Primate Life Histories Working Group



We thank the Wenner Gren Foundation for supporting the initial Workshop at which the PLHD was discussed, as well as the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) for jointly funding our project on the Evolutionary Ecology of Primate Life Histories.  We also thank the Demography of Aging Center  and the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University for supporting our project.

The Principal Investigators (PIs) of the seven field studies represented in the PLHD thank the individuals and institutions that have contributed to the long-term data collection on their study species.  Acknowledgments are separated by study and are current as of the date indicated, as described below. Demographic analysis of the PLHD data made use of theoretical tools developed with the support of NSF Grants DEB-0087096 and DEB-0716433 to W.F. Morris, DEB-0323379 to A. M. Bronikowski, and NIH Grant RO1 AG03032901 from which A. M. Bronikowski received support.

Field Study Acknowledgments

Study 1:  The Northern Muriqui Project of Caratinga.

Prepared by Karen B. Strier (May 2015)

I thank CNPq for permission to conduct research in Brazil, and Drs. Célio Valle, César Ades, Gustavo Fonseca, and Sérgio L. Mendes for serving as my Brazilian sponsors at different times over the years.  I also thank the Abdalla family for permission to conduct this research at the RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala (previously known as the Estação Biológica de Caratinga), Minas Gerais, Brasil, and the Sociedade para a Preservação de Muriqui (Preserve Muriqui), CI and CI-Brasil, and Dr. Sérgio L. Mendes for their help with logistics and long-term collaboration.

Many people have contributed to the long-term demographic data records, and I am grateful to them all (in alphabetical order by last name): Luisa Arnedo, Maira L. Assunção, Nilcemar Bejar, Jean P. Boubli, Pollyanna Silva Campos, Tatiane Cardosa, Ana Carvalho, Denison Carvalho, Cristiane Cäsar, Alba Z. Coli, Jefferson F. Cordeiro, Claudia G. Costa, Paulo Coutinho, Marina Schulz de Cristo, Laina Dib, Leonardo G. Dias, Luiz.G. Dias, Jerônimo Sanguinetti Eltz, Fabrício Rodrigues Fernandes, Daniel S. Ferraz, André Ferreira, Thiago C. Ferreira, Janiana Fidelis, Antonio Robério G. Freire Filho, Jairo Gomes, Danusa Guedes, Vanesa O. Guimarães, Robson Hack, Maria F. Iurck, Anamélia de Souza Jesus, Mariane Kaizer, Marlon Lima, Meina Maciel, Igor Inforzato Martins, Waldney P. Martins, Francisco D.C. Mendes, Ana Beatriz Siqueira de Morais, Italo M. Mourthé, Fernada Neri, Marcello Nery, Sebastião Neto, Claudio P. Nogueria, Adriana Odalia Rímoli, Andreia Oliva, Lucio Oliveira, Fernanda P. Paim, Carla B. Possamai, Rodrigo C. Printes,  José Rímoli, Samantha S. Rocha, Regiane C. Romanini, Breno G.M. da Silva, J.C. da Silva, Vagner Souza, Daniel V. Slomp, Fernanda P. Tabacow, William Teixeira, Marcos Tokudo, Karynna Tolentino, and Eduardo M. Veado.  I especially thank Carla de Borba Possamai and Fernanda Pedreiro Tabacow for their commitment to the long-term demographic data, Marcello Nery for his ongoing help with field logistics, and Ramiro Abdalla Passos for his leadership of Preserve Muriqui.

The field study has been supported by funds from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation (BNS 8305322, BCS 8619442, BCS 8958298, BCS 9414129, BCS 0621788, BCS 0921013), National Geographic Society, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid, Grant #213 from the Joseph Henry Fund of the NAS, World Wildlife Fund, L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, Chicago Zoological Society, Lincoln Park Zoo Neotropic Fund, Center for Research on Endangered Species (CRES), Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Conservation International, the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Hilldale Professorship and a Vilas Research Professorship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I also thank Pablo Fernicola, Sonia Souza, and the Microsoft Corporation Employee Matching Gifts Program for their donations to the project. This research has complied with all institutional IACUC guidelines and U.S. and Brazilian regulations.


