Scientific research pertinent to