Social, capable and often relatable, primates are a large and diverse category of species and include lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and, of course, humans. With arboreal ancestors (species adapted to climbing trees), primates are both terrestrial and tree-based and, with the exception of humans, they inhabit mostly tropical and subtropical regions across Asia, Africa and the Americas. The diversity in the species group is shown by size, with lemurs, like the mouse lemur, weighing as little as 30g and gorillas, like the eastern gorilla, reaching up to 200kg.
Being social animals, non human primates often live in tight-knit communities and their connection to us is often strong given our relatability to much of their behaviour. Many primates also play an important role in ecosystems: for example in eating fruits many species act as seed dispersers and as predators they can similarly act in controlling the population of various other species. Aside from this, primates are simply beautiful creatures, with spectacular emotional and cognitive abilities, that deserve active conservation efforts. You can volunteer with primates on our research projects in the Amazon in Peru, or volunteer in a wildlife rescue centre with primates in Costa Rica, Namibia and Indonesia.