Greetings, and welcome to Primate Conservation. My name is Jonathan O'Brien, and I will be your instructor for this course. I am a biological anthropologist, and specifically a primatologist based out of CU Boulder. I did both my PhD and my master's in primary conservation actions at CU Boulder, specifically working in Vietnam. Both in the north and in the south of Vietnam. I've worked with animals both in captivity and also in the wild. And I'm incredibly excited about this course, getting an opportunity to talk to all of you about primary conservation about primates, about primate diversity. Really kind of trying to move through as much of the material as possible to give you a good sense of what holds true with conservation, what works with conservation, what does not work with conservation. But really, just kind of looking forward to working with everyone and having the opportunity to talk about some of the things that I absolutely love talking about and working with. So we'll go ahead and we'll move right into the course. What we'll do is we'll go ahead and set up what will be kind of a standard format for the course, or kind of moving right in, giving you a sense of how each one of the videos in each one of the modules will work. And we'll talk a little bit more about my background, and then jump right into the course material. So again, welcome to primate conservation, really looking forward to having this conversation with you guys. So continuing on, what we're going to do is each video is going to start off, we'll have some sort of image, most likely this image of a red-shanked douc, which we'll talk about in a second. But we'll kind of have a brief introduction as we roll into each one of our topics. So one of the best ways to kind of frame primate conservation is, we really are presently facing a potential extinction crisis for the order primates, and for many other forms of life. In this course, we'll learn about threats to primate conservation globally. We're going to be using a couple of papers as the frameworks for this. One of them will be Primates in Peril, the world's 25 most endangered primates 2018 to 2020, by Schwitzer et al. And that's really going to be the basis for the discussion of global primate populations. We're going to investigate conservation status, threats to conservation, successes and failures within protecting our closest evolutionary cousins. Let's see, we can go ahead and guess that this is a red-shanked douc. And they're found in Vietnam, they're found in Laos, they're found in Cambodia. They are just an incredibly striking creature. So we'll talk about the doucs a little bit more when we get into a section on Vietnam. But it's an image that I love sharing with people because more often than not, it is a creature that not many people have seen. So just an absolutely beautiful creature that unfortunately is kind of in a dire conservation need. One of the other papers that we're going to be looking at is a paper by Estrada et al, entitled, impending extinction crisis of the world's primates, why primates matter. And in that paper they introduce, and they start off that non-human primates are of central importance to tropical biodiversity, and to many ecosystem functions, processes, and services. They are our closest living biological relatives, offering critical insights into human evolution, biology, and behavior, and playing important roles in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of many societies. Unsustainable human activities are now the major force driving primate species to extinction. So with that in mind, we'll go ahead and we'll move on. The first thing that'll happen again is we'll have our video title, so our video introduction to it. So this really is not only an introduction to myself, but also an introduction to how the course will be structured for the rest of our time together. So this one is Instructor Introduction. And again, this is Primate Conservation with Jonathan O'Brien. So as we kind of started off with this, who is this guy? I've had a moment to introduce myself professionally. As I said, I am a biological anthropologist and anthropologist at CU Boulder. My work has mostly been in primate ecology and primate conservation. I have a great interest in why things feed on what they do. Think of it as like just going to a salad bar or going to a buffet and kind of standing back and looking and going man, why are people making the food choices that they do? So for my particular research, I did my master's at CU Boulder and it was on captive work with red-shanked doucs, gray-shanked doucs, Delacour’s langurs, Hatinh langurs, just those four species, really kind of looking at food selection. I was able to take that information and expand the study, moving down to the south of Vietnam and working with a wild population of animals. So these are the black-shanked doucs. So there's a male on the left there, and then a female with an infant on the right. And really what I wanted to do again, was to focus in on feeding selection. So really the question becomes, if these are leaf-eating monkeys and the forest is full of leaves, why would they ever bother to move? Why would they not just sit in one place and just gorge themselves on every single leaf in a tree, and then move to the next tree? Well, it turns out that even trees of the same species at the same time of year, can have very different chemical and physical properties for the leaves that they're producing. So I wanted to see whether these animals were selecting based on higher or lower levels of protein, whether there were secondary compounds or toxins that they were trying to avoid. So really, what was driving these food selections? And just very briefly, what we did find is that there was some selection for higher levels of protein in the leaves that they were eating, but they weren't particularly perturbed by secondary compounds. So we joke that these guys really are kind of the cows of the forest. And if you can look and see that male has that big gray belly, so a big fermentation chamber, so they can just go ahead and scarf down a whole bunch of leaves, and then just sit there kind of digesting away and their body letting their morphology really kind of break up anything that's in those leaves. In addition