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Costa Rica & Panama Primate Behavior and Conservation 

Primate Biology and Behavior

Primate Biology and Behavior


This course explores New World primate biology and behavior as well as threats to primate conservation. During the initial phase of the course, students will survey the natural history, biology, ecology and behavior of new world primates through lectures and group discussions. Additionally, field exercises will allow students to observe primates and gain familiarity with research methods used by primatologists. During the second phase of the course, lectures and class discussions will help you examine the conservation threats facing primates throughout the world and the strategies used to mitigate these threats. Field exercises will focus on obtaining the ecological data that is critical for primate conservation research. Students will also participate in service projects aimed at promoting primate survival in the New World.

“We came face to face with monkeys in the wild and turned cages into jungle gyms for some very special monkeys. ” — Kimberly Booe, Bettendorf, IA


  • Learn research methods used by primatologists to understand primate behavior, ecology and conservation
  • Explore the biology, behavior, natural history and ecology of New World primates
  • Learn about the conservation threats to primates and strategies for mitigating these threats
  • Be able to relate the conservation threats facing primates in the New World to those faced by other animals in other ecosystems throughout the world


  • Primate natural history
  • Primate classification
  • Primate research techniques
  • Rainforest ecology
  • Feeding ecology and ranging behavior
  • Social behavior
  • Tool use and human-like behavior
  • Primate conservation and threats
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Extinction biology
  • Conservation strategies
  • Primate rehabilitation


  • Primate identification
  • Multiple field sampling methods
  • Monitoring primate food resources (phrenology and plant diversity)
  • Assessing primate habitat quality
  • Primate/vertebrate animal abundance
  • Primate rehabilitation and care
  • Reforestation and habitat conservation

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At a Glance

Costa Rica & Panama Primate Behavior and Conservation
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Community Service & Academics
  • 25 Hours
  • 3 Credits
Contact Hours
  • 65 Hours
College Credit
  • 3 natural science Credits
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