Primate Conservation: A Matter of Life or Death

Conservation Programs of the
American Society of Primatologists


"Whether endangered animals will survive to enrich life on earth or perish forever is largely in human hands. We will be progressively poorer for every primate species that disappears from our planet"

"More than 60 primate species are at risk of extinction, and an additional 80 continue to decline at an alarming rate. Sitting apathetically on the sidelines while the existence of such advanced beings is threatened is worse than lamentable, it is unconscionable"

You can help


Irrevocable Loss

The American Society of Primatologists champions the well-being and conservation of non-human primates, our closest biological cousins.

A pygmy chimpanzee taught to communicate by touching symbols on a keyboard illustrates how uncannily human primates can be. On occasion, he played at hiding a make-believe food item instead of a real one. Later, when he supposedly found the imagined food, he sometimes pretended that is was bad by spitting it out and using the keyboard to say "bad."


Conservation Programs

The American Society of Primatologists (ASP) works to save primate lives and to arrest the terrifying shrinkage of primate populations worldwide

As the premier organization in the United States for primate scientists, ASP holds annual meetings to exchange up-to-date scientific, conservation, and other information, sponsors the American Journal of Primatology, and raises funds for two kinds of awards:

  1. Conservation Small Grants

    The ASP Conservation Committee typically awards 6 - 8 small grants up to $1,500 per year to support research and education projects that contribute to primate conservation. For example, projects awarded in 2019 were aimed at using genetics to evaluate inter-specific transmission of parasites in mouse lemurs, efforts to recolonize disturbed areas formerly used by sportive lemurs using innovative nesting sites, the use of arboreal camera traps to monitor primates in disturbed areas, and primate surveys and environmental education in Benin and Peru. The Conservation Committee also considers emergency requests for funding. For example, an emergency grant was given to help relocate and rebuild a primate research station that was destroyed by floods. 

    Small Grants are especially meaningful for individuals or communities in primate habitat countries

  2. ASP Conservationist Award

    The purpose of this $750 award is encouragement for the conservation efforts of outstanding students, early career investigators and educators in habitat countries.

    Conservation awards go to the future conservation
    leadership of countries where primates live

    Conservation Awards are presented in public ceremonies to impress upon indigenous people the importance of preserving the ecological conditions of animal survival. Curators of the Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza, Madagascar, were presented the Award by the American Ambassador at a well-attended ceremony, and its conservation message was given valuable press and television coverage.


Past Award Recipients


You Can Help

Contributions to primate conservation can be made via the Conservation Fund of ASP. Society members contribute thousands of dollars to the fund each year, but ASP needs additional contributions from other concerned individuals, businesses, and institutions if we are to expand our conservation efforts.

Because most primates depend upon forest resources, successful primate conservation will simultaneously preserve many other forest creatures, as well as the plant life that feeds and protects them

Please donate on-line to the ASP Primate Conservation Fund or download the contribution form and send your donation by mail.

Please make your check payable to:
ASP Conservation Fund
and send to:

Erin Riley, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
San Diego Sate University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182-6040

Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable.
American Society of Primatologists is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Contributors of $500 or more will be acknowledged in the ASP Bulletin.