Study 2:  The Amboseli Baboon Project.

Prepared by Susan C. Alberts and Jeanne Altmann (September 2011)

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation for the majority of the data represented here; in the past decade in particular we acknowledge support from IBN 9985910, IBN 0322613, IBN 0322781, BCS 0323553, BCS 0323596, DEB 0846286, DEB 0846532 and DEB 0919200. We are also very grateful for support from the National Institute of Aging (R01AG034513-01 and P01AG031719) and the Princeton Center for the Demography of Aging (P30AG024361). We also thank the Chicago Zoological Society, the Max Planck Institute for Demography, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the National Geographic Society for support at various times over the years.

We thank the Kenya Wildlife Services, Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya, and members of the Amboseli-Longido pastoralist communities for their cooperation and assistance in Kenya. A number of people contributed to the long- term data collection over the years, and we are grateful to all of them for their dedication and contributions. Particular thanks go to the Amboseli Baboon Project long-term field team (R.S. Mututua, S. Sayialel, and J.K. Warutere), and to V. Somen and T. Wango for their untiring assistance in Nairobi.

Karl Pinc has provided expertise in database design and management for many years and we are very grateful for his seminal contributions to the development of Babase, the Baboon Project database. We also thank the database technicians who have provided assistance with Babase  over the years, particularly D. Onderdonk, C. Markham, T. Fenn, N. Learn, and L. Maryott Roerish. This research was approved by the IACUC at Princeton University and at Duke University and adhered to all the laws and guidelines of Kenya.


Study 3:  The Kakamega Blue Monkey Project.

Prepared by Marina Cords (April 2016)

I am grateful to the Government of Kenya (Office of the President, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, National Council for Science and Technology, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation) for permission to study the Kakamega monkeys, in affiliation with the Kenya Wildlife Service. I gratefully acknowledge the University of Nairobi Zoology Department, Institute for Primate Research (National Museums of Kenya), Moi University Department of Wildlife Management, and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology Center for Kakamega Tropical Forest Studies for local sponsorship, and the foresters and staff of the Kakamega Forest Station and Kenya Forest Service for their cooperation over many years.

Funding was provided by the National Science (NSF-GF, SBR 95-23623, BCS 98-08273, BCS 05-54747, BCS 10-28471) Ford, Leakey, Wenner-Gren and H.F. Guggenheim Foundations, AAAS-WISC, the University of California Research Expeditions Program and Columbia University.

Many field assistants, students and colleagues helped to collect and/or curate parts of the data reported, including long-termers P. Akelo, M. Atamba, A. Bouchard, S. Brace, B. Brogan, C. Brogan, N. Cohen, S. Förster, A. Fulghum, M. Gathua, K. Gaynor, J. Glick, C.B. Goodale, F. Hardy, M. Hirschauer, J. Kirika, K. MacLean, S. Maisonneuve, C. Makalasia, L. McGee, C. Mitchell, N. Mitchell, S. Mugatha, J. Munayi, C. Nunez, C. Oduor, C. Okoyo, J. Omondi, B. Pav, K. Pazol, A. Piel, L. Pollack, S. Roberts, T. Rowell, R. Settele, E. Shikanga, D. Shilabiga, and E. Widava.  Shahrina Chowdhury assisted greatly with early curation of the data. This research has been carried out under Columbia University IACUC supervision and according to the laws of Kenya.


Study 4: The Gombe Chimpanzee Project.

