The grand challenge of great ape health and conservation in the anthropocene

Am J Primatol. 2018 Jan;80(1). doi: 10.1002/ajp.22717. Epub 2017 Nov 2.


"Ecosystem Health recognizes the inherent interdependence of the health of humans, animals and ecosystems and explores the perspectives, theories and methodologies emerging at the interface between ecological and health sciences." This broad focus requires new approaches and methods for solving problems of greater complexity at larger scales than ever before. Nowhere is this point more salient than the case of disease emergence and control at the human-non human primate interface in shrinking tropical forests under great anthropogenic pressure. This special edition brings together transdisciplinary experts who have created successful partnerships leading to advances in ecosystem approaches to health for wild ape populations with relevance to all developing country tropical forest environments. It is no coincidence that the advances herein highlight two long term health projects-the Gombe Ecosystem Health Project (Gombe National Park, Tanzania), and the Taï Chimpanzee Project (TCP) in Côte d'Ivoire-since standardizing and validating noninvasive disease surveillance, risk assessment and management methods presents a special series of challenges where time is a major factor. Advances highlighted in this addition include: health surveillance and monitoring, health risk analysis, field immobilization and interventions, human-NHP networks/interfaces, diagnostic tool development, and cutting edge molecular and genetic techniques.

Keywords: Gombe Stream National Park; Pan troglodytes; ecosystem health; one health; zoonotic disease.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ape Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Ecosystem
  • Epidemiological Monitoring / veterinary
  • Hominidae*
  • Tanzania