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An Introduction to Primate Conservation$
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Serge A. Wich and Andrew J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703389

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703389.001.0001

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Why conserve primates?

Why conserve primates?

(p.13) Chapter 2 Why conserve primates?
An Introduction to Primate Conservation

Andrew J. Marshall

Serge A. Wich

Oxford University Press

Eight types of justifications for conserving primates are discussed. The chapter begins by considering relatively anthropocentric reasons to conserve them, including their role in biomedical research, the benefits they can provide to local communities, their provision of crucial ecosystem services, the insights they provide into human evolution, and their role of advancing general biological understanding, especially of the poorly known tropics. Next, more biocentric reasons are discussed, including their potential role as surrogate species that promote the conservation of other taxa and their particular susceptibility to population decline and extinction. Ethical arguments in favour of primate conservation are also briefly covered. The chapter ends with consideration of some complications attendant to these justifications and highlights the need to be strategic when applying them.

Keywords:   anthropocentric, biocentric, conservation, ecosystem services, ethics, extinction risk, opportunity costs, primates

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