The Emerging Importance of Regenerating Forests for Primates in Anthropogenic Landscapes

Lucy Millington*, Onja H. Razafindratsima, Tracie McKinney, Denise Spaan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Habitat loss is the greatest threat to primate survival. However, land altered for logging or agricultural developments is often abandoned and can regenerate after use. These regenerating forests are critical for the future of primate conservation as they provide habitats and connectivity between mature forest fragments. They can also contribute to climate change mitigation. In this chapter, we introduce what constitutes a regenerating forest, how widespread they are, and how secondary succession varies depending on disturbance history and ecological characteristics. We also examine the role primate seed-dispersal plays in forest regeneration: from the transportation of seeds to changes that occur within a primate’s gut that facilitate germination and impacts on plant communities. We consider how primates might cope with living in a regenerating forest, in terms of behavioral plasticity, from changes in diet to ranging patterns or group cohesion. We argue that the study of primates in regenerating forests is currently lacking and will be pivotal for future primate conservation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrimates in Anthropogenic Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Primate Behavioural Flexibility Across Human Contexts
EditorsTracie McKinney, Siân Waters, Michelle A. Rodrigues
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-11736-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-11735-0 , 978-3-031-11738-1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects
ISSN (Print)1574-3489
ISSN (Electronic)1574-3497


  • Behavioral flexibility
  • conservation
  • Forest regeneration
  • Reforestation
  • Secondary succession
  • Seed dispersal


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