for example, behavioural sociobiology. Also
you are unlikely to get the background information which would allow
you to fulfil the caveats involved in such precise analysis.
• detailed data on mating (such as the association between rank and
reproductive success studied by Berard et al., 1993; Gygax, 1995; Paul et
al., 1993 and Rose, 1994b or mating behaviour and age, e.g. Perry &
Manson, 1995 or inbreeding avoidance, e.g. Glenn Smith, 1995. Again,
you will just not have the time).
• studies of mother-offspring interactions (e.g. Rajpurohit & Mohnot,
1991; Tanaka, 1989). The proximity you need to make your observations,
may be too intrusive and could disrupt the babies development.
• studies on effects of seasonality (e.g. McGraw & Webster, 1995; Wallis,
1995 for reproduction; group size, e.g. Zhang 1995; or feeding, Phillips,
1995). Unless a previous team has looked at a different part of the year,
you are unlikely to be in the field for long enough (and there is also the
problem of between year comparability (see Hill & Agetsuma 1995, as an
example).
• studies of positional behaviour (e.g. Garber, 1991), and other fleeting
and detailed behavioural aspects (Linnankoski et al., 1993). Again time
constraints, plus the difficulty of getting close enough to make such
detailed observations, are the reasons for the inclusion of this topic of
study on this list.
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• any work on great apes. There is more work on this group of primates
than on any other. Any group not already being studied is likely to take a
great deal of time to be habituated (years in many cases), while work on
already habituated groups is the sort of already-established thing that an
expedition should not really be doing. (Though it may be possible with
orangutans).
• re-introduction programmes. Avoid this unless you are part of a bigger,
already operational programme (e.g. Chiarello & Passamani, 1993;
Nogueira et al., 1994; Schneider, 1992) - unplanned or done in the shortterm, such actions are just allowing the animal[s] to die out of sight - (the
references above give an idea of the care and caution needed in such
operations).
• manipulations. There is little justification for expeditions to make
manipulative reintroductions for the purpose of studying social
interactions (examples of such studies are Bernstein et al., 1992; Fragaszy
et al., 1994; Hector & Raleigh, 1992; Van Schaik & Mitrasetia, 1990).
The groups must be well studied in advance of such operations and, to
justify the social disturbance to the group, and any valid follow-up study
would have to be long-term.
• altitudinal migrations. It is now being recognised that, where the terrain
is appropriate, quite a lot of primate species undergo seasonal altitudinal
migrations. The topic has obvious conservation relevance but is probably
difficult to study directly, unless you get the season and localities exactly
right - but some work could be possible via interviews with local people.
3.2 What you should never do
It is vital, both for the immediate integrity of your expedition, and for the
long-term reputation of biological field work (undertaken by nationals as
well as foreigners) in your study area, that you treat both the study animals
and the local people with the utmost respect. Apart from life-threatening
situations there can be no justification for killing a primate. Identification
does not warrant it. Even if the animal were to be a new species or subspecies, you should find that a photograph would provide sufficient evidence
(a new tarsier was recently described from its call alone). You are unlikely to
be on-site for anything like the length of time that it would take for the troop
to settle down again after such an event. So any subsequent studies would be
invalidated once an animal was killed.
What you do may well influence the way local people react to other
visitors or treat the local resources. Consequently, you should not pay
hunters to hunt or catch monkeys for you, pay for live specimens or capture
animals for study or observation in captivity. Never let your curiosity
endanger an animal’s life (this also includes such things as getting too close
to mother monkey which has an infant).
Make sure you do not use native assistants as slaves and do not forget to
contact scientists from the country to avoid future “fightings”.
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Section Four
FIELD METHODS
A huge number of techniques of field observation have been developed in
primatology. It is beyond the scope of this publication to provide more than
an introduction to them. For more details see Altmann (1974), Brockelman &
Ali (1987), Buckland et al. (1993), De blase & Martin (1981), National
Research Council (US) (1981) and Wilson & Wilson (1974). Dawson
(1981a) gives good hints on how to do survey work in remote and rugged
terrain.
There are essentially two ways in which to organize your work,
quantitative and qualitative. The first includes simple surveys where species
are recorded and enumeration is no more than counting the numbers of
encounters with groups or individuals while walking through the forest or
listening to territorial calls. The second type of survey involves the kind of
detailed observations which could have statistics applied to them and are
normally confined to detailed behavioural observations of a single species, or
to surveys of primate density where absolute indices (rather than relative
ones) are required. Details are given below.
4.1 Transects and trails
The first thing is to find out where in your study plot do the monkeys reside.
Such surveys may be done in two main ways - from a fixed point or by
moving through the area. Fixed point surveys, using such things as hides,
watchtowers and aerial walkways, are quite rare because such infrastructure
is uncommon in the tropics. However, use such facilities should they be
available. By getting up into the canopy you are freed from many of the
visual impediments which hinder the ground-based observer and you can get
detailed information on a troop for as long as they remain in eyeshot (which
may be for several days). Despite such attractions, do not attempt to construct
such a structure yourself as it requires expert engineering skills and will eat
into valuable field work time.
It is far more common to survey by transect. This can be the natural
transect provided by, for example, a watercourse or a trail which you cut
yourself, or trails cut previously by local people. Note: if you place your
transect along a watercourse, you may bias your results! Factors influencing
choice of transect orientation are given in the vegetation section below.
Much attention has been given to the effective sample area of a transect.
The strip-transect method (Mackinnon, 1974) assumes that the observer
can detect all primates occurring at a fixed distance (e.g. 50m) on either side
of the path being walked. This is probably unrealistic (it depends on visibility
in a given habitat. In forest it can be 20m on either side, but in open areas
(e.g. savannas) it can be much more, even hundreds of metres on each side),
so most methodological reviews favour the use of the line-transect which
makes no such assumptions about detectability. You may rank the data you
get, setting arbitrary figures for the categories rare, scarce, common, frequent
and abundant, or try fully quantitative analysis of densities. Density
estimation from line-transect data has a huge (often confusing and frequently
mutually-contradictory) literature. Robinette et al. (1974), Burnham et al.
(1980) and Buckland et al. (1993) provide key overviews. Reviewing
literature, and proposing practical field-friendly methods for density
estimation, Burnham et al. also contains methods for mathematical theory
and analysis and has yet to be bettered as a review for expedition use.
Burnham et al. (1980) and Buckland et al. (1993) propose a model for
density assessment from line transects which makes four assumptions, viz.
that animals directly over the transect line are not missed, animals or social
groups are seen before they move away or free, distance and angles are
measured properly and that sightings are independent events. These
assumptions have been criticised by Brockelman & Ali (1987) who also go
through the maths of density estimation and discuss the merits of such
techniques as Haynes’ flushing radius, truncated distance methods and
exponential models. (Don’t be put off by all this - simple records of the
species, number of groups of each and the size of each are very valuable
from most places. Just so long as you could avoid counting the same group
more than one time and give an idea of sampling effort e.g. distance
surveyed).
Sinnary & Hebrard (1991) provide a method for detecting visibility bias
for different species from a transect (see also Ekman, 1981).
One especially accurate method of censusing an areas’ primates is the
sweep-survey. Here several people cooperate and, spaced at regular intervals
(50-100m or the visual horizon, whichever is smaller), walk across a forest
area in concert. Good coordination is vital and may be facilitated by using
parallel trails, or following tagged cords running the length of the survey
quadrat, or using (muted) mobile phones. To avoid counting the same group
twice, it is important that the location and time of any encounters be
accurately noted and results compared and compiled. (Note: this may not be
feasible for primates of large-group size).
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If you are working from a boat the effective sampling area is likely to be
much diminished as riverside vegetation tends to be rather thicker than that
away from the river bank. For those contemplating such surveys, Milliken
(1988) provides an excellent guide to the practicalities of boatwork in the
tropics.
If you are cutting transects remember to keep them as straight as possible
and to blaze or otherwise clearly mark any changes in direction. Plastic tape
(of the red, orange or yellow kinds used by builders to mark off holes in the
road) is most commonly used to mark trees. Place a marker tag every 100m
and number it unequivocally (in numerals large enough to be read by
torchlight by an exhausted person). To further assist orientation, place a
second (differently coloured) marker 10m on from this. This way, if you get
lost and then hit the path again, you will quickly know which way to head.
Be careful when cutting off saplings, do not leave anything straight and sharp
that could pierce an upward-gazing field worker, walking but concentrating
on their monkeys. (see also comments in Section 1.7).
People can get ill on expeditions and someone else may be called on to
take over from you. Make a map of your transects and mark out any special
features, dangers or points of interest. Always mark the entrance and exit
points on any water crossings you may make. Jermy & Chapman (1994)
gives further information on the practicalities of trail-cutting in the tropics.
Trail-cutting can be an arduous business. In some dense areas you are not
going to cut more than a couple of hundred metres in a day. So leave several
days for this purpose. Be warned, trail cutting can be very tough work. Be
careful not to exhaust yourself in the process (you’ve got field work to do!).
How long should your transects be? The functional limitation is,
obviously, your ability to cover the ground in a day in a way that will ensure
a viable survey (remembering, when you decide your length, that you have to
walk back). Brockelman & Ali (1987) recommend a daily minimum of 4km
of walking per observer per day and, in review, show that one long transect
is more likely to be representative than two small ones of the same combined
length. Also, you should be able to cover the whole transect.
A transect may have been designed to pass through several vegetation
types (see below). Such a transect may be very long and, obviously, it is not
necessary to try and cover the whole thing in one day. You may wish to take
it in sections the length of one days’ walking, progressively working your
way down the major transect and camping for several days at various substations along the way. You may wish to take subsidiary paths off from this
point.
An alternative, if the vegetation permits, is to set up a central camp from
which several transects radiate into various habitat types. Each may be then
walked in rotation, in sequence or simultaneously (if you have enough
people). The main problem with the latter is that of inter-observer variability.
In all cases it is possible to conduct sweep-surveys, strip-transect or linetransect methods from such locations.
For alternative transect design and discussion of their merits, see
Whitesides et al. (1988).
A general minimum for a survey of one site is one which has covered a
total of 50km (i.e. 5km for 10 days), with 150km being preferred. According
to Brockelman & Ali (1987 pp.40-41) “a severe limiting factor in primate
surveys is time to obtain sufficient sightings for analysis; at least 40 sightings
per species are recommended for [quantitative] analysis”. (See also
Burnham, 1980). Encounter rates of around 2 groups per km walked are
unusually good, rates of 1 group per 2km are more typical.
For those species which make loud calls in the early morning, the calls
can be used as a relative indicator of abundance in different areas. However,
some authors have used them to estimate absolute density. The calls carry for
2km or more and in gibbons can be recognised individually in the field (not
howlers) and can be surveyed by a listener located on a prominent terrain
feature. Equipped with a compass, watch, ability to estimate distance, a map
and a knowledge of the calls of the local gibbons, the listener plots the
locations of the calling animals and then calculates their density (see
Brockelman & Srikosamatara, 1993 for field study example and Brockelman
& Ali, 1987 pp.43-44 for diagram and formulas). See also Falls (1981) and
Johnson et al. (1981). This can be improved if you triangulate (2 observers or
one) see Brockleman & Ali (1981).
Positioning the transects or observation posts depends not only on
vegetation type. As Brockleman & Ali (1987 p.25) point out “the lazy
surveyor who observes and listens only from roads or well worn trails will
miss many good records; well visited areas are usually the first to be hunted
out”. This may be true for forest areas, but is not true for areas of natural
grassland (see Southwell & Fletcher, 1990 for methods in this habitat type).
Aquino & Encarnación (1986a, 1988, 1990), provide methods for
censusing primates at night (see also Duckworth, 1992). Aquino &
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Encarnation (1986b) show it is possible to use sleeping holes for those
species which use them. Animals may also have special places where they
like to groom (e.g. Reichard & Sommer, 1994) or sleep (see Tutin et al.,
1995; Zhang, 1995b). But there can be problems with the latter (see Tutin et
al., 1995). Sheaffer & Jaruis (1995) discuss sources of error in sightingbased estimates of population size. Franzreb (1981) and Hilden (1981) have
discussed sources of error in line-transect data sampling methods. Bull
(1981) gives methods for indirect estimates of abundance. Though written
about birds, the techniques are adaptable to primates. Dawson (1981b)
provides a useful index of relative density and overviews influences which
may bias density estimations. Thompson (1989) compares census techniques.
Osztreiher (1995) and Vochteloo et al. (1995) each provide examples of the
effects of the observer on behaviours seen.
Though local people can be essential repositories of knowledge (see
Sections 1.4 and 4.3), when choosing study sites and locating transects
Brockelman & Ali (1987 p.25) say “[though] it is often advantageous (and
safest) to hire local rural farmers and other residents to help in getting
around an unfamiliar area ... one should never allow local people to ‘select’
the locations to be checked. We have found that local people usually do not
like to penetrate unfamiliar or difficult forest areas and frequently do not
know what is in them”.
Unless your field studies demand it, you should always attempt to include
as many of the local vegetation types as possible in your transects (see also
section 4.4). This maximizes the chance of you sweeping up all the species in
an area during a general survey and enhances chances of finding age and sexspecific uses of habitat types and seasonal use of habitat types by a particular
species.