Prepared by Anne Pusey (Sept 2015)

We are very grateful to Jane Goodall for providing access to the long-term data on the Gombe chimpanzees.  Jane Goodall initiated research on the Gombe chimpanzees in 1960 and has maintained the study ever since, with help from the Jane Goodall Institute since 1976, and with the assistance, since 1987, of research directors, Anthony Collins, Shadrack Kamenya, Deus Mjungu, Anna Mosser, Janette Wallis, Michael Wilson and videographer, Bill Wallauer.  We are indebted to numerous Tanzanian field researchers for years of dedicated data collection, without whom this study would not be possible.  

We thank the Tanzania National Parks, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, and the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology for permission to conduct the research.    

Many organizations have funded data collection at Gombe over the years (Goodall 1986).  Anne Pusey was supported by the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, American Philosophical Society, the Eppley Foundation, and the Royal Society of Great Britain in the 1980s.  Demographic data were compiled from the field notes at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate Studies (JGICPS) at the University of Minnesota, and at the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center, Duke University.  Craig Packer helped transport the original data to Minnesota. Thanks to Jane Waterman, David Scheel, Tim Susman, Jennifer Williams, Ian Gilby, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Michael Wilson, Carson Murray, Mete Celik, Emily Wroblewski, Deus Mjungu and numerous University of Minnesota and Duke undergraduates for their work in data collection, data entry and analysis and Esther Collins for translation.  Joann Schumacher-Stankey, research administrator of the JGICPS, worked tirelessly for 10 years to oversee data entry, maintain the digital files and to check and update the demographic data.  Brian Farm designed the original database and data entry system. John Carlis, Shashi Shekhar and Jaideep Srivastava and their students helped with database development. The database is currently maintained by Ian Gilby and Steffen Foerster.

For support of work at the JGICPS, 1995-2010,  and the JGIRC, 2010-present, we thank the University of Minnesota, the McKnight Foundation, Harris Steel Group, the Windibrow Foundation, Minnesota Base Camp, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Carnegie Corporation, the U.S. National Science Foundation (DBS-9021946, SBR-9319909, BCS-0452315, IIS-0431141, BCS-0648481, IOS- LTREB-1052693), the U.S. National Institute of Health (R01 AI 058715), and Duke University.  All research complied with the regulations of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of the University of Minnesota and Duke University.

Goodall, J. 1986. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.


Study 5: The Karisoke Research Center’s Study of Mountain Gorillas.

Prepared by Tara Stoinski  (May 2014)

The Karisoke Research Center is a project of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI). We gratefully acknowledge the Rwandan government and national park authorities for their long-term commitment to gorilla conservation and support of the Karisoke Research Center. DFGFI is indebted to the many Karisoke field assistants and researchers for their work in collecting demographic data over the past 40 years.  Without their tireless effort and commitment to the gorillas, these data would not be possible.  We also thank Netzin Gerald Steklis for developing the demographic database and maintaining it for over a decade.  Finally, DFGFI gratefully acknowledges the public and private agencies, foundations and individuals that have provided support for the Karisoke Research Center over the last four decades.


Study 6. The Beza Mahafaly Sifaka Research Program

Prepared by Diane K. Brockman (March 2011)

             I am grateful to the Government of Madagascar and the Madagascar National Parks (NMP, formerly ANGAP), the School of Agronomy (ESSA) at the University of Antananarivo, and especially the ESSA Department of Waters and Forests (ESSA-Forets), for permission to work at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar.  ESSA-Forets has also been a key collaborator, and I pay tribute to ex-President of ESSA Dr. Gilbert Ravelojaona and his colleagues Dr. Guy Ramanantsoa and the late Pothin Rakotomanga, whose vision and persistence at the outset made this work possible. Today, I particularly thank Joelisoa Ratsirarson. Since 1998, he has been Co-Director with Alison Richard of the Partnership for Community-based Conservation and Monitoring of Biodiversity in Southwest Madagascar, overseeing all research and monitoring activities at BMSR.  I am also grateful to Alison Richard, who initiated the Beza Mahafaly Sifaka Capture Program in 1985 and continues to sustain it in collaboration with Joelisoa Ratsirarson.

