Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Michelle L. Sauther

Second Advisor

Robin M. Bernstein

Third Advisor

Dale L. Miller


As primate species become increasingly endangered, there is a growing imperative to find and engineer the most effective methods of conservation possible. This study looks at some of the contemporary challenges faced by conservationists in todays changing world, and suggests possible solutions to these problems founded in both local and international contexts. Using a comprehensive look at obstacles specific to each region, as well as universal obstacles faced by conservationists across cultures, this thesis creates a framework for ecological problem solving between human and non-human primates. This study compares the economic, geographical, political, and cultural barriers that two grassroots primate conservation organizations have faced: One in the Peruvian Amazon and the other in the South African bush. Drawn from my personal experiences with these organizations, as well as external research, I explore the costs and benefits of ecotourism, research based funding, and other methods of conservation commonly employed by primatologists in order to determine their efficacy.