Do not avoid secondary habitats in an area of otherwise primary habitat.
Some primate species (especially smaller ones) may specialise in these (e.g.
see Araujo Santos et al., 1995; Calegaro-Marques & Bicca-Marques, 1994).
Though to avoid biasing your results, transects should not run exclusively
through such habitats either. Nor through forest edges, along ridges (which
often have their own specialised vegetation), or along water courses. Ideally
percentage length of a transect that passes through a habitat reflects its
proportion of the vegetation in the area (see 4.4 also).
4.1.2 Procedure and type of data collected during line transect
sampling
The standard procedure is to walk at 1 to 2km per hour, to record at each
contact: the point on the trail; measure (preferably) or estimated observeranimal distance, angle to trail, animal trail distance, animal/group height;
group composition (sex and age class) and activity at first contact. For
groups measure distance from observer to the ‘geometric centre’ of the
group, also the distance to the first animal seen and to the animal closest to
the trail. A sample data check list if given at the end of section 8.
4.2 Observation
4.2.1. Preliminaries
The first sign of primate presence is generally a crashing sound in the trees as
animals move from one branch to the other. This doesn’t mean that they’ve
seen you and are moving away, they generally move like that anyway.
Closer, and you may hear the vocal ebb and flow of contact calls. Sharp,
repetitious, staccato calls are generally alarm calls and mean you’ve been
spotted. Unless you are working with a habituated group or one in an area
that has little hunting, you may need to spend some time (perhaps at least a
week) until the group begins to get used to you. During this initial period you
may wish to record the alarm calls - as they are often the commonest call
greeting people in the forest, they may be useful when interviewing people in
later surveys. Other helpful sounds may be the patter of fruit being dropped
to the ground and the rustle of branches. In dense vegetation you may not see
your target animals, but the branches will be swaying in a way that has
nothing to do with the wind. If you can’t see the monkeys right away, sit
tight. They will appear eventually.
Try and avoid looking directly at primates. It is likely to be regarded as a
threat if you make eye contact. This could lead to the disruption of the
normal activities you have come to study.
Always look around in other trees to see if they too have animals. You
will need to focus on specific individuals for data collection (see below), but
you must first get an impression of the size and composition of the group. Do
not forget to record if there are other species (of primate or other kinds of
animal) associated with the troop.
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If you are spotted then sometimes pretending to be more interested in
something else, e.g. groom a friend, can cause the primates to come to you or
to calm down, because they are very curious.
Stop working if it starts to rain heavily. Though there are exceptions, (e.g.
langurs, capuchins and howlers) monkeys generally don’t like it any more
than we do and will generally stop all other activities, trying to keep dry.
Besides, the rain might damage your equipment or notes.
Unless you are working with a permanent guide, have exceptional
knowledge of the local terrain, or are working in an area which has a wellmarked system of trails, resist the temptation to follow the troop into the
forest. Otherwise you may get lost and thus disrupt the structure of the
expedition’s fieldwork. Bush-whacking is time-consuming and noisy. You
should have a trail system. If you don’t, and find you must still follow your
monkeys, then you may wish to deploy the method first developed for
tracking minotaurs (if you do, it is best to put the string ball on a smooth
stick so that it unwinds freely).
There are methods for quantifying the behaviours you observe (see
below), but don’t rush in to this. Spend some time getting used to the
monkeys, how they move, what they do, the pace they do it at. Later this may
help you anticipate events and help you record fast-moving sequences or
unusual circumstances.
Most monkeys get up very early, have a mid-day siesta and then start
again in the early afternoon before packing-up at dusk. Where you see them
at dusk is probably where they will be next morning, so if you get up before
dawn and trek in you should catch them waking up.
As with bird watching it is best to avoid bright coloured cloths and things
that rub against each other and squeak or rustle. These will alarm the animals
and bias your data set. For similar reasons, try to avoid shouting or making
expansive or rapid movements. Smoking while working may also put the
monkeys off. Also, avoid wearing camouflaged or army-looking clothes in
areas where there may be social conflicts or illegal activities (e.g. drug
cultivation).
When trying to get primates used to you, wearing the same thing every
day may help.
4.2.2 Recording data
The best guide to sampling techniques is still Altmann (1974). This reference
may look out of date, but it is still the most comprehensive and lucid
overview of sampling techniques and continues to be widely cited in the
literature.
People differ in their approaches to finding animals from which to record
data. Some prefer to walk a specified distance, halt for a specified time and
then move on to the next stopping spot. Others move at a regular pace, pause
frequently to stop and listen but halt only when they have an encounter. In
both cases the recommended pace is between 1 and 2km an hour.
If a census is your aim then watching the group long enough to
characterize it (species, size, composition and activities) is sufficient. You
may then move on (or if in a multi-person group, split up, with some staying
and studying and some continuing the census, then rejoining and later
swapping over).
If ecological or social studies are your goal, you may wish to stay with a
single group. You then have to choose how to gather data from all that is
going on. The most widely accepted ways are the focal animal and scan
techniques (see Altmann, 1974; Hejl et al., 1990; Recher & Grebski, 1990).
The first method involves recording an individuals current activity at a
preselected moment in time (say every 5 minutes). This method records
states, not events (see Boinski, 1987). The other method involves recording
the behaviour of all visible members of a group within a specified time (say
every 10 minutes). This scan effectively represents an instantaneous sample
of group activities (see Robinson, 1986). These methods have been compared
by Fragaszy et al. (1992 p.259), who point out that ‘best’ field techniques get
data which “have maximum statistical power, reliability, validity and
generalizability”. Fragaszy et al., noted that group scans are best when much
information is needed in a brief time (such as initial descriptions of activity
budgets and patterns). Focal interval sampling requires the consistent
recognition of particular individuals and is good for defining the mean of a
behaviour (while group sampling can well define its range). Fragaszy et al.,
concluded that a mixed sampling regime would minimize the costs of data
collection while maximizing the amount and reliability of data collected (see
also discussions by Gates 1981 and Scott & Ramsey 1981).
Obviously, if you are only interested in one aspect (diet, say), then you
may wish to scan the group and focus on those engaged in the activity you
Expedition Field Techniques
are interested in. An alternative is to focus on just one animal in the group for
several days and then switch to another one. With experience you will be
able to tell what an animal is eating, even if it has its back to you, by the way
it moves and the speed of its actions.
Paterson (1992) provides a comprehensive series of exercises in
observing captive monkeys that allow you to practice before going out into
the field.
4.2.3 Guarding against between-observer variation
Between-observer variations (the result of differences in experience, ability,
motivation and luck), can be important skewing factors in a data set (see
Dawson, 1981b; Dunbar, 1976; Faanes & Bystrak 1981; Kepler & Scott
1981; Lehner, 1979; Martin & Bateson, 1986; Sharman & Dunbar, 1982).
Using Paterson (1992) before you go may help to identify strengths and
weaknesses in team members’ abilities. It may also be useful to do some prefieldwork practice to help standardize yourselves. Obviously you’ve all got
to agree on the species identifications. Pre-field work (see section 6) should
have taken care of that, but you may also have the opportunity to iron out any
problems during the setting-up period. Distance estimations can present a
problem for the inexperienced. Taking a monkey-sized object a measured
distance and inviting the rest of the crew to estimate this, can be a useful
training exercise.
4.2.4 Identifying individuals
You may wish just to divide the animals into males and females. Sexing
primates is usually fairly easy as many species are sexually dimorphic (male
almost always larger), and (some) others are sexually dichromatic (e.g. some
sakis and gibbons). Genitalia is often obvious and may also have a display
function and hence be brightly coloured (e.g. many African forest
cercopithecines). Females in oestrus may have nether swellings. All these
factors are ones you should be acquainted with from your preliminary
reading, zoo and museum work. For work at middens and markets (see 4.3.2,
4.3.3, 4.3.4) skulls can be sexed by size and/or the generally larger canine
teeth of males.
There is quite often sufficient natural individual variation in personality
(McGuire et al., 1994), body pelage, facial skin patterning (e.g. Lemos De Sa
et al., 1990), facial marks (Bhattacharya & Chakraborty, 1990), colour
patterns of head (e.g. Oppenheimer, 1969), missing fingers, combined with
age-specific characters like pelage condition, nipple status, tail length and
shape, body proportions and others can all help to identify individuals (see
Kahumbu & Eley, 1991; Ron & Whitehead, 1993 and National Research
Council (US), 1981 p.84). National Research Council (US) (1981, p.110 et
seq.) show how information in variation in facial characteristics can be
codified on cards. In terrestrial species passage of specific individuals may
be recognised by palmar dermatoglyphics (see Phillips-Conroy et al., 1986).
Do not start a complex recording scheme at once. First make sure you can
reliably recontact your intended study group(s) but don’t bother if you are
only there for a short time.
There are many means of marking primates (ear tags, collars, freezebranding fur etc., see National Research Council (US), 1981) to augment
natural variation. These are unlikely to be of relevance to you as they involve
first trapping and subduing the animals.
Be aware of the fact that different species respond differently to the
presence of observers. While some are phlegmatic, others are much more
likely to be spooked and run away (e.g. Clarke & Mason, 1988).
4.3 Other methods
4.3.1 Middens
Unpleasant though it may sound, the village rubbish dump may yield some
useful data. If the refuse from killed wild animals is not thrown into the
nearest river (as it often is in Amazonia) or scavenged by dogs (as it is almost
everywhere), then it may end up on the local rubbish heap. Checking out
such a place can give you an idea of the numbers of individuals hunted, the
species involved and their relative proportions in the catch. (It can also give
you great sympathy for your local refuse disposal operative). Finally, it may
also be used by the region’s more opportunistic primates (e.g. baboons in
Africa).
It is best to concentrate on skulls as they will be the easiest to identify.
The sample you get is not going to be totally representative, because the
skulls of small species (or individuals) are likely to get crushed into
unrecognisability pretty quickly. You can’t take away all the skulls to
identify later, so you must be familiar with the oddities of the skulls of each
species which allow you to identify them (dentition is especially useful in
this regard). For this you have to do your preparatory work in the museum. A
set of photographs (with the important features highlighted as an aide de
memoire), can also be helpful. See Mittermeier (1977) as an example of a
study which used this technique to look at primate hunting in rural
Expedition Field Techniques
communities. Skulls of males can be generally be distinguished by the
proportionately longer canines (see Oxnard et al., 1985 and references
therein).
4.3.2 Souvenir shops
You see the sickest things worked up into tourist trinkets (see Anon., 1990
for an example, Mittermeier, 1987 for a review). You may see whole skins
made into rugs (e.g. colobus in Africa), whole stuffed specimens, or parts
(gorilla hands), or bits of fur or skulls being used as part of some curio. The
presence of a primate part worked into some tasteful dust-gatherer does not
mean the animal was killed locally, but does indicate that it is involved in
this trade and some populations, at least, may possibly be threatened by it.
Suppress any desire you may have to do physical violence to the shop
owners, and question them as politely as you can. If you say you are a
scientist (not ecologist), this may help you. Try to sound rational, analytical
and, above all, totally uninterested in the animal welfare and conservation
aspects of it. Data on how many items they shift could be of value. Check out
any other similar shops in the place to get an overall picture. Check the status
of the species involved and pass the data on to the appropriate national
authorities and CITES secretariat in Cambridge, UK (address in Appendix).
4.3.3 Markets
Depending on what kind of market it is you can find live animals for sale as
pets, whole dead animals for sale as food, bits for sale as food or as medicine
(see Mittermeier, 1987). Monkey fur is also used to decorate clothes in some
places. Don’t be afraid to ask people (politely) what the animal is (after all it
is a market). Make sure you have a good set of local names for the species in
the area. (Note: If the species is sexually dimorphic or dichromatic there may
be different names for males and females. In some species e.g. colobus, the
babies are a different colour from the adults).
Nevertheless, you may have to identify material yourself. This means
getting good at identifying species (or genera) from skinned (and possibly
smoked) bodies, limbs or heads (see photograph in Sheeran & Poirier, 1990
as a good example of what to expect). To effectively identify material you
will need an idea of overall proportions, plus a knowledge of distinctive
anatomical oddities that will separate one group from another (colobine
monkeys, for example, do not have thumbs). Studying and photographing
museum specimens preserved in alcohol or formalin may help you gain the
visual images you need. Identifying fur can be a gestaldt thing. It’s not only
colour and length, but also its softness and springyness and how the hair lies.
Practice on museum specimens. Rode (1937) is a good guide to the shape of
skulls, head and feet of African monkeys.
When it comes to purchasing of material “to buy or not to buy, that is the
question”. If you buy, you may promote the trade. But, trade is not always
unwanted. In some cases it may be O.K. However, overall (and to avoid
encouraging others less scrupulous than you) it is probably better just to see
the material on the stalls, leave it and take good notes and photos (with
perhaps a small payment and certainly with stall holders permission
whenever possible).