to that, I also went through the forest and collected feces. So watched the animals feed, and then after they defecated, collecting the fecal remains. What's great about that is in Vietnamese, the word for feces is phân. So if nothing else I could say that I was always going on to the forest to try to have phân, try to collect phân. What I was looking for in those collections, I was always curious about what kind of parasite loads these animals had, whether they actually had any parasites. I did find that just about every sample contained some parasites, and this is a particular one that we had both pinworm eggs, and then found some that had mature pinworms. So just another kind of interesting look at what was going on within the guts of these animals, and what was going on within their ecologies. When I'm not on the forest kind of chasing monkeys or teaching about primates and primary conservation, I get to kind of do a bunch of random stuff. So one of the things that I like to do, is I like to do medieval reenacting. So this is some friends and I, we had made all of our clothes, we made the skis. And we went out winter camping with no modern equipment. So just kind of a little bit of historical reenacting, just something we kind of like to go out and do for fun. In addition to going out, camping and skiing in the wintertime with no modern equipment, I also like to learn about different styles of fighting. So this is myself fighting another friend at a tournament, so I'm the guy on the right. And go out and do this full contact unchoreographed fighting. It's a great stress reliever and a great way to kind of connect with people, all right. When not doing that, my wife and I like to go out and go camping. So we're out, just kind of all over the US and Canada, and a few other locations, but kind of an opportunity to get out into the woods and just rest and relax and enjoy being in nature. And also play a bunch of music, so bringing some drums out to sit out and hang out with friends. Aside from the camping and the medieval reenactment, in terms of pets, we don't have cats or dogs. We have birds, and these are two of our birds, our two conures. So the one on the front is Floki, and her sister Calliope Kelly. Conures are absolutely wonderful and ridiculous little creatures, and very, very social and love to kind of interact with another part of their flock. And finally, even though I grew up in South Florida just minutes from the beach, I kind of avoided water just about my entire life. I've recently taken up stand up paddleboarding, and I'm just getting the opportunity to get out there and enjoy nature in one more varied way. All right, that is more than enough about me. I am certain that through the entire course, plenty of anecdotes, stories, and nonsense will come up. It'll help explain the way I am, right? But more specifically, topics for our course. And I really kind of want to give this big general overview for it. So we'll be looking at and identifying conservation threats to primates globally. So just as it sounds, really kind of digging in to figure out what is going on, and what are these threats to our closest evolutionary cousins. Okay, understand and identify conservation threat categories. We've probably all heard that's an endangered species, or that's a threatened species, or that's a species of least concern. Well, we'll go through and we'll understand what makes those criteria, and what explains it, and what they mean by them, because each one of them has a valid and specific reason as to why they are labeled as such. A recognized threats to primate conservation across areas where non-human primates live. So this is really kind of digging into that top 25 endangered primates, and going region by region to identify kind of what are the main threats because well, you can probably enumerate or probably guess at what a lot of those threats are. They really can be regional specific, in terms of how much pressure there's exerting within those populations. And then finally, we'll kind of look at an overarching, relating environmental changes to primate conservation. We live in a changing world, we live in a changing environment, human populations are expanding. Needs and resources put us at greater conflict with a lot of than a hand of the natural world, with a lot of animal worlds. There's only a finite amount of space, and as we continue to expand out, some species do well with that interaction, and some species really do not do well. Okay, our topics for module one. Number one, recognize the diversity of the order primates. We are an incredibly diverse group, we're entirely diverse order. And so we'll talk about differences in body sizes. We'll talk about differences in diet. We'll talk about differences in locations. There are some species, and macaques is a great example, that can really almost live anywhere and live in any situation. So they can be doing quite well with humans around the area, while there are other species that are incredibly shy, and really kind of focused on specific resources. So they can only live in certain areas, and as we encroach further into those areas, those animals have less of a chance of surviving. Okay, so identify where primates live, we are a tropical radiation. Now, many primate species can extend into temperate areas. And I mean, if we look at just humans as animals, we really can kind of live anywhere along the globe, and even visit extraterrestrial bodies as well. Okay, define conservation and conservation concerns. Well, that seems straightforward enough. There's different styles of conservation, and there's different ideas of conservation. So really trying to go through and address some of those. Okay, as I said, the framework for the class really is going to be built on two particular papers and then a bunch of other things thrown in, of course. Number one is this impending extinction crisis, the world's primates, why primates matter. So we started off today's video really kind of addressing the introduction from Estrada et al. We'll dig deeper into it again, looking at some of the various areas, looking at some of the threats for conservation. And then the second is this Primates in Peril, the world's 25 most endangered primates 2018 to 2020. This really is kind of a