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Reducing the primate pet trade: Actions for primatologists

Norconk, Marilyn A.; Atsalis, Sylvia; Tully, Gregg; Santillán, Ana Maria; Waters, Siân; Knott, Cheryl D.; Ross, Stephen R.; Shanee, Sam; Stiles, Daniel

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Marilyn A. Norconk

Sylvia Atsalis

Gregg Tully

Ana Maria Santillán

Siân Waters

Cheryl D. Knott

Stephen R. Ross

Sam Shanee

Daniel Stiles


This commentary emerged from a panel presentation at the International Primatological Society Congress in Nairobi, Kenya, 2018. The goal was to provide regional updates on the status of primate removal from habitat countries, especially for the pet trade, and develop guidelines that could help primatologists address this critical problem. The trade in live primates includes those used as pets, in entertainment, and as subjects of biomedical experimentation, but here we focus on those primates destined for the pet trade. Such transactions are a hugely lucrative business, impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals annually and affecting the survival of wild populations. Being intimately familiar with primate social behavior, life history and biology, primatologists, whether they work with captive or wild primates, are in a unique position to understand the nature of the trade and attempt to counter its effects. In addition to updating the status of the primate pet trade, we provide recommendations that may help primatologists formulate a plan to deal, locally and regionally, with illegal trafficking in live primates. General guidelines include increasing awareness of local customs, policies and laws; developing collaborative research opportunities for local people; engaging in training/informational opportunities; and instructing on how to take action when encountering illegally‐trafficked primates.


Norconk, M. A., Atsalis, S., Tully, G., Santillán, A. M., Waters, S., Knott, C. D., …Stiles, D. (2020). Reducing the primate pet trade: Actions for primatologists. American Journal of Primatology, 82(1), Article e23079.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 26, 2019
Publication Date Jan 31, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2020
Journal American Journal of Primatology
Print ISSN 0275-2565
Electronic ISSN 1098-2345
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 82
Issue 1
Article Number e23079


Published Journal Article (2 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,<br /> provided the original work is properly cited. &copy; 2019 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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