4.3.4 Interviewing local people
It is always a good idea to consult local people when working with such a
high profile group as primates. In many groups (especially plants and insects)
local nomenclature is not going to agree with that of western taxonomy (see
Posey, 1983, 1992; Posey & Balee, 1989; Stearman, 1992). However, this is
not the case with primates and the local people will likely recognise primate
species in a similar way to you (though see note above). This simplifies
things immensely.
A good guide to the methodology of questioning local people and,
equally important, the etiquette of the procedure is given by Bellamy (1992).
Remember when you are asking people things that they have other things to
do and are doing you a favour by responding to your dumb questions
(imagine how you would feel if someone came and button-holed you with a
huge list of questions about starlings and pigeons).
Decide what you want to know before you start. Draw up a list of
questions. If the interviews are going to be conducted in a foreign language,
have them translated in advance and run through the list of questions to iron
out any sources of likely linguistic confusion. Be sure you are not asking
questions which have at their heart inherent cultural preconceptions which
may not be shared by the person being asked to respond to them (this is
especially true of questions involving time, distance and numbers).
Openness is the best policy. Tell people exactly what you are doing and
why you are asking these questions (this may also help you clarify your
ideas). Reassure them you are not from the government, the tax office or The
Police! People living in small communities have a nose for mendacity. If you
try to hide stuff, the rural rumour machine will go into overdrive and in no
time at all you’ll find yourself pinned as part of a CIA-funded international
drug cartel smuggling out gold to fund the purchase of infants for use in
Expedition Field Techniques
satanic rituals. Worse still, no one will then want to talk to you or help you in
your quest.
Who you approach depends entirely on the size and nature of the place in
which you find yourself; varying from river traders in the largest rural towns
to almost anyone in the small rural villages and hamlets. Hunters, fishermen
and farmworkers are likely to be among your most useful informants. But
you may have to reassure the former that you are not going to try and stop
them hunting, otherwise they are unlikely to help you.
If you are trying to find out what monkeys are around, you should use
both photographs and sounds. Photographs are better than pictures in a book
because they can be passed around a group one at a time (pass a book round
and people will start going ‘oh, yeah, this one and this one and this one’ and
you will be lost). Also photographs are more realistic. People in very remote
places may be unfamiliar with unreality of book pictures and not recognise
something for what it is. You may also have to mention that the animals are
actually bigger than they appear in the picture as some people don’t have the
concept of scale (after looking at a series of primate polaroids, one old man
in the Amazon told me how glad he was that he didn’t live in my country
which was so obviously unhealthy - I was so pale and all our monkeys were
dwarfs). Don’t patronize people, a simple hand signal for size often suffices.
In general, it may not be good to show photographs or pictures straight
off. Often people do not like to accept that they do not know a species; they
will recognise anything you show them. The best thing maybe, is to get them
to describe the animal. Once you have good descriptions, then you can show
photos just to confirm. Of course, it is essential to have a good command of
the local language.
Heat, moisture and frequent usage can wreck your prints very quickly.
Have them enclosed in plastic. And carry a second set for spares. (By the
way, I don’t think you can laminate prints, but this may have changed of
late).
Calls are a useful adjunct. Some species may be secretive and may not be
seen very often (and some, like the douracouli in the Amazon, galagos in
Africa and tarsiers in SE Asia are, of course, nocturnal). In these cases calls
can be of great help. You may even impress the local hunters with your
knowledge - which can go down well.
Always check for the accuracy of local information. It is not that people
are trying to deliberately mislead you, more that, in their anxiousness to be
helpful they may say ‘Yes’ to anything you ask. So, first avoid leading
questions. Don’t ask ‘do you have this monkey’ but rather ‘which of the
following occur here’. Secondly, slip in a few pictures of things that certainly
don’t occur there. These false photos can be fundamentally unsubtle; the odd
baboon in a set of South American monkeys, an orang among West African
ones, but you can also pick up more precise information. For example, using
a sub-species you know to be wrong for the region will give you an idea of
the acuity of knowledge of those you are questioning (or it may provide a
biogeographical surprise, see Ferrari & De Souza - Junior, 1994 and Ayres,
1985).
Ask about legends. These can help make sense of local names for animals
(see Barnett, 1991d as an example), and for beliefs about them and for taboos
that may exist (such as a species not being hunted at all, or being only hunted
at a particular time or eaten only by a certain sector of society, see
Mittermeier, 1977 and Flannery et al., 1995 as examples). Such stories also
make interesting pieces to use in talks and allow you to draw the audience in
to the realm of the people you were working with (but don’t be
condescending). Be careful when you ask such questions of local people that
you do not offend any religious sentiments. It may be best to ask such
questions informally, after the questionnaire is over. However, depending on
the objective, informal interviews may be more appropriate and less
intrusive, (although these are difficult to quantify).
Get a native speaker. If you are unfamiliar with the local language you
may need to get an interpreter. With luck this will be one of your
counterparts, someone who probably has a western-style education and is
familiar with your way of thinking as well as that of the local people. If this
is not the case you may have fun thinking your way behind the comments
and information, to what it all really means (such an experience is a great
lesson in cultural assumptions). The importance of working with local
counterparts cannot be over-emphasised.
Don’t go on too long. People will have other things to do, so try not to
monopolize their time. Also, such formal interviews may not be their way
(the only other time they may have encountered it is with government
officials; if this is the case, mimicking the experience is unlikely to enhance
your data or your local reputation). Guidelines on this are given by Bellamy
(1992), but a couple of hours is probably the maximum permissible time (and
you will probably have to spend quite a bit of this just chatting). (Note:
pictures of family, area near home and partner help to break the ice).
Expedition Field Techniques
Always be polite and respectful. You are only passing through and your
curiosity gives you no right to disrupt other people’s lives. If interviewees
seem stupid, it is most likely you, your preconceptions or your way of
phrasing questions which are at fault.
As a rough guide to question types and structure, a copy of a
questionnaire I used in the Amazon for a study of uacaris (Cacajao) appears
in the appendices. This is only intended as an indication. Questionnaires need
to be designed to achieve the specific objectives of the project.
4.3.5 Collecting plant materials
If you are collecting material for identification, ensure that it will be possible
to identify the species from the material you are collecting. Make sure you
know what bits of the plant are most valuable in this regard before you start
out (for example, with many bamboos it is essential to collect rhizomes and
leaf-bases: see Crompton, 1992 for bamboos [and also references in Mathur
& Sharma 1986]; Dransfield, 1986 for palms). If you wish to sample
rainforest trees, you may have to expend considerable effort and ingenuity to
secure useful specimens (see recommendations and ideas in Forman &
Bridson, 1989; Hyland, 1972; Mitchell, 1982, and references in Hicks &
Hicks, 1978). Flowers are generally most useful - collect fallen ones if you
can be sure that you know which tree they are coming from (you may need to
use binoculars). Do not neglect the older literature, there is a wealth of
information to be found in things like the Empire Forestry Review.
If you are collecting plant material for chemical analysis (perhaps for a
dietary study), ensure that you collect the same parts as the animals are
eating, and also that these are of the same age (phenophases) as those chosen
by the animals. A monkey’s choosyness in such matters is often acute, and a
collecting mistake on your part could lead to very erroneous data.
Ensure you label the plants before you put them in the press (if you label
the papers you are using to dry them then things can get detrimentally
confused when you change sheets over).
Remember that to be effective a specimen must be undecomposed and
that the parts containing the features salient for identification must be easily
visible. Consequently, large, bulky or succulent specimens are best pressed in
parts and not as a whole plant.
4.4 Vegetation surveys
4.4.1 Role of vegetation surveys
You will at least need to know what habitat(s) the study species occurs in and
what food items are being eaten. Only some of the plants will be relevant to
you so you are unlikely to have to go into the kind of exacting botanical
detail demanded by plant community studies (see Greig-Smith, 1952). Prefieldwork literature surveys should have sensitized you to the species of
families of interest.
Do not rush straight out and start observing monkeys. You need study
transects and will need to either choose from existing paths or cut your own
trails (see Section 4.1). You will need to have an approximate idea of the
distribution of the local vegetation types before siting your study transects.
Ideally, if you are doing a general primate survey, you will want the transects
to run through as many habitat types as possible (and through substantial and
representative bits as well - it doesn’t really count if the transect only brushes
a habitat type). The knowledge for this will come from a combination of
reconnaissances, asking the local people, using local promontories and (if
you are fortunate) an aerial reconnaissance or aerial photography.
The access routes you are using to survey the area’s primates can also
serve as transects for the classification of its vegetation; this usually involves
descriptions of key species, descriptions of the vegetation, divisions into type
classes and an estimate of their various percentage cover. Sampling the
vegetation along the transect is obviously sensible. A widely-used method is
to establish a sample plot every 100m along the transect length, sampling for
5m either side of the transect (see National Research Council (US), 1981).
Though this may need to be varied with habitat type.
4.4.2 Classifying vegetation types and format
For a general discussion of this topic see Anderson (1981).
Depending on the study, you may wish to classify the vegetation very
simply (e.g. Eisenberg & Lockhart, 1972 - simply divided it into grassland,
scrub [woody vegetation below 2m], and trees). By recording proportions of
such classes, ecotones can also be recognised. This system works well in
areas with several visually distinct vegetation types, but to characterize an
apparently homogeneous grassland or forest it is necessary to use a more
complex system based on the presence of particular species. For methods of
quantifiably analysing shrub vegetation see Dittus (1977).
Expedition Field Techniques
The habitat surveys generally demand plant indictor species, which may
or may not be the same as those that the primates use. Make sure you know
of these in advance and know what they look like. Check maps that give
vegetational zones and the indicator species within them (e.g. White, 1983
for Africa). For your eventual paper you should also attempt to establish
which plant species were numerically dominant in the study area (and the
ecological significance of this). In very diverse forests, there may not be an
indicator species, at least not an obvious one. A description on terms of
phygsionomy and degree of deciduosness (deciduos to evergreen) forest
light, forest layers may be more useful and easy.
If you are constructing a habitat profile (including density of
undergrowth, epiphytes, canopy cover), using a standard data sheet will help
standardize observations. Avoid trying to estimate percentages by eye as this
is rarely accurate, has low inter-observer reproductability and gives a false
sense of the quantified. A rank scale of absent, rare, moderate and dense is
generally sufficient. You may also wish to record the number of vegetation
layers and the prevalence of lianas and creepers (the latter especially
important for some of the smaller primates like marmosets).
With an eye to eventual publication, you should produce a sketch map of
your study site, the position of transects and the vegetation types through
which they passed.
Example of site sketch-map showing distribution of vegetation types
and location of transect
At ground level vegetation density may be estimated by recording the
proportion of a striped 5m or 10m stick which is visible at standard distances
(say 5, 10, 50 and 100m) from an observer standing on the transect path.
Alternatively, visibility may be ranked to poor, fair, good and excellent.
Visibility within canopy is rarely quantified. But it is possible to do this
using a striped board on the end of a long pole. Variations in foliage density
within any one tree canopy require that the mean of several readings be used.
The possibility of combining data of habitat type and primate abundance
are illustrated below.
Simple way of combining data on habitat and relative abundance of
primates
If your primates are frugivorous you will need an assessment of fruit
abundance. A possible (but bias) useful series of methods are provided by
Chapman et al. (1992), these include direct counting and a number of means
of estimating (see also Milton et al., 1982; Peters et al., 1988). When
estimating things like crown shape and fruit number, inter-observer
variability is often high so, for consistency, it is probably best to let the same
person or cooperating pair do all the assessment work.
Should you need to quantify the structure of the forest (density and size
and height of a forest block rather than just of selected trees), then see
Monedero & González (1994) for a study using techniques appropriate to an
expedition. See also Pandeya et al. (1968) and Phillips (1959) for simple,
Expedition Field Techniques
basic techniques. The latter gives formulae for the calculations of relative
density and relative dominance of different tree species, factors which may
be important in characterizing habitat preferences of primates (see also
National Research Council (US) (1981). Kortlandt (1986) illustrates
techniques for recording canopy profile.
National Research Council (US) (1981 p.18) gives the equations required
should you need to estimate the crown volume. The sketch below shows you
how to estimate the height of a tree.
The presence of rock outcrops and bodies of permanent water should all
be recorded, as should the presence of such features as salt licks. All of these
can have characteristic vegetation associated with them. Soil types can effect
vegetation productivity and chemical constitution. In turn this can effect
primate biomass, species diversity and the diet of individual primate species.
Accordingly, if the data is not available on existing soil maps, suitable
collections should be made (see Brook, 1975; Butler, 1980; Dent & Young,
1981; Landon, 1984 for methods).
Trees which are important to the animals you are studying (for food,
shelter, territorial locator), should be tagged with plastic tape (preferred over
metal tags which require nails be driven into the tree). If you hope to do a
follow-up study the next year, you should draw a map at the end of your time
which includes all the features of importance (including such trees). For
long-term studies, aluminium nails and tags may be appropriate.