           Numerous Malagasy and US colleagues have made significant contributions to the program and to broadening our understanding of the demography and life history of sifaka at BMSR.  I especially appreciate the past and present help, advice, and logistical support of colleagues in Madagascar, notably Andrianasolo Ranaivoson, Daniel Razakanirina, Panja Ramaneolina, Jean Rasoarahona, Gabrielle Rajoelison, Bruno Ramamonjisoa, and Jeannin Ranivonasy.  My profound thanks go to the members of the BMSR Monitoring Team, past and present, and in particular Enafa, Elahavelo, Rigobert Emady, Edidy Ellis, Efitiria, Sylvain Eboroke, Ny Andry Ranarivelo, Jeannicq Randrianarisoa, Sylvia Ravelonjatovo, Elyse Razanajaonarivaly, Helian Ratsirarson, Jacky Youssouf, and also the NMP Team on the ground now led by Andry Randrianandrasana.  Enafa’s skill with the blow gun is extraordinary, and together the BMSR Monitoring Team not only made it possible to capture so many animals safely but also, thereafter, to census and monitor them regularly.  I am grateful to U.S. colleagues who did much to establish and develop the research program on sifaka at BMSR, and in particular Kashka Kubzdela, who trained the original monitoring team.  U.S. members of the Beza Mahafaly Sifaka Research Consortium (BMSCR) actively contributing today are Alison Richard, Diane Brockman (U.S. Director and Coordinator, BM Sifaka Research Program), Richard Lawler, Marion Schwartz (U.S. Sifaka Database Manager), Patricia Whitten, Laurie Godfrey, and Robert Dewar.   My participation in the PLHD Working Group would not have been possible without the knowledge, expertise, and assistance of Marion Schwartz, Sifaka Database Manager Extraordinaire.  For 25 years, she has expertly vetted and entered data into, and managed, the sifaka database, and continues to do so in retirement on a volunteer basis, a testimony to her commitment to the sifaka research program.  Marion, you have our deepest thanks.

               Since 1993, support of the Partnership for Community-based Monitoring and Conservation of Biodiversity in Southwest Madagascar has been generously provided by the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation through grants to Joelisoa Ratsirarson and Alison Richard.   Numerous funding agencies have supported past and on-going research and monitoring activities at BMSR, notably the National Science Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, and Schwartz Family Foundation Trust.  Data collected on sifaka at BMSR and data entered into the Sifaka Database and the PLHD are jointly owned by the US members of the BMSRC and Joelisoa Ratsirarson, and colleagues designated by him.  Research carried out under the auspices of the Sifaka Research Program adhered to all institutional IACUC guidelines and the laws and guidelines of the Republic of Madagascar and its institutions.


Study 7:  The Santa Rosa National Park Capuchin Monkey Project.

Prepared by Linda M. Fedigan (May 2013)

I thank the Costa Rican National Park Service for allowing us to work in Santa Rosa National Park from 1983-1988 and the administrators of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (especially Roger Blanco Segura and Alejandro Masis Cuevillas) for permission to continue research in Sector Santa Rosa from 1989 to the present day. Many investigators and assistants, too numerous to name, contributed to our capuchin life history database and I am most grateful to all of them. In particular, I thank the Co-Directors of the Santa Rosa Capuchin Project, Dr. Katharine Jack of Tulane University & Dr. Amanda Melin of Washington University.  

Long-term financial support of this research has been provided by the Canada Research Chairs Program and by on-going Discovery grants (1983-present) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Our fieldwork has also been supported by grants from Alberta Ingenuity, the American Society of Primatologists, the Animal Behavior Society, the International Primatological Society, the I.W. Killam Trust, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society, Sigma Xi, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. All research was approved by the Life and Environmental Sciences Animal Care Committees (LESACC) of the University of Calgary and adhered to all laws and guidelines of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican National Park Service.