Darting Primates: Steps Toward Procedural and Reporting Standards
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Darting, a common method of capturing wild primates, poses risks to the individuals that must be appropriately minimized. A recent article in the International Journal of Primatology by Cunningham et al. (International Journal of Primatology, 36(5), 894–915, 2015) presented a literature review of the reporting of darting procedures in primatology and anonymously surveyed primatologists on darting methods and their effects, to report general trends in the field. We quantitatively reexamined 29 articles described by the authors as having information on fatalities and/or injuries. We think that the various body masses of primates (1 kg–150 kg), along with their locations and habitat types, and the degree of experience of the darting team, should be considered when estimating mortality and injury rates, and thus preclude the computation of an average mortality value across taxa. Nevertheless, we computed an average (mean) for comparison with the previous analyses. Our mean estimated mortality rate was 2.5% and the mean estimated injury risk was 1.5% (N = 21 articles). Thus, our estimated mortality rate is smaller than the combined mortality and injury rate of 5% reported by Cunningham et al. (International Journal of Primatology, 36(5), 894–915, 2015) and smaller than the mortality rates of medium-sized terrestrial mammals they used for comparison. Our study strongly suggests the critical need for more data to be analyzed in a standardized fashion.
Fernandez-Duque, M; Chapman, CA; Glander, KE; Fernandez-Duque, E
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