4.4.3 Phenology
It is also important to classify the state of development of the leaves and
flowers (phenophases) and get information on the annual cycle of flowering
and fruiting (phenology). This is because the chemical constituents of leaves,
stems and fruits change with age. What is nutritionally rewarding at one age
may be toxic at another and almost indigestible at a third. This greatly
influences the foraging behaviour of primates (see Lucas & Corlett, 1991 as
an example of the relationship between phenology and diet). Examples of
field techniques for phenological studies in forests can be found in Akunda
& Huxley (1990), Frankie et al. (1974a), Guevara De Lampe et al. (1992),
Koelmeyer (1959, 1960), Newstrom et al. (1994), Medway (1972) and van
Schaik (1986). Monasterio & Sarmiento (1976) provide an example from
drier more open habitats. Review articles include Bawa (1983), Bawa &
Hadley (1990), Cole (1981), Frankie et al. (1974b), White (1985) and van
Schaik and Terborgo (1993-4). Some cautionary tales are contained in
Colwell (1974) and Stearns (1981). Newstrom et al. (1994) give a helpful
introduction to terminology. Remember that primate species may not have
the same sense of smell (e.g. Ueno, 1994) or spectral sensitivity (Jacobs &
Harweth, 1989; Jacobs et al., 1991; Savage et al., 1987), as you and thus may
distinguish categories differently.
4.5 Safety
Working with monkeys is no more dangerous than working with anything
else in the forest (and a lot less dangerous than some fields of study poisonous snakes, for example). There are, nevertheless, some basic
precautions that need to be entertained so that you do not become debilitated
or your study terminated through illness, absence or severe personal damage.
• at base camp, always have a log-book in which you state when you left
camp, what trail you were going on, what your objective was and when
you expected to return. If someone is on ‘camp duty’ that day, then tell
them too.
• try to work in pairs.
• always carry a whistle with you. Arrange an emergency code. Keep a
copy of the code with you (if nothing else, in case you forget what it
means when you hear someone else’s signals).
Expedition Field Techniques
• always carry a day medical kit (see medical section 4.6), some emergency
rations (chocolate bars and dried fruit), salt tablets, rehydration fluid and
more water than you think you’ll need (plus some iodine or a water
pump, just in case). Anti-viper serum (and training on how to use it) is
essential in some areas (see below).
• if you go off the existing trail, leave a marker (trail tag or bark slash) to
indicate your point of departure. A trail tag is best as you can write on it
your departure time and estimated time of return.
• there is probably no need to carry a gun. The few big fierce things that
might attack you are probably so rare that you are unlikely to encounter
them (and if you did, would shooting one really be the right solution for a
conservationist). Plus, guns create the wrong kind of impression locally
and at customs, (and, anyway, would you be a good enough shot ?).
• if you do meet a large carnivore - don’t run. Depending on the habitat
either stand stock still or walk slowly backwards (the chances of attack
are very slight).
• the chance of snake bite is rare (they really are more likely to be more
afraid of you than you are of them and have left the vicinity as soon as
they detected you clomping along). Good advice on what to do in the
unlikely event of getting bitten can be found in Bent Juel-Jensen’s guide
to expedition medicine (Juel-Jensen & Warrell 1994), and Mark O’Shea’s
RGS-EAC herpetological field techniques guide (O’Shea, 1992). Just in
case though, check on the availability and location of anti-serum in your
host country. (Also snake-boots or similar may be necessary).
• small bitey things are likely to be the worst problem you face (see
medical section). Ensure you tap out your boots each time before you put
them on (yes, it’s true - scorpions really do go into them at night). Tap the
toe first and then the heel.
4.6 Medical aspects
General aspects:
• ensure that as many of the group as possible (preferably all) have first aid
training (and that they have taken refresher courses before the expedition
leaves).
• have a fully-equipped medical kit at base camp (see Juel-Jensen &
Warrell, 1994 for contents). This should also include a medical guide.
Voluntary Service Overseas recommends either “Where there is no
Doctor” (D. Weaner, 1993: distributed by Teaching Aids at Low Cost,
PO Box 49, St. Albans, Herts., ALI 5TX), or “Travellers Health”
(R. Darwood, 1994. Oxford University Press).
• be sure everyone knows where the nearest hospital is. Also the location
(and phone number) of the best one in the country, where that is and how
to get there.
• ensure that everyone knows a few basic phrases (‘snake bite’, ‘broken
leg’, ‘carcrash’ etc.) in the major language of the country.
• make sure that allergies of any group members (to penicillin etc.) are
known to all others. And have a list of everyone’s blood group in the
medical kit (as well as with the medical officer).
• if someone is epileptic or diabetic make sure everyone else knows what to
do in an emergency.
• take care of your feet. Fungal infections can be really unpleasant, can
make field work a torture and may take ages to go away. Keep your boots
as dry as possible, change your socks often and use talcum powder
frequently. Remedies for the suffering are given in Juel-Jensen & Warrell
(1994).
Field aspects:
• Leishmaniasis: however inviting they may look as places to rest while
watching monkeys, try to avoid sitting in between the buttresses of large
forest trees. These are favourite resting places for the kinds of flies that
can give you leishmaniasis.
• Bot flies: sitting out in the forest for any length of time (at least in those
areas of Central and South America where there are cattle nearby), you
are likely to get bot fly larvae under your skin. You’ll see a little clear
patch (about half-the size of a drawing pin head) with (maybe) a brown
moving patch in it. Don’t panic - it’s gruesome, but not fatal. Cover the
area with a piece of sellotape and wait a couple of hours. The maggot will
come up for air. Not getting any it will come out of its hole. When it does
so pull the sellotape off, and the grub comes too. (Other options involve
vaseline or placing a bit of meat on the spot - both work but the sellotape
one is the easiest - and you can easily see when the little darling has quit
you). Dose with iodine after extraction.
• Jigger fleas: these are a tropical affliction rather than one unique to
primatologists. A variety of flea has a burrowing female which passes her
adult life as a swollen pea-sized egg-producing factory nestled in your
flesh, normally just under a toe-nail. When she dies she rots and this can
cause an infection which can cost you the joint of the infected digit.
Expedition Field Techniques
You’ll notice an itching and little salt grain-sized eggs in your socks. The
flea’s location will appear as a translucent circle under your skin and in
the centre there should be the black circle of her breathing tube. Hook her
out with a pin and dose the area with iodine. Jiggers favour sandy areas
which have a high organic content. Either be vigilant or wear shoes all
the time.
• Leeches: leeches do not transmit any diseases, but they do have a high
yuk factor. It is easier to keep them out rather than keep them off: insect
repellents don’t seem to deter them, but military jungle boots (US
Vietnam-style or ex-British Army ones, opinion is divided on their
respective merits), plus trousers tucked into socks seems to work well
(though a few will always be lurking on higher leaves and drop down on
to you). Maybe leech-proof bandages aroung legs - knee high! Just
pulling them off is ineffective as it can leave embedded mouthparts (and
they are slippery anyway). They don’t always respond quickly to burning
either. A spot of salt makes them let go quickly (and they writhe rather
satisfyingly as well). If you go in the dry season they are unlikely to be a
problem. Expeditions to south-east Asian forests seem to suffer worst
from leeches.
• Ticks and mites: like leeches, these are only really bad in places where
there are lots of medium and large-sized terrestrial mammals (but unlike
leeches, which tend to favour moist places, dry areas with domestic
animals can be the worst). Insect repellents don’t seem to work and these
guys can clamber up your clothing unnoticed. Check yourself (and each
other) regularly. Don’t just pull them of as you could leave the mouth
parts in and promote a local infection. A dob of vaseline loosens some
kinds quickly, while others respond to alcohol (dabbed on with a piece of
cotton wool on the end of a spent match). Quite a lot of ticks and mites
act as vectors for nasty diseases so, if you suffered from ticks and mites
on your trip, check with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine on your return, (tel. 0171 636 8636).
• Things you can get from monkey faeces: the major dangers are a
nematode Strongyloides (possibly West Africa only) and a number of
intestinal amoebas which can cause amoebic dysentery. The best defence
is to pick up faecal samples using disposable plastic gloves or using a
plastic bag. On your return check with the London School Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine.
• Bites from monkeys: if you get bitten, clean the wound and go to
hospital right away. The danger of rabies is very small, but there are a
variety of other virus’ which can be picked up from monkeys and some
are very nasty. It’s better to be safe than sorry. On your return check with
the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (0171-636 8636).
• Ectoparasites: monkeys are usually pretty clean animals (all that social
grooming) and have few fleas and lice. Should your handling of a primate
result in cross-species ectoparasite transfer, then either get one of your
team-mates to groom you or take solace in the fact that most such beasts
are pretty species specific and will probably leave you after one foultasting bite.
• Stresses & strains: survey work can be tough. Walking, trail cutting and
observing can stress and pull a lot of muscles (gazing upwards for hours
on end can do your neck in quite wonderfully). Get a book on massage
and try the techniques out before you go.
Expedition Field Techniques
Section Five
MISCELLANEOUS HINTS
Get work permits in advance - as part of your general organization you
should seek your work or study permits well before your arrival in the
country. You may still have to pick them up in person but you should save
valuable time this way.
CITES coverage is probably required for any bits bought out of the host
country - first of all, do you really need the material? If yes, then except for
the very common species (of which there are now few), export of primates
and their parts is generally covered by CITES and you will need a permit to
get your material out of the country and into the UK. The Department of the
Environment’s offices in Bristol can supply appropriate information (see
address in appendix). You are also likely to require export and sanitary
permits for your specimens from the country of origin (otherwise they are
likely to get confiscated at UK customs). Things change quickly in this field,
so check current details with DoE, Bristol.
Always take counterparts. It is for the own benefit of the expedition (help
with contacts, language, more detailed knowledge of flora and fauna etc.).
Conservation-related projects can have long-term continuity. Be a good
guest.
Liaise fully with local primatologists and museum staff - such people
have two things: local knowledge which can help you and local power which
can be used to harm you and your work if you mess them about (and
ignoring them counts as such). So cooperate. Get in touch well in advance.
Remember such people have their own agendas and priorities and may need
some notice to give you the help you require. Don’t expect them to drop
everything on your account though. In many places access to research money
and field materials is often tight, don’t begrudge yours. Make sure you thank
such people in reports and scientific papers. Even better, enshrine the
cooperation with co-authorship (having got their permission first, of course).
Agree on distribution of any specimens in advance. There is no real
reason for you to be collecting primates at all, but collections of collateral
material (e.g. skulls found in middens, plants collected as a result of habitat
survey, dung beetles), are a possible cause of friction. If it is not possible to
identify material in the host country, then arrange to leave a duplicate
collection there and send back identifications as they come through. Make
sure the collection you leave is a nice one, all properly labelled and well
preserved. Don’t try and fob them off with all the naff stuff that you don’t
want.
The ethics of repressing data - if it is in the animals’ interests then it may
be appropriate for you to do this (though it is probably best to tell some
responsible authority in the host country). This situation generally arises with
those species which have a commercial value, and here it may appropriate to
conceal the locality where it was found (as is done routinely for cacti and for
orchids). Though it won’t stop the really determined operator, it may block
the more casual wildlife trader. The same sentiments obviously apply to
evidence of illegal trading. In which case the best people to tell are probably
TRAFFIC in the UK (see address in appendix).
Expedition Field Techniques
Section Six
PRE-FIELDWORK PREPARATION
The following are jobs that should be shared out by the team before leaving
for the host country.
Produce a check-list of species likely to be encountered - field guides (see
appendix), known distributions and taxonomic reviews (see appendix) will
be of assistance here. Note also that the Protected Areas Data Unit at the
World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge (see appendix for
address) has data sheets for many of the protected areas (national parks etc.)
in the World. If your study site is in one or is near one, it will be well worth
getting the sheet for comparative purposes. This means you will be aware of
any new locality records should you encounter them (see Section 1.10).
Forewarned, you should be able to produce better notes on the event. It is
also advisable to contact the local authorities who may have new and
additional information not yet collated by the WCMC.
Checking skin and skull collections - do this in both UK and in the range
country. It will give you the opportunity to take measurements, photos and
make dental imprints. Remember, when looking at the pelage colour, that
mode of preservation could have altered them and that the colours on skins
slowly change over time. Doing such stuff in the range country is courteous
and useful. You will have the opportunity to meet local scientists, and can
pin-point strengths and weaknesses of local scientific knowledge and
collections.
Check sound libraries for the calls of the species you are interested in.
This may allow you to obtain copies of the sounds for use in interviews. You
may also become aware of any gaps in the sound library’s collections which
you may be able to fill with recordings from the wild (if you are going to try
this, make sure you know the species you’re recording - they generally have
more than enough ambient stuff and unidentified material). You should also
be able to get fine tips on equipment use. The address of The British Library
of Wildlife Sounds appears in the Appendices.
Check distributions - you can do this in several ways; (in reverse order of
precision), locations given on specimen labels, data in taxonomic reviews,
data in compilations (such as Walker’s Mammals of the World and Wilson &
Reeder 1993). A top-down approach is probably the speediest.
Remember, the old collectors were often in remote areas, working in
conditions of considerable uncertainty and they often employed local people
to get animals for them. This means that the locations of some of the older
records may not be totally accurate (see Brandon-Jones, 1995 for an
example). Spellings on some of the labels may also be odd (or phonetic) and,
in many cases, place names will have changed since the departure of the
colonial powers. Rivers can shift their course (ports consequently relocate)
and animals ranges accordingly change. Check old maps and gazetteers. The
latter are lists of place names (with grid references) and often give old and
alternative versions for names and spellings. The RGS has a good collection
of old maps. Taxonomic revisions are a good source of geographical
synonyms and homonyms.
