Putting the Spotlight on Internally Displaced Animals (IDAs): A Survey of Primate Sanctuaries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas


Correspondence to: Hannah R. Trayford, Wildlife Research Group, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK. E-mail: hrtrayford@gmail.com


As anthropogenic activity makes deeper incursions into forests, fragmenting habitat, wildlife is forced into closer proximity to humans leading to increased incidences of human–wildlife conflict and wildlife displacement. These same incursions facilitate poaching for the commercial trade in dead and live animals. As a direct result, the number of sanctuaries and internally displaced animals (IDAs) in need of sanctuary placement and rehabilitation are increasing. We focus on internally displaced primates given the prevalence of primate-focused facilities and anthropomorphic considerations surrounding this taxonomic group. Surveys were distributed globally to map the extent and range of native primate sanctuaries and species. Over 70 facilities care for more than 6,000 native primates comprising 64 species, with almost half listed as endangered or critically endangered. As not all sanctuaries were identified at the time of the survey distribution, we estimate that the actual number of facilities is closer to double this number with a captive population in excess of 10,000 individual primates. Native primate sanctuaries hold significant numbers of primates in long-term captive care, with less than half (37%) identified as candidates for release. The surveyed sanctuary population accounts for 35% of the world's captive primates, as compared to ISIS-registered (where ISIS is International Species Information System) zoological facilities, although we estimate that the actual population is closer to 58%. For some species, the sanctuary population represents the only population in captivity. We discuss the prevalence of range-state sanctuaries and their primate populations, and issues surrounding their future development and management. Am. J. Primatol. 75:116-134, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.