Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Primate Research and Conservation



Reuter K, Andriantsaralaza S, Friis Hansen M, LaFleur M, Jerusalinsky L, Louis EE, Ratzimbazafy J, Williamson E & Mittermeier RA (2022) Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Primate Research and Conservation. Animals, 12 (9), Art. No.: 1214.

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 10 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.

primates; sustainability; conservation; novel coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19

Animals: Volume 12, Issue 9

Publication date31/05/2022
Publication date online08/05/2022
Date accepted by journal06/05/2022
PublisherMDPI AG

People (1)


Professor Liz Williamson

Professor Liz Williamson

Honorary Professor, Psychology