Check local names - they will facilitate interviews and explanations of what
you are doing. Most modern field guides include this information. If not, see
a dictionary in the language, buy a wildlife book when you get there, talk to
scientists in the host country. Your prints will also come in handy here. Local
names may also be on specimen labels. Remember, you may encounter
several tribal and or ethnic groups, each with a different name for the same
animal. The Library of the Museum of Mankind and the local anthropology
or human sciences department may help. Many useful dictionaries for local
languages were compiled during colonial times. Don’t neglect them.
Check colour variations - some species are very variable, others boringly
monomorphic (e.g. Colyn, 1993). Don’t get caught out - seasonal and age
variations in coat colour have been named as separate taxa before now (see
Colyn et al., 1991 for an example). Check where variations occur and what
they are like. There may be separate local names for them, and this could
cause confusion in interviews. In a few species (e.g. Amazonian sakis and
some Asian gibbons), the sexes are different colours (sexual dichromatism).
Be aware of this and the possibility of different ages being different colours
(e.g. very young baby colobus are white). This can help you age animals
easily.
Check existing data on food taboos - so that you can target your questions
well and, if you go somewhere and hunting is now occurring of a previously
inviolate species, you can recognise the change and ask appropriate
questions. Good places to start on this are Martin (1991) (West Africa), Eden
(1990) and Redford & Padoch (1992) (South America), Caldecott (1986) (SE
Asia). More information can be found in good anthropological libraries and
at places like the School of Oriental and African Studies, Museum of
Mankind and the Luso-Brasilian Society (see appendices for addresses).
Expedition Field Techniques
Check status on existing national legislation on hunting - not only will
you then know who is breaking the law, but you will also be sensitive when
asking questions of them. Data on this can be obtained via the Embassy of
the country concerned (though this may take some time) or from the offices
of TRAFFIC at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge.
Familiarise self with likely fruits and flowers - visits to botanic gardens in
the UK and in the range country are essential for this. Take photos. Smell
things. Studies in the herbarium also help but it is a back-to-front approach (a
friend of mine once recognised a species only after having pressed it - for it
then resembled the one he had seen in Kew’s herbarium. Luckily it was quite
common).
Visit zoos to see target species - take photos (for use in interviews), and
familiarise yourself with the ‘jizz’ of the species. You may also wish to
record its calls at this point. International Zoo Yearbook publishes yearly
lists on which zoos have which primate species.
Think how you will publish your data - it may sound a bit premature,
doing this before you go. But it isn’t. Check journals to see what is in them,
look at their style and content. See what requires statistical tests and make
sure that you arrange your collection methods and data sheets to record data
in a way that is appropriate to these forms of analysis. Are you going to do
several short papers or one big one? - and who’s going to do what? This
should also help you clarify your division of fieldwork too. See Barnett,
(1994) for a guide to results publication (and Section 7.4).
Draw up data sheets - you don’t need to take out a full complement of these
(you can xerox them in the host country), but working out a standard sheet in
advance will at least give you something to modify from. If nothing else, it
will focus your mind on techniques and focus of data collection (see Raphael
& Maurer 1990 for discussions).
Check on import licences required for equipment - this can be done by
contacting the commercial section of the Embassy of the host country. The
Foreign Office may also be able to help. Such precautions may sound daft,
but it could save you a lot of time and grief in customs offices of the host
country, and what if the equipment impounded is vital? Proscribed items may
include electrical and optical gear (including cameras and binoculars). Be
careful.
Section Seven
EQUIPMENT
7.1 Equipment recommendations (field)
A basic day’s field kit is going to consist of the following: binoculars,
camera, spare film, note-book (or mini-tape recorder) and medical kit.
Optional extras are going to include collecting equipment (zip-lock bags for
faeces and fruits, plus plant press and insect collecting tubes) and sound
recording equipment (with spare batteries).
7.1.1 Data gathering equipment
Binoculars: binoculars are generally defined by two measurements, the
magnification and the width (in millimetres) of the light-gathering element.
So, for example, 8x30 means a magnification of eight times and end elements
of 30mm across. For monkey watching don’t take anything too big and bulky
- you are going to spend a lot of time holding these things up at odd angles,
so you don’t want them to be too heavy (so it’s probably best to gently refuse
the things your great-uncle used to spot U-boats on the North Atlantic
convoys). On the other hand you need to be able to see details (so farewell
great-auntie’s opera glasses). Also, beware of the consequences of the optical
ratio known as the Exit Pupil (magnification divided by lens diameter). As a
result of this, the image seen through a pair of 10x50’s, for example, will
appear darker than that seen through a pair of 8x50’s, which would make
them less useful at dawn and dusk and in darker parts of the canopy. So when
all is said and done, choose something between 8x30 and 10x50. Try to get
ones with a rubber-coating as this is more shock-resistant and is also better at
keeping moisture out of the optics and choose a compact model.
There are two main types of binoculars: the ‘Dach’ or roof prism type
with straight barrels and the Porro prism variety where the barrels are shaped
like this . All except the cheapest roof prism ones have internal focussing
(the optical elements moving back and forth within the barrel itself). This has
the advantage that they can be fully sealed and so are better proofed against
grunge, humidity and moisture. All Porro prism binoculars have a bridge
focussing mechanism where focussing is done by moving the eye pieces
themselves. Such a system cannot be sealed and so is more vulnerable to
invasion by vision-degrading nastyness (see also section 7.2.1).
A good, general guide to binoculars is The Infocus Equipment Guide to
Binoculars and Telescope (Craig, 1994), which lists the specifications, plus’
Expedition Field Techniques
and minus’ and requirements of all the types of binoculars and telescopes
currently sold in the UK. This guide is available from Infocus shops at: 8-10
Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 4UY (0171 839 1181) and
204 High Street, Barnet EN5 5SZ (0181 449 1445). The RSPB (The Lodge,
Sandy, Beds) also has very informative pamphlets on binoculars and
telescopes and on the care of optical equipment in the field (don’t forget to
make a donation).
Telescopes: If you are doing detailed study, or the animals are living in high
canopy (something about the nature of your study site you should try to find
out in advance), you may want the extra magnification afforded by a
telescope. See Craig (1994) for up-to-date recommendations and users’
guide, or call Infocus for advice. You will need a tripod for your telescope.
The one you choose depends on how big (and heavy) your telescope is.
Make sure you choose one with a good fluid head so that you can pan
smoothly. Slik, Manfrotto and Velbon are all good, robust and comparatively
cheap. Note that it is easier (and quicker) to set up a tripod if the leg-clamps
are of the ‘flick’ type (rather than the screw alternative). The RSPB guide on
telescopes includes information on tripods.
Camera: The plethora of varieties makes it difficult to offer advice (what
one person swears by another simply swears at). You had best take
something with interchangeable lenses (to get monkeys up in the trees and
close-ups of fruit). A metal shutter is reported to be better than a cloth one in
hot, humid conditions. Some makes have the circuitry coated with a fungusresistant resin, which prevents growth which could otherwise short out the
electrics. Choose a make which is well known. That way you stand a better
chance of getting it repaired in somewhere distant. Take a spare. You may
want to arrange with the rest of the team so that most of you have compatible
systems, so that you can at least swop lenses if the need arises or investigate
the possibility of z-rings. Jessops hotline (0116 313191) is a good source of
second-hand gear. Ring up and they will find if any of their shops have what
you require and they deliver free of charge to your nearest UK branch.
Nikon cameras are ranked the best, under moist conditions (tropical
forests). For good photographs you may need at least 400mm tele and good
sturdy tripod to support it. To check shake, you may need a shutter-release
cord. Many field primatologists feel that it is best to take cameras with both
shutters and aperture priorities and both manual and auto features.
Cap-keepers are a cunning combination of sticky bit, thread and elastic
band, which should stop you losing your lens cap. If you are absent-minded,
a piece of orange marker tape tied to your camera strap should increase your
chances of finding it again after you’ve “put it down ... somewhere around
here ... I’m sure it was”.
You may find a shoulder pod or rifle grip useful if you are going to use a
long or heavy lens to photograph monkeys in the treetops. A small tripod, or
groundspike is almost essential when photographing material on the forest
floor or when doing close-up work. One of the most robust and versatile
tripods is the Benbo Trekker. (Benbo’s suppliers are Patterson Photax Group,
Unit 5B, Vaughan Trading Estate, Sedgeley Road East, Tipton, West
Midlands DY4 7UJ - but most good photographic shops also stock them).
Useful hints on wildlife photography are given in Breen (1992), Campbell
(1990) and Shaw (1984, 1988). Shaw (1984) is also good on equipment care.
A padded camera bag is a good idea. Ones with a waist-strap leave your
hands free and you can store other bits of gear in them too. Be careful not to
leave stuff in them overnight if you got caught in a heavy rain shower, (not
unless you wish to change your project title to ‘measurements of the rate of
fungal growth on irreplaceable optical equipment in the tropics’).
Spare film: Though slide film (‘crome’) is used most frequently, some
people also take a second camera loaded with print film (‘colour’). Either
way because the forest is quite dark you will want high ASA film (200
minimum and probably some 400 as well). This also lets you use telephoto
lenses on moving animals. The problem with this is that fast films can be
more sensitive to heat. Note: because of the way slide films are made, Kodak
Kodachrome is more resistant to heat exposure over long periods than E6type films (like Fuji and Kodak Echtachrome), though the differences only
become apparent after several months in the tropics.
Note-book (or mini-tape recorder): Keeping the note books dry. Few
things are more annoying than trying to jot down vital observations on the
pages of a soggy notebook. In camp, store the books in a dry place and
expose them to the sun whenever possible. In the field keep them in a plastic
bag or a zip-lock bag (available at W.H. Smiths!). If its big enough you
should be able to write inside it even in the wet. Plastic map cases can also
serve in this regard, with the added advantage of a neck-string.
For the standard contact information you may want to make-out standard
forms in advance to minimize the chance that you forget something. As with
your data book, these can be water-proofed by spraying them with a siliconebased waterproofing agent. (Note: the one called ‘MapDry’ is reported not to
be all that good).
Expedition Field Techniques
Remember, only make your notes in pencil or India ink. It is no fun at all
to watch spilt alcohol make a chromatogram of several months of notes, all
carefully written out in biro.
For recording of a fast-changing situation (such as when you are
observing a large troop in some complex interaction), a small Dictaphonelike portable recorder is hard to beat. Apart from initial cost and the life of
the batteries, the only limit is tape time, which for many makes is between 30
and 60 minutes (special microtapes are used). However, some makes have a
tape counter, so you can work out when the tape is going to run out. They are
quite robust, but be careful about humidity effects (keep the thing overnight
in a box with silica-gel). Some of the Dictaphones available are voice
activated (avoiding the possibly disturbing ‘click’ of manual activation), and
some can take a small microphone. Most weigh less than 40 grammes and
cost between £35 and £50 (in early 1995).
A good combination is to use a note-book for regular data and a
Dictaphone for behavioural stuff. Remember to transcribe the Dictaphone
notes each night, or you’ll find yourself taping over previous work and losing
it.
7.1.2 Collecting equipment
Fruit and faeces: is best collected and stored in strong plastic bags (and
either sealed with a tag or, better still, use a self-sealing zip-lock bag). You
may wish to photograph the material in situ. Remember to include a scale
and a collection number.
Sampling from the canopy: secateurs are useful for trimming a sample, but
unlikely to give you the reach you initially require. A pruning hook (on a
long pole), long-arm trimmer (the kind where the blade is pulled by a cord)
give access to medium heights. For very tall canopies you may need to shoot
down a specimen with a small bore rifle or (rather less politically suspect)
use a crossbow and line (the line may have a commando saw added) - (see
Munn, 1991 and references therein for practical hints).
Direct sampling can be achieved by climbing into the canopy. But, be
warned, tropical tree-climbing is a specialist pursuit and requires prior
knowledge and the right equipment. Merrist Wood College (Worpleston,
Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PE, 01483 232424) runs a tree-climbing course.
Mitchell (1982) provides practical hints.
Plant Presses: these are effectively botanical sandwiches, with two boards as
the bread and a layered filling of newspaper with inserted plants, all bound
round with straps.
Each board need be only a little larger than a broadsheet newspaper
folded in half. They can be of either rim-strengthened wire mesh or of wood
(3- or 5-ply) into which several large holes have been bored. Old belts make
fine straps. Newspapers are used to dry specimens. Make sure you have a
large number (as you will need to change them regularly to fully dry
specimens out). Keep spare newspapers dry by storing them in sealed plastic
bags with silica gel packets.
7.1.3 Sound-recording equipment
The Sony Professional tape recorder, a gun (directional) microphone and a
parabolic reflector are the basic kit. For details see Ranft (1992).
Wildsound (Cross Street, Salthouse, Norfolk NR25 7XB) is a good source of
advice on equipment and stocks a wide range of sound-recording gear.
