Research on Primate Capture-and-Release | Field Projects International

Research on Primate Capture-and-Release

FPI is participating in a range of research involving the capture-and-release of wild primates. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of these animals, and as such, we are as interested in continually striving to perfect capture-and-release protocols as we are in the outcome of these capture-programs. Explore the tabs below for details on the following projects:

  1. The Callitrichid Capture Protocol: Request a detailed capture protocol or download our article describing the benefits of using this new protocol
  2. The Primate Capture Survey: Participate in a monumental piece of collaborative research and contribute your invaluable experience working with primates to the field of primatology. By so doing, you will assist in making the process safer and more effective for primates all over the world.
  3. Wildlife Handling at Los Amigos: For a photostory of capture-and-release protocols performed safely on wild callitrichids, please explore our slideshow created in conjunction with the unique talents of Ishaan Raghunandan Photography

Since 2009, FPI has been involved with an annual health screening program for two species of tamarin monkeys at the Los Amigos Biological Field Station. There we conduct a capture-and-release program on saddleback tamarins (Saguinus weddelli) and emperor tamarins (Saguinus imperator).

Our novel protocol and the improvements it contains on previous work have been described in print in the journal Neotropical Primates. A copy of the open access article will be posted here as soon as it is published (expected August/September 2016).

A more detailed, step-by-step document outlining the details of the capture protocol is also available to interested academic parties. The focus of this document is to provide a comprehensive description of all the phases of capture, with the primary purpose of providing those who need to conduct similar capture programs with the benefit of our 7 (and counting) years of capture experience. We want the process to be utilised only when necessary and to be carried out in a manner that causes the least amount of stress and discomfort to the animals. Many of the procedures outlined in this document will also be applicable to the capture of other small mammals, or even other primates.

Let us be clear – this is a protocol for the safe capture of wild primates ONLY for investigative research that is fully sanctioned by host countries and is NOT to be used for any commercial benefit whatsoever. We are vehemently opposed to extractive processes that benefit the wildlife or pet trades.

To receive a copy of the detailed protocol via email, please fill out the form below:

Exactly 20 years ago, two researchers – Dr. Jane Philips-Conroy and Dr. Clifford J. Jolly – set out to survey all primatologists who were involved with working with captive and wild primates. The goal of this survey was to collect and synthesize the state of the field – best practices and statistics on the capture-and-release of primates across the planet, both for short and long-term studies.

Back then, they conducted their surveys by mail, over the phone, and took down most of the data by hand. Extensive literature surveys accompanied this work, made more difficult by limited access to journals and only minimal access to the internet. Nevertheless, this body of work forms a unique point of comparison to the present circumstances under which primates are handled in the wild.

This project aims to repeat the same survey – albeit with a few enhancements such as the ability for participating researchers to complete the survey online – in as comprehensive a manner as possible to cover all of the work of the last twenty years in this field.

You would be an ideal candidate to participate in this research if you:

a. are or were a principal investigator or lead researcher on a project that involved the handling of primates in the wild; OR

b. are or were a participant on a project that involved the handling of primates in the wild, AND you have permission from the PI on the project to report on your work and experiences; OR

c. are a co-author on a paper that reported on research that involved the handling of wild primates and would like to submit that work for consideration in this project.

Participation Details:

  1. We are utilizing advanced survey software that will allow you a period of one month to complete the survey in multiple sessions at your own leisure.
  2. To participate, please fill out the form BELOW and you will receive a personalised link to the survey.
  3. All participants will have the opportunity to report on more than one protocol at the same time.
  4. All participants will be acknowledged in any published works disseminating from this data collection.
  5. All information you provide will be strictly confidential. We will not broadcast the individual responses provided on the survey publicly. These responses will only be summarized across all survey respondents to fulfill the goals of the study.
  6. Taking part in this research study is completely voluntary. You may choose not to take part at all. If you decide to be in this study, you may stop participating at any time. Any data that was collected as part of your participation in the study will remain as part of the study records and cannot be removed.
  7. If you do not wish to participate in this study or want to end your participation in the study, please do the following: a) simply do not fill out the survey and b) please email us at (return the survey without answering any of the questions. You will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you otherwise qualify.
  8. If you have any further questions, please contact us at or

The primary researchers involved in this project are:

  1. Dr. Jane Philips-Conroy, Washington University in Saint Louis
  2. Dr. Clifford J. Jolly, New York University
  3. Dr. Mrinalini Watsa, Washington University in Saint Louis
  4. Gideon Erkenswick, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  5. Efstathia Robakis, Washington University in Saint Louis

Capture Survey Contact Form

  • Drop files here or
  • Drop files here or

Over 2014 and 2015, FPI teamed up with Ishaan Raghunandan, a talented young naturalist and wildlife photographer to capture the essence of our wildlife handling program. Although we had been implementing the program for at least six years by this time, we struggled to find the best way to display our work, which can be a tricky subject to talk about. In fact, very few projects do, which is a phenomenon we are attempting to rectify.

By working alongside the team for nearly 6 months across two field seasons, Ishaan was able to truly understand and imbibe our high standard of ethics as well as the sometimes impossible conditions under which we have to work in the Peruvian Amazon.

We are proud to present our wildlife handling program, through the lens of a wildlife photographer: Working with Tamarins in the Peruvian Amazon

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