Lessons learned from training students to conduct primate surveys

Jatna Supriatna, Sandy Leo, Bhisma G. Anugra, Asri A. Dwiyahreni, Nurul L. Winarni, Chris Margules

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Habitat destruction is increasingly threatening the remaining primate habitat on the island of Java and populations of primates are declining as a result. Field surveys are commonly used to document the status of species such as primates and often serve as a preliminary step to long-term studies of primate populations. We trained university students on field methods for surveying primates at two sites in Java-Gunung Halimun Salak National Park (GHSNP) in 2017 and Gunung Simpang Nature Reserve (GSNR) in 2019. The purpose was to train students in standardised repeatable methods for surveying primates in the wild. The training courses were intended to provide knowledge on how a primate survey is planned and designed and to teach the methods used to carry them out. We assessed how students used two survey methods, line transects and point counts, and evaluated the differences between the two, and subsequently evaluated the student's response to the program. We delivered in-class and field training on three topics: basic survey techniques; navigation and the use of field equipment; and primate survey methodology. Our results suggested that the students tended to detect primate species better using the line-transect method. A training protocol is critical to make sure that all materials given in the class and in the field are standardized, including the evaluation mechanism. Reliable primate surveys will guarantee that the data collected is scientifically appropriate to support management for primate conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalPrimate Conservation
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Field survey
  • Javan primates
  • Line transect
  • Point count
  • Primate survey training


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