7.2 Equipment recommendations (base)
7.2.1 Preserving optics
The major enemies are fungus and moisture. You can keep your optics happy
by (i) keeping them in containers with fabric bags of silica gel, (ii) leaving
them in the hot sun for a bit, to kill the fungus (lenses only for cameras, or
take the film out first), (iii) buying binoculars filled with nitrogen (though
these are generally top of the range ones and rather expensive). For further
information see Shaw (1984) and tips in Fjelksdå & Krabbe (1990).
With binnoculars you are likely to see two levels of impermiability being
sold. “Rainproof”, where rubberised seals (‘o’ rings) should keep water out if
the binoculars get wet, and “waterproof”. The second type are totally sealed
and should be capable of total immersion with no ill-effects (see also 7.1.1.).
Even so, play safe and submit them to regular doses of (i) and (ii) anyway.
7.2.2 Preserving film
Keep the film as cool as possible and keep moisture off with silica gel bags.
As with optical equipment you should use silica gel which is contained in
bags (less messy, less scratchy). The bags should be of fabric, not plastic (so
as the moist air can get to the crystals). Use the kind which change colour
when they have reached critical moisture level, then dry them out and re-use.
Expedition Field Techniques
Termites and leaf-cutter ants sometimes attack film and notes. It is worth
protecting your material against them, as it is not amusing to see your
precious store of Fuji being converted into little parasols and carried off
down a jungle track. Either keep everything in sealed plastic containers or
use moth balls (the latter with discretion as I’ve heard that it can harm higher
ASA film).
7.2.3 Preserving tapes & tape recorders
Spool and cassette tapes are robust and not generally effected by humidity.
DAT technology does suffer though and may need to be placed in a box with
bagged silica gel when not in use. See also Ranft (1992).
7.2.4 Keeping notes (and making multiple copies)
Never trust to memory, always make notes on site or record your
observations as they happen. Then write these up neatly back at base in the
evening. Also never trust to luck, always make copies of your neat set and
keep the two sets separate. Ideally send one set back to the UK in parts as the
opportunities present themselves and deposit another set at another safe (nonfield) location. Be paranoid about your data - lose it and the trip has been just
a holiday. Remember too that your field notes should be capable of being
understood one hundred years from now by someone whose first language is
not English. So, avoid colloquialisms too. Don’t get in to the habit of using
abbreviations (unless you keep a fully explained list of what they mean). It is
amazing how incomprehensible “WLM, FD, SLK” can appear after a gap of
several months.
For the kind of subsidiary notes it is worth taking, check the additional
data which accompanies observational papers. These are often the short
papers in the ‘notes’ section of a journal.
7.3 Labelling and storing specimens
For botanical specimens probably the best guide to the whole field is Forman
& Bridson (1989) (also, check the references in Hicks & Hicks, 1978),
however a few pointers follow.
If you are collecting botanical material, familiarise yourself with the
botanical terms which are used to describe plant parts. They are a very useful
shorthand (and you’ll probably have to get a handle on them anyway at some
point in order to understand the botanical keys you may well be called upon
to use in order to identify the material you have collected). A good
introduction to this terminology can be found in the glossary at the back of
the Excursion Flora of the British Isles (by Clapham, Tutin & Warburg).
If you are pressing leaves and flowers make sure you log a written
description of them first before you press them. Describe anything which
might change when the parts are dried, especially shape, colour and texture.
Record smells too. Labelling specimens is vital. Use a simple sequential
numbering system (things like 47i/B-j may make sense at the time, but the
subtleties can be lost later and can be hell for anyone else who has to try and
make sense of your material, especially as stuff tends to get dispersed in a
herbarium anyway).
Fruit can’t generally be pressed, but can be dried or pickled in alcohol.
When this is done, the colours and the shape often go, so you’ll need to
record these before you douse them. Photographs (with a size gauge) also
help.
You may wish to supplement your written records with photographs. If
you do, make sure you make assiduous notes as to which specimen number
you are photographing on what film.
Preserving material for biochemical analysis is more complex than saving
it to be identified later. Methods obviously depend on what chemicals you
are going to look at later. Those interested in tannins, alkaloids and fibre
content should see Barton et al. (1993). For pigments, amino acids, total
nitrogen, phenols and others, the references in Hulme (1971) provide a good
introduction to older (and generally simpler) techniques. Other useful
information sources are Horticultural Abstracts and Chemical Abstracts
If you are saving dung then dry the material well, either heated (gently),
or by drying it in hot (heated) sand. Bag it up well and keep it with silica gel.
You cannot wet preserve this kind of material.
If you are collecting fungi then check the references and techniques in
Ainsworth et al. (1973), Courtecuisse (1991) and Hawksworth (1974). If you
are collecting insects then see Cogan & Smith (1974), Martin (1977) for
preservation methods.
7.4 Publications
For a general guideline to the publishing of data from expeditions in
scientific journals, see Barnett (1994), and Day (1995).
Expedition Field Techniques
Remember, keep the title of your paper as obvious as possible. When
people are scanning the literature it is most helpful if the paper’s title
provides a clear idea of what it is about. An obscure title may mean your
work is passed-over (see the reference section of this booklet as proof).
Section Eight
APPENDICES
Sources & resources
Conservation Grants for Primates
Grants (for conservation-related work only) are available from the Primate
Society of Great Britain. See Primate Eye No. 44: 13, 1991 for details,
addresses and restrictions.
Check current issues of the journals, especially African Primates, Asian
Primates, Neotropical Primates, Primate Conservation and Primate Eye.
Deciding where to do your work
In 1993 the Organization of Tropical Studies (Tyson Research Centre,
Washington University PO Box 258, Eureka, Missouri 63025, USA)
published a Guide to Biological Field Stations: directory of members, which
lists 150 biological stations throughout North America, Central America,
Mexico and the Caribbean.
Every other year the Primate Society of Great Britain (website
www.ana.ed.ac.uk/PSGB/) publishes a supplement to their journal Primate
Eye which lists current field research activities of its members throughout the
world. The supplement gives subjects, contact addresses and is organised on
a country-by-country basis. Copies may be obtained from Dr. Hannah
Buchanan-Smith, Hon. Secretary, PSGB, Department of Psychology,
University of Stirling FK9 4LA , cost £5 (cheques made payable to PSGB)
For those with access to the internet The International Directory of
Primatology (IDP) provides a convenient Internet source of information
about organisations, field studies, population management, information
resources and people active in the field of primatology. The International
Directory of Primatology is an on-line publication of the Wisconsin Regional
Primate Research Center (website: http://www.primate.wisc.edu/pin/idp/).
Conservation priorities for various areas of the world, for species and
countries are to be found in the appropriate IUCN/SSC Action Plan for the
area in question. These are listed elsewhere in the appendix section.
Expedition Field Techniques
A major source of information for conservation expeditions, is the
WCMC, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge but (they plead) do not expect
them to do the donkey work for you - they are generally happy to assist with
sensible and thoroughly researched enquiries about rare and endangered
species, conservation priorities and protected areas, but don’t have the time
or resources to choose or organise a project for you.
The Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Centre hosts an information
exchange on e-mail, called ‘Primate Talk’. This may also be a source of help
and information (see African Primates 1(1):24, 1995 for further information
on this service).
Collections of skins and skulls
The largest is at the Mammal Section, of the Natural History Museum, South
Kensington, London. (You cannot just turn up, but must phone to make an
appointment). Local and college museums may also hold material (data on
this may well be contained in taxonomic reviews which generally list the
provenance of all known specimens of a species).
Information on TRAFFIC, CITES and Protected areas.
As mentioned before there is no real reason why you should need specimens
of primates. But just in case ...
The international movement of species which appear in the Red Data
Books (and some which do not) is controlled under CITES (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species). If you attempt to bring out a
specimen (or parts) of such a species, the specimen(s) will be confiscated,
you will be fined and future reputations will be sullied. Without an
accompanying CITES permit your specimen is also very unlikely to be taken
by a museum.
Regulations change, so check the latest requirments at the Department of
the Environment, Wildlife Trade Licensing Branch, Room 822, Tollgate
House, Houlton Street, Bristol BS2 9DJ (0117 9878691).
In addition to a CITES certificate, customs (at both ends) will require a
certificate stating any animal specimens you have are free from infectious
diseases. This is also likely to be true for faeces and parts (like stomach
contents). Plants will require a phytosanitary certificate. Make sure you allow
time to get such documentation before you leave your host country (several
days, probably).
Data on phytosanitary requirements can be obtained from Plant Health
Division, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Foods, Kings Pool, 1-2
Peasholme Green, York Y01 2PX.
International trade in CITES-listed species is monitored by TRAFFIC (at
the World Conservation Monitoring Centre [WCMC], 219c Huntingdon
Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL, 01223 277314).
Data on national parks can be obtained from the Protected Areas Data
Unit, WCMC, Cambridge (see above). Using their data the WCMC and
IUCN also published:
• The UN List of National Parks and Protected Areas (1993).
• Protected Areas of the World: volume I: Indo-Malaya, Oceania,
Australia and Antarctica; volume 3: Afro-tropical region; volume 4:
Nearctic and Neotropical. (all 1991).
Another useful trilogy is the Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: Asia
and the Pacific (1991 - edited by N.M. Collins, J.A. Sayer & T.C.
Whitmore); Africa (1992 - edited by J.A. Sayer, C.S. Harcourt & N.M.
Collins) and Latin America (due out late 1995/early 1996).
All of the above are available from the Publications Unit at the WCMC,
Cambridge. Good libraries should have them or be able to get them. It is
probably best to check these for data on your proposed site before bothering
the busy PADU people with any queries you might have.
Libraries
(Just a list of suggestions - not an exclusive or exhaustive list).
Extensive resources of zoological literature can be found at the following:
• Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
• Science Reference Library, Kean Street, London WC2B 4AT
• Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY
Ethnographic material is available from:
• The Museum of Mankind Library, 8 Burlington Gds, London W1X 2EX
• School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, Thornhaugh
Street, Russell Square, London WClH OXG
• Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Society, 2 Belgrave Square, London SW1 8PJ
Expedition Field Techniques
Check your local libraries too. Your local librarian may well be able to
arrange the loan of certain materials.
List of source books for regions and countries
Central America (including Mexico)
Alvarez Del Toro, M. (1977). Los Mamíferos de Chiapas. Universidad
Autónoma de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.
Janzen, D.H. (ed), (1983). Costa Rican Natural History. University of
Chicago Press
South America
Emmons, L.H. (1990). Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: a field guide.
University Chicago Press, Chicago
Eisenberg, J.F. (1990). Mammals of the Neotropics: the northern neotropics
Vol.1: Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French
Guyana. University Chicago Press.
Kleiman, D.G. (ed), (1977). The Biology of Conservation of the
Callitrichidae. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
Mittermeier, R.A. et al. (eds), (1981 & 1988). Ecology and Behaviour of
Neotropical Primates. volumes I and II. WWF-US and others.
Moynihan, M. (1976). The New World Primates: adaptive radiation and
evolution of social behaviours, languages, intelligence. Princeton
University Press, Princeton.
Terbourgh, J. (1983). Five New World Primates: a study in comparitive
ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Africa
Altmann, S.A. & Altmann, J. (1970). Baboon Ecology: African field
research. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Charles-Dominique, P. (1977). Ecology and Behaviour of Nocturnal
Primates: prosimians of Equatorial Africa. Duckworth, London.
Dekeyser, P.L. (1955). Les Mammiferes de L’Afrique Francaise. IFAN,
Dakar.
Gautier-Hion, A., Bourliere, F., Gautier, J-P & Kingdon, J. (1988). A
Primate Radiation: evolutionary biology of the African guenons.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Haltendorth, T & Diller, H. (1990). A field-guide to the Mammals of Africa,
including Madagascar. Collins, London.
Oates, J.F. (1994). Africa’s primates in 1992: conservation issues and
options. American Journal of Primatology 34: 61-71.
Peters, C.R., O’Brien, E.M. & Drummond, R.B. (1992). Edible wild plants of
sub-saharan Africa. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Rode, O. (1937). Les Primates de l’Afrique. Publications du comite d’etudes
historiques et scientifiques de l’Afrique Occidental Francaise, Paris. (has
useful illustrations of hands and skulls).
Stuart, C & Stuart, T (1995) 2nd edition. A field guide to the mammals of
Southern Africa. New Holland
Swynnerton, G.H. & Hayman, R.W. (1951). A checklist of the land
mammals of the Tanganyika Territory and the Zanzibar Protectorate.
Journal of the East African Natural History Society 20: 274-392.
Zucker, E.L. (ed), (1987). Comparitive Behaviour of African Monkeys.
Monographs in Primatology No. 10. Alan R. Liss, New York.
Madagascar
Charles-Dominique, P., Cooper, H.M., Hladik, A., Hladik, C.M., Pages, E.,
Pariente, G.F., Petter-Rousseaux, A., Petter, J.J. & Schilling, A.(eds),
(1980). Nocturnal Malagasy Primates: ecology, physiology and
behaviour. Academic Press, New York.
