In press, Biodiversity & Conservation.
IS A BIOLOGY OF RARITY IN PRIMATES YET POSSIBLE?
Stephanie A. Coppeto and A. H. Harcourt
If we lack data on the biology of rare species, then understanding of the biology of rarity will be incomplete at best, biassed at worst. One of the better known orders of mammals is the Primates. Even so, we lack data on a crucial aspect of biology, namely density, for nearly half of rare species. Rare species are here defined as those with both geographic range sizes and also habitat breadths less than the median for primates; common species are at or above the median for those two measures. Globally, nearly half, 47%, of the 32 rare species lack data on their density, compared to only 10% of the 83 common species (P < 0.001). Within realms, Asia and Madagascar show a particularly strong bias, missing density data for over 50% of their rare species. Thus not only is there an unexpected dearth of data for rare species compared to common, but the missing data are biassed by continent.