In a world where demand for food, fibre, timber, land, and mineral resources is increasing, apes, such as bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas and orangutans are under pressure. All 22 ape species are threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List, with 21 species being classified as endangered or critically endangered.
The Max Planck Institute, the IUCN SSC Section on Great Apes and UNEP-WCMC, with generous funding from the Arcus Foundation and the World We Want Foundation, have collaborated to develop the A.P.E.S. Portal and Dashboard. These tools bring together a wealth of information and analyses to aid decision-makers in identifying areas for conservation action.
The A.P.E.S. Portal provides access to information on individual species bringing together various graphing and prediction tools. A unique database resource compiles a vast range of survey and habitat suitability data in one place - such as 169 regional datasets for African apes and orangutans and 200 contextual datasets. The database also lists over 680 publications on apes. Further information is available via a wiki that summarizes information on individual species and the sites that they inhabit.
The A.P.E.S. Dashboard is an analytical tool that allows users to explore the relative pressures impacting species living in important ape sites. This information can be combined with other indicators such as habitat condition, protection levels and the ability of a site to support non-ape species and selected ecosystem services. The A.P.E.S. Dashboard aims to support preliminary, broad-scale comparisons enabling identification of subsets of important ape sites that can be refined through further analyses, study and data collection.
The A.P.E.S. Dashboard supports broad-scale analysis to answer the following questions:
• Where are the most/least threatened important ape sites?
• What is the protection status of important ape sites?
• Which important ape sites are most significant for other species and ecosystem services?
The apes have close genetic, behavioral, and cultural ties with humans. As well as their intrinsic value, they also provide many benefits to the human societies that share their forest and savannah habitats. The A.P.E.S. Portal and Dashboard provide a means for scientists to share data to inform policy-makers and donors about areas where apes conservation is needed to ensure the survival of these unique species for generations to come.
The A.P.E.S. Portal and Dashboard can be accessed here.
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