Kappeler, P.M. & Ganzhorn, J.U. (eds) (1993). Lemur Social Systems and
their Ecological Basis. Plenum Press, New York & London.
Petter, J-J., Albignac, R. & Rumpler, Y. (1977). Faune de Madagascar. 44.
Mamimmiferes lemuriens. O.R.S.T.R.O.M., Paris.
Tattershall, I. (1982). The Primates of Madagascar. Colombia University
Press, New York.
Tattershall, I. & Sussman, R.W. (eds) (1975). Lemur Biology, Plenum Press,
London and New York.
India
Prater, S.H. (1990). The Book of Indian Mammals. Bombay Natural History
Society, Bombay.
South East Asia
Allen, G.M. (1938). Mammals of China and Mongolia. American Museum
of Natural History, Washington DC.
Chivers D.J. (1980). Malaysian Forest Primates: 10 years in Tropical
Rainforest. Plenum Press, New York.
Corbett, G.B. & Hill, J. E. (1992). Mammals of the Indo Malay Region.
Natural History Museum Publications, London.
Expedition Field Techniques
Harrison, J. (1974). An Introduction to the Mammals of Singapore and
Malaya. Malayan Nature Society, Singapore branch.
Jones, G. S. & Jones, D.B. A Bibliography of the Land Mammals of SE Asia,
1699-1969. Department Entomology, Bernice P. Bishop Museum,
Honolulu, Hawaii. Special publication.
Le Kagul, B & McNeely, J.A. (1988). Mammals of Thailand. Sara Karn
Bhaet Co & Darnsutha Press, Bangkok. Second Edition.
Lindburg, B.G. (ed), (1990). The Macaques: studies in ecology, behaviour
and evolution. Van Nostrand Reinhold, Amsterdam.
Medway, L. Wild Mammals of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and
Singapore. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Niemitz, C. (1984). Biology of Tarsiers. Gustav Fisher Verlag, New York.
Nisbett, R.A. & Clochon, R.L. (1993). Primates in northern Vietnam: a
review of the ecology and conservation status of extant species, with
notes on Pleistocene localities. International Journal of Primatology 14:
765-795.
Roonwal, M.L. & Mohnot, S.M. (1977). Primates of South-east Asia:
ecology, sociobiology and behaviour, Harvard University Press,
Massachusetts.
Van Peenen, P.F.D., Ryan, P.F. & Light, R.H. (1969). Preliminary
Identification Manual for the Mammals of South Vietnam. United States
National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Books with a broader-base
Benirschke, K. (ed), (1986). Primates: the road to self-sustaining
populations. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Bemant, G. & Lindberg, D.G. (eds), (1975). Primate Utilization and
Conservation. John Wiley & Co., New York.
Chalmers, N. (1979). Social Behaviour in Primates. Edward Arnold,
London.
Chance, M.R.A. & Jolly, C.J. (1970). Social Groups of Monkeys, Apes and
Men. Jonathon Cape, London.
Hill, W.C.O. (1953-1970). The Primates: comparative anatomy and
taxonomy. Edinburgh University Press. 8 volumes.
Fleagle, J.G. (1988). Primates: adaptation and evolution. Academic Press,
London.
Kavanah, M, (1983). A Complete Guide to Monkeys, Apes and other
Primates. Jonathon Cape, London.
Lovett, J.C. & Wasser, S.K. (eds) (1993). Biogeography and ecology of the
rain forests of eastern Africa. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Marsh, C.W. & Mittermeier, R.A. (eds), (1977). Primate Conservation in the
tropical Rainforest. Monographs in Primatology No. 9. Alan R. Liss,
New York.
Martin, C. (1991). The rainforests of West Africa: ecology, threats and
conservation. Birkhauser, London.
Mitchell, G. & Erwin, J. (eds), (1986). Comparitive Primate Biology, Volume
2A: behaviour, conservation and ecology. Alan R. Liss, New York.
Mitchell, R.P. & Crook, J.H. (1973). Comparitive Ecology of Behaviour of
Primates. Academic Press, London.
Napier, J.P. & Napier, P.H.
(1967). A Handbook of Living Primates. Academic Press, London.
(1970). Old World Monkeys: evolution, systematics and behaviour.
Academic Press, London.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco & Bourne, G.H. (eds), (1977). Primate
Conservation. Academic Press, London.
Roonwal, M.L., Mohnot, S.M., & Rathore, N.S. (eds), (1984). Current
Primate Researches. University of Johdpur Press, India.
Smuts et al. (1987). Primate Societies. University of Chicago Press.
Sussman, R.W. (1979). Primate Ecology: problem-orientated field studies.
John Wiley & Sons, London.
Whitten, A. & Widdowson, E.M.(eds), (1992). Foraging Strategies and
Natural Diet of Monkeys, Apes and Men. Oxford Scientific Publications,
Oxford.
List of the IUCN/Species Survival Commission’s
Action Plans for each geographical area and the Red
Data Books.
Lemurs of Madagascar: an action plan for their conservation, 1993-1999.
Mittermeier, R.A. et al. (1992). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Action Plan for Asian Primate Conservation, 1987-1991. Eudey, A.A.
(complier), (1987). UNEP, Paris. (update being prepared). See African
Primates 1(1):25, 1995. Oates, (1994) provides a good interim report.
Action Plan for African Primate Conservation. Oates, J., 1986. IUCN,
Gland. (update being prepared).
Neotropics - one is in the process of being prepared.
Red Data Books
Fitter, R. & Fitter, M. (1987). The Road to Extinction: problems of
catagorizing the status of taxa threatened with extinction. IUCN, Gland.
Expedition Field Techniques
Harcourt, C. & Thornback, J. (1990). Lemurs of Madagascar and the
Comores - the IUCN Red Data Book. IUCN, Gland.
Lee, P.C. & Thornback, J. (1988). Threatened Primates of Africa. The IUCN
Red Data Book. IUCN, Gland.
Thornback, J. & Jenkins, M. (1982). The IUCN Mammal Red Data Book.
IUCN, Gland.
Note: The IUCN has directories for protected areas in each major
biogeographic region, and the IUCN Environmental Policy and Law
Ocassional Series updates on Wildlife Law.
List of Useful Journals
Primates only - mostly fieldwork:
African Primates
American Journal of Primatology
Asian Primates
Australian Primatology
Current Primate References
Folia Primatologica
International Journal of Primatology
Lemur News
Neotropical Primates
Primate Conservation
Primate Eye
Primate News
Primates
Proceedings of the International Congress on Primatology
Primates only - mostly overviews, lab-based work and theoretical
stuff:
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Annual Review of Anthropology
Comparative Primate Biology
Journal of Human Evolution
Human Evolution
International Journal of Anthropology
Laboratory Primate Newsletter
Primate Research
Studies in Physical Anthropology
Studies of Human Ecology
Yearbook of Physical Anthropology
Mostly humans, but some other primates too - mostly overviews,
evolution and theoretical stuff:
Annals of Human Biology
Anthropologischer Anzinger
American Journal of Human Biology
Homo
Human Biology
Expedition Field Techniques
Man
Zeitschrift fur Morphologie und Anthropologie
Mammals (all mammals, but including primates):
Acta Theriologica
Current Mammalogy
Hysterix
Journal of Mammalogy
Mammalia
Mammalian Species
Mammal Review
Mastozoologia Neotropical
Saugetierkundliche Mitteilungen
Zeitschrift für Saugetierkund
Zoologische Mededelingen
Other useful journals which deal exclusively with tropical stuff or
have a high content of tropical-based papers
Acta Amazonica
Acta Biologica Venezuelica
African Journal of Ecology
African Wildlife
American Naturalist
Biological Conservation
Biotropica
Bulletin, Institut Française d’Afrique Noir (replaced by Bulletin, Institut
Fondamental d’Afrique Noir)
Conservation Biology
Journal of African Zoology (formerly African Review of Zoology/Revue de
Zoologie Africaine).
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society
Journal of the East African Natural History Society
Journal of Tropical Ecology
Journal of Tropical Zoology
Journal of Zoology, London
Malayan Nature Journal
Nigerian Field
Oryx
Records of the Zoological Survey of India
Spixiania
Studies in Neotropical Fauna and Environment
Tropical Biodiversity
Tropical Biology
Vida Silvestre Neotropical
Miscellania
Wilson & Reeder (1993) Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and
geographic reference, (Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington) is generally
accepted as the universal taxonomic authority. Make sure the designations
and appellations for your genera, species and sub-species agree with it,
otherwise you will find your work less well regarded and work submitted for
publication will come back for tedious correction.
Zoological Record: invaluable for a literature search, goes back to 1864, lists
things by country, topic, author, genus and species. Updated yearly. Now on
CD-ROM (where it goes back to 1978 and is updated quarterly).
Current Primate References: started in 1973 and updated monthly. As
Zoological Record is published about 2 years behind, CPR is essential if you
want to keep up-to-date with the massive literature on primates.
Note: some journals, like Neotropical Primates, also publish a list of current
publications on species and topics appropriate to their geographical area.
List of taxonomic literature for primates
Note: this list is not exhaustive, does not cover all primate genera (many of
which do not have a recent revision), and does not generally deal with subspecies.
Coimbra-Filho, A.F. (1990). Sistematica, distribucão geographica e situacão
atual dos simios Brasilieros (Platyrrhini-Primates). Revista Brasiliera de
Biologia 50: 1063-1079.
Cronin, J.E. & Meikle, W.E. (1979). The phylogenetic position of
Theropithecus: congruence among molecular, morphological and
paleontological evidence. Systematic Zoology 28: 259-269.
Dandelot, P. (1974). Order primates, part 3. Pp. 1-45 in The Mammals of
Africa: an identification manual, Meester, J. & Setzer, H.W. (eds).
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC.
Fooden, J., Quong, G-Q, Wang ,Z-R. & Wang, Y-X (1985). The stumptailed
macaques of China. American Journal of Primatology 8: 11-30.
Expedition Field Techniques
Groves, C.P.,
(1970). The forgotten leaf-eaters, and the phylogeny of the Colobinae.
Pp. 555-587 in Old World Monkeys: evolution, systematics and
behaviour JR Napier and PH Napier (eds). Academic Press, London.
(1971). Systematics of the genus Nycticebus. Proceedings of the 3rd
International Congress of Primatology 1: 44-53.
(1972). Systematics and phylogeny of gibbons. Pp. 1-89 in Gibbon and
Siamang: evolution, ecology, behaviour and captive maintenance.
Rumbaugh, D.M. (ed). Karger, S. New York.
(1974). Taxonomy and phylogeny of prosiminans. Pp. 449-473. in
Prosimian Biology, Martin, R.D., Doyle, G.A. & Walker, A.C. (eds).
Duckworth & Co., London.
(1978a). A note on nomenclature and taxonomy in the Lemuridae.
Mammalia 42: 131-132.
(1978b). Phylogenetic and population systematics of mangabeys
(Primates: Cecropithecoidea). Primates 19: 1-34.
(1989). A Theory of Human and Primate Evolution. Oxford University
Press.
Groves, C.P. & Eaglan, H. (1988). Systematics of the Lemuridae (Primates,
Strepsirhini). Journal of Human Evolution 17: 513-538.
Groves, C.P. & Tattershall, I. (1991). Geographical variation in the forkmarked lemur, Phaner furcifer (Primates, Cheirogaleidae). Folia
Primatologia 56: 39-49.
Groves ,C.P. & Wang, Y-X (1990). The gibbons of the subgenus Nomascus
(Primates, Mammalia). Zoological Research 11: 147-154.
Grubb, P. (1973). Distribution, divergence and speciation of the drill and
mandrill. Folia Primatologia 20: 161-177.
Hershkovitz, P.,
(1977). Living New World Monkeys (Platyrrhini) volume 1. Chicago
University Press, Chicago.
(1979). The species of sakis, genus Pithecia, with notes on sexual
dichromism. Folia Primatologia 31: 1-22.
(1983). Two new species of night monkeys, genus Aotus (Cebidae,
Platyrrhini): a preliminary report on Aotus taxonomy. American Journal
of Primatology 4: 209-243.
(1984). Taxonomy of squirrel monkeys, genus Saimiri (Cebidae,
Platyrrhini): a preliminary report with a description of a hitherto unnamed
form. American Journal of Primatology 7: 155-210.
(1985). A preliminary taxonomic review of the South American bearded
saki monkeys, genus Chiropotes, with a description of a new subspecies.
Fieldiana, Zoology (new series) 27: 1-46.
(1987a). Uacaries, New World monkeys of the genus Cacajao: a
preliminary taxonomic review with the description of a new sub-species.
American Journal of Primatology 12: 1-53.
(1987b). A taxonomy of the South American sakis, genus Pithecia: a
preliminary report and critical review with the description of a new
species and subspecies. American Journal of Primatology 12: 387-468.
(1988). Origin, speciation and distribution of South American Titi
Monkeys, Genus Callicebus (cebidae, platyrrhini). Proceedings of the
Academy of Natural Science, Philladelphia 140: 240-272.
(1990). Titis, New World monkeys of the genus Callicebus (Cebidae,
Platyrrhini): a preliminary taxonomic review. Fieldiana, Zoology (new
series) 55: 1-109.