living document, in the sense that every two years primatologists from around the world get together at the International Primatological Society meeting, and sit down and discuss region by region. What's going on with primates in the Neotropics? What's going on in primates within Asia? What's going on in continental Africa? And then what's specifically going on within Madagascar? Which is its own, really super unique kind of natural laboratory. So we'll be looking at that, looking at the document itself and how it's been used in the past, and how some of those decisions are made. Okay, so taking a small step back here, but we can ask the question, well, what is primatology? This is a great drawing from AsiaLIFE magazine from a couple of years ago, where the illustrator went through and drew out a number of species. So that black-shanked douc is on there, the one with the blue face on the left, so kind of right there in the center, we got the orangutans, we've got some Cat Ba langurs. So a number of species in there, it was a wonderful little article and a great drawing on there that I want to share. But, so what is it? We can say it's the study of primates, but it's many different things to people. We can talk about social activities. So how social or antisocial are these animals? What kind of tool use do they have? So just talking about variations in culture within the animals. We could talk about feeding. Are they leaf-eating? Are they fruit-eating? Do they eat insects? Does that vary throughout the year? Do they eat specific things? Locomotion, so how do the animals actually move about their environment? Postural behaviors, do they stay in one place? Do they kind of have continual resting poses? How do they move through their environment? And then, all this really kind of ties into conservation and conservation concerns. So we can look at it as a direct entity, or we can really kind of focus on some of these other pieces to build this greater puzzle. But through it all, the common theme there is non-human primates and their lifeways. So we can argue, depending on how you want to label species, subspecies, over 600 different primates. What's interesting about this is that since 1990, 193 new species have been described, and since 2012, ten new species described. So there are still species that are being discovered out there. And again, we've got at least 91 countries that have wild primate populations, so a lot of diversity and a lot of distance kind of around the world. If we look at this idea of why we study primates, we can focus out on three different areas. So primate evolution, conservation, and natural history. If we are talking about human behavior and evolution, then we can use primates as a way to learn about ourselves. We can look to our closest evolutionary cousins and say, okay, that's interesting, they lived in similar environments that some of our hominid ancestors did. Maybe we can kind of tease out some more of this information. We look at the natural history of them, we study them in order to learn about their role within nature and their biology. And if we look at conservation, then it's one of those we need to know about them in order to save them. So how can we tie all these elements together to get a better picture? If we talk about each one of the course modules that we're going to be going through, so module one is going to be introduction to conservation and conservation concerns. So again, we'll go through and we'll talk about primate diversity. We'll talk about conservation, what that is and what that looks like in different areas. And then we'll use that information as a background to move into how we define threats. So here's a picture of a road that was built in Vietnam between Dalat, so up in the mountains, and Nha Trang out on the coast. It makes transportation far easier, but here we can already see that an area that had great continuous forest was cut right in half. So a national park was kind of cut right in half and bisected by this road. We can talk about all the kind of variations and the problems that occur when that kind of easy access is created. Exploring primates through various regions. So this is where we'll really dig in to the 25 top endangered primates, or most endangered primates, and look regionally. And again, discuss how each region is maybe similar overall, but how we also see variation and differences within these areas. Module four, we'll talk about conservation organizations. And while I'm not affiliated with any of these organizations, they're really all worth mentioning. So we've got EAST, Endangered Asian Species Trust, they run a rescue center in their national park in Vietnam or at work. WWF, everybody has heard of and of course, their famous logo of the panda bear. So another organization that does work both at the local level and the global level, both on smaller projects and larger projects. Conservation International, IUCN, so really kind of how these organizations apply their research and apply their focus, mostly with this solid goal of united for life and livelihoods as they say. It's one of those you can't just protect one area, you really have to address the entire system that's around it. And then to wrap it all up, we'll have a case study based in Vietnam. So here's another species of monkey, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey that's endemic to Vietnam, it only lives in Vietnam. Kind of this great example of successes and failures within the conservation world. So a nice way to kind of round out and end our course together. Okay, so our next video will be on primate diversity, and I wanted to conclude with this painting from a friend of mine, Mr Dao Van Hoang, and Hoang is an absolutely amazing artist. Most of his work is on animals. So his website has plenty of birds, and then plenty of monkeys and other primate species, and animals and murals from around the region in Southeast Asia. So I love that he captures not only the animals, but the environments that they are in. So absolutely kind of wonderful way to lead into our next topic of primate diversity. So again, welcome to primate conservation. I am looking forward to sharing this information with you, and seeing what we can do about helping to preserve our closest evolutionary cousins.