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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on primate research and conservation

ABSTRACT

There is evidence to suggest that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may hamper our achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here, we use non-human primates as a case study to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the ability to achieve biodiversity conservation and management sustainability targets. We collected data through a survey of members of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group from January to March 2022. Of the 93 experts that responded to our survey, we found that 39% had not been able to visit any of their field sites since March 2020, 54% said they had less funding available for their primate-related work, and only one out of ten said they had managed to achieve at least 76–100% of their planned primate-related work since March 2020. Six out of ten respondents (61%) felt that primate conservation efforts in protected areas were worse than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and one-third (33%) felt hunting was happening more frequently than before. This study provides evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on progress towards achieving the SDGs, and provides practical lessons learned for biodiversity conservation efforts moving forward.

REFERENCE

Reuter, K. E., Andriantsaralaza, S., Hansen, M. F., LaFleur, M., Jerusalinsky, L., Louis, E. E., Ratzimbazafy, J., Williamson, E. A., Mittermeier, R. A. 2022. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on primate research and conservation. Animals. 12. 1214.

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