Hooijer, D.A. (1962). Quaternary langurs and macaques from the Malay
Archipago. Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 55: 1-64.
Jablonski, N.G. (1995) The phyletic position and systematics of the Douc
Langurs of Southeast Asia. American Journal of Primatology 35: 185205.
Kimbel, W.H. & Martin, L.B. (eds) (1993). Species concepts and Primate
Evolution. Plenum, New York.
Marshall, J.T. & Sugardjito, J. (1986). Gibbon systematics. Comparative
Primate Biology 1: 137-185.
Mittermeier, R.A.; Rylands, A.B. & Coimbra-Ficmo, A. (1988). Systematics:
species and subspecies - an update. In Mittermeier et al. Ecology and
behaviour of Neotropical Primates, pp13-75, vol 2. WWF, US.
Napier, J.R. & Napier, P.H. (1976, 1981, 1985). Catalogue of Primates in the
British Museum (Natural History), London:
Part 1: Families callitrichidae and cebidae
Part 2: Family cercopithecidae (sub-family cercopithecinae)
Part 3: Family cercopithecidae (sub-family colobinae)
Nash, L.T., Bearder, S.K., & Olson, T.R. (1989). Synopsis of Galago species
characteristics. International Journal of Primatology 10: 57-79.
Natori, M. (1988). A cladistic analysis of interspecific relationships of
Saguinus. Primates 29: 263-276.
Petter, J-J & Petter-Rousseaux, A. (1979). Classification of the prosimians.
Pp. 1-44 in The Study of Prosimian Behaviour GA Doyle and RD Martin
(eds). Academic Press, London.
Petter, J-J., Albignac, R. & Rumpler, Y (1977). Faune de Madagascar. 44.
Mamifères lemuriens. O.R.S.T.R.O.M., Paris.
Expedition Field Techniques
Rahm, U. (1970). Ecology, zoogeography and systematics of some African
forest monkeys. Pp. 5911-626 in Old World Monkeys J.R. Napier & P.H.
Napier (eds). Academic Press, London.
Rosenberger, A.L. & Coimbra-Filho, A.F. (1984). Morphology, taxonomic
status and affinities of the lion tamarins, Leotopithecus (Callitrichinae,
Cebidae). Folia Primatologia 42: 149-179.
Szalay, F.S. & Delson, E. (1979). Evolutionary History of the Primates.
Academic Press, New York.
Thorington, R.W. & Groves, C.P. (1970). An annotated classification of the
Cercopithecoidea. Pp. 629-647 in Old World Monkeys J.R. Napier and
P.H. Napier. Academic Press, London.
Van Gelger R.C. (1977). Mammalian hybrids and generic limits. American
Museum Novitates No. 2635: 1-25.
Weitzel, V.M. & Groves, C.P. (1985). The nomenclature and taxonomy of
the colobine monkeys of Java. International Journal of Primatology 6:
399-409.
Yanzhang, P. & Pan, R. (1994). Systematic classification of Asian colobines.
Human Evolution 9: 25-33.
Checklist of essential equipment
(Note: Suppliers for these and other pieces of equipment can be found in
Barnett & Dutton, 1995).
Basic fieldwork Mapping
Camera Compass
Small medical kit Machete/parang
Torch + spare batteries Map
Waterbottle Medical kit
Binoculars Poles
Penknife Rangefinder
Map Surveyors’ tape
Machete/parang Tape Measure
Watch Waterbottle
Compass Diameter tape
Stopwatch Clinometer
Notebook & pencil/dictaphone Altimeter
Trail markers
Plant Collecting and Identification
Alcohol (in plastic bottle)
Cardboard sheets
Colour chart
Corrugated Aluminium
Flora and Keys
Handlens
Labels
Newspapers + blotting paper for dried specimens
Pencils
Plant press + long straps
Plastic bags including large ones for transporting press
Ruler/Callipers
Scales
Tree tags
Photocopies of all important documents like passports etc.
Expedition Field Techniques
Sample questionnaire
Used by Da Cunha & Barnett (1989) in a survey of the golden-backed uacari
on the Rio Negro, Brazil. (all questions originally in Portuguese)
General Section
date locality time
name of interviewer
name of interviewees (with age & occupation)
other informants present?
how long have you lived here?
have you been anywhere else (why, when)?
community details?
how many people live here?
how many adult males?
how many women?
is there a school (with a teacher)?
what is taught?
do only some of the men and women hunt (how many)?
food resources?
what are your major food sources?
do you raise domestic animals (how many of each type do you have)?
on what types of occasions do you eat your domestic animals?
do the domestic animals belong to the community or to individuals?
do agricultural products belong to the community or to individuals?
is hunted meat shared by the community?
is fish shared by the community?
are any products externally commercialised (what)?
do you have firearms (what types, how many)?
how much does a bullet cost?
is this expensive?
what equipment do you use for hunting?
what equipment do you use for fishing?
special hunting methods
regularity of hunting
distanced ranged while on hunting trips
preferred areas
General Primate Section
what monkeys do you know from around here?
what are their indigenous names?
do any occur only in one place or on one side of the river?
when do you see monkeys with babies?
what do they eat?
do you ever see different types of monkey together (which)?
which types are most frequent in the area?
the monkeys that live in the area, are they amongst these photographs?
do you know about any of these monkeys being kept in captivity in this
area?
do monkeys raid crops (when, which species, is it a serious problem,
what do you do about it)?
General Animal Section
what other animals occur in this area [use local names if poss.]?
what 3 animals do you hunt most frequently?
do you keep or sell any of the skins?
what animals do you use for fishbait?
apart from food and bait, do you use any other part of the hunted animals
for any other purpose?
Uacari section
what does the uacari look like?
what part of the year do you see it, or see it most frequently?
in what type of vegetation?
how often do you see them?
how many animals together?
how many animals are there in a howler monkey group?
in what month do you see them with babies?
how many babies does a female have?
at what height in the trees or vegetation do you see uacaris?
do you know if they move to other areas at other times of the year?
what do uacaris eat?
Expedition Field Techniques
do you now see this monkey less often, more often or as often as you did
in the past
do you hunt this monkey (how often, to eat, for bait, other )?
Miscellania
are there any animals which, for some reason, you will not hunt to eat?
do you think there are now more, less or about the same numbers of
animals in the region as there used to be (why)?
time interview finished
Summary of how to do a daily field study of primates
1. Locate group - be in forest by dawn; listen for sound of falling
faeces/urine; listen/look for movements in canopy; listen for calls - reach
source quickly and quietly.
2. Follow group - as quietly as possible, but quickly. They must get used to
noises below - this is part of habituation process. They have regular
pathways around their territory with clear boundaries. You learn this on the
ground, building up a picture of where they/you go.
(i) map route taken, according to trail locations and distinctive and/or
numbered trees, which should be added to the map. You need to take lots of
copies of the map of study area, so that you can use one each day (or group
of days) and add to it various things.
(ii) record activity (and weather, location, tree use, etc.) at 10-minute
intervals. Best to supplement continuous notes by time, with check sheets to
sample behaviour - again best to take numerous copies.
Examples of fieldwork sheets
Expedition Field Techniques
Example of data
sheet
Expedition Field Techniques
Section Nine
REFERENCES
AGORAMOORTHY, G. (1989). A survey of rainforest primates in Sapo
National Park, Liberia. Primate Conservation No. 10: 71-73.
AINSWORTH, G.C., SPARROW, F.K. & SUSSMAN, (1973). The Fungi:
an advanced treasise. IVa, Ascomycetes and Fungi Imperfecti: IVb,
Basidiomycetes and lower fungi. Academic Press, New York & London.
AKUND, A E. & HUXLEY, P.A. (1990) The application of phenology to
agro-forestry research. ICRAF Working Paper No. 63: 1-50.
ALFRED, J.R.B. & SATI, J.P. (1990). Survey and census of the hoolock
gibbon in West Garo hills, northeast India. Primates 31: 299-306.
ALLEN, A.H.V. & RIDLEY, D.S. (1970). Further observations on the
formol-ether concentration technique for fecal parasites. Journal of
Clinical Pathology 23: 545-547.
ALTMANN, J. (1974). Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods.
Behaviour 49: 227-267.
ANDERSON, J.R. (1990). Use of objects as hammers to open nuts by
capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Folia Primatologica 54: 138-145.
ANDERSON, S. (1965). Sources of error in locality data. Systematic
Zoology, 14: 344-346.
ANDERSON, S.H. (1981). Correlating habitat variables and birds. Studies in
Avian Biology No 6: 538-542.
ANDREWS, M.W. & ROSEENBLUM, L.A. (1995). Location effects of
social partner on experimental foraging in the squirrel monkey. American
Journal of Primatology 36: 175-183.
ANON., (1966). Biology of Parasites, emphasis on veterinary parasites.
Proceedings of the Second International Conference of the World
Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. Academic
Press, London.
ANON., (1987). Lar gibbon duets. Primate Eye 38: 26.
ANON., (1989). New white leaf monkey observed in southwest Sabah.
Primate Conservation No. 10: 30.
ANON., (1990). Gibbons as gruesome souvenirs and Thailand’s flourishing
illegal wildlife trade. Primate Eye 40: 14.
APPLETON, C.C. & HENZI, S.P. (1993). Environmental correlates of
gastrointestinal parasitism in montane and lowland baboons in Natal,
South Africa. International Journal of Primatology 14: 623-635.
Expedition Field Techniques
APPLETON, C.C. & HENZI, S.P., WHITTEN, A. & BRYNE, R. (1986).
Gastrointestinal parasites of Papio ursinus from the Drakenburg
Mountain, Republic of South Africa. International Journal of
Primatology 7: 449-456.
AQUINO, E. & ENCARNATION, F. (1986a). Population structure of Aotus
nancymai (Cebidae: Primates) in Peruvan Amazon lowland forest.
American Journal of Primatology 11: 1-7.
(1986b). Characteristics and use of sleeping sites in Aotus (Cebidae:
Primates) in Peruvan Amazon lowland forest. American Journal of
Primatology 11: 319-331.
(1988). Population density and geographic distribution of night monkeys
(Aotus nancymai and Aotus vociferans) (Cebidae: Primates) in
northeastern Peru. American Journal of Primatology 14: 375-281.
(1990). Supplemental notes on population parameters of northeast
Peruvian night monkeys, genus Aotus (Cebidae). American Journal of
Primatology 21: 215-221.
ARAUJO SANTOS, F.G., de, BICCA-MARQUES, J.C., CALEGARO-
MARQUES, C., DE FARIAS, E.M.P. & AZEVEDO, M.A.0., (1995).The
occurance of parasites in free-ranging callitricids. Neotropical Primates 3
(2): 44-45.
AYRES, J.M.,
(1985). On a new species of squirrel monkey, genus Saimiri (Cebidae,
Primates), from Brazilian Amazonia. Papais Avul. Zoologia 36:
147-164.
(1989). Comparitive feeding ecology of the uakari and bearded saki,
Cacajao and Chiropotes. Journal of Human Evolution 18: 697-716.
AYRES, J.M. & CLUTTON-BROCK, T.H. (1992). River boundaries and
species range size in Amazonian primates. American Naturalist 140:
531-537.
BARNES, R.F.W. & BARNES, K.L. (1992). Estimating decay rates of
elephant dung piles in forest. African Journal of Ecology 30: 316-321.
BARNETT, A.,
(1991a) To hunt or not to hunt? Mammal Action No. 51: 9-11.
(1991b) Life after logging? the role of tropical timber extraction in
species extinction. Friends of the Earth, London.
(1992) Deserts of trees: the environmental and social impacts of large
scale reforestation in response to global climate change. Friends of the
Earth, London.
(1994) Writing and publishing scientific papers. Expedition Advisory
Centre, Royal Geographical Society, London.
BARNETT, A. & da CUNHA, A. (1991). The golden-backed uacari on the
upper Rio Negro, Brazil. Oryx 25: 80-88.
BARNETT, A. & DUTTON, J. (1995). Small Mammals. Expedition Field
Techniques series, Expedition Advisory Centre, Royal Geographical
Society. London.
BARNETT, A., PRANGLEY, M., HAYMAN, P.V., DIAWARA, D. &
KOMAN, J. (1994). A preliminary survey of Kounounkan Forest,
Guinea, West Africa. Oryx 28: 269-275.
BARTECKI, U. & HEYMANN, E.W. (1987). Field observations of snakemobbing in a group of saddle-backed tamarins, Saguinus fuscicollis
nigrifrons. Folia Primatologia 48: 199-202.
BARTON, R.A., WHITEN, A., BYRNE R.W., & ENGLISH, M. (1993).
Chemical composition of baboon plant foods: implications for the
interpretation of intra- and interspecific differences in diet. Folia
Primatologica 61: 1-20.
BAWA, K.S. (1983). Patterns of flowering in tropical plants. Pp. 394-410 in
Handbook of Experimental Pollination Biology, C.E. Jones and R.J. Litte
(eds). Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
BAWA, K.S. & HADLEY, M. (eds), (1990). Reproductive Biology of
Tropical Forest Plants. UNESCO and Parthenon Press, Paris and
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