Primates in Urban Settings

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


The International Encyclopedia of Primatology, Wiley and Sons Inc, p.1-8 (2017)




human–nonhuman primate relationships; population management; primate conservation; primate ecology


Nonhuman primates have coexisted with humans in urban habitats since historical times. While primate responses to human disturbances are variable and species-specific, certain populations have adapted ecologically, behaviorally, or physiologically and appear to thrive in urban landscapes, depending on the availability, quality, and quantity of resources available. The ecological changes that urban primates face have also led to various behavioral innovations, especially in habitat selection and dietary preferences, which enable these populations to survive and persist in urban environments. Certain biological consequences of urbanization, however, include biological stress, cross-species disease transmission, polyspecific associations and hybridization, and low population genetic variability. While urban human–nonhuman primate relationships are influenced by human cultural and individual attitudes, competition and conflict over resources is currently of great concern. Reactive and preventive management practices need to be introduced in order to reduce human–nonhuman primate conflict and ensure the conservation of the last remaining primate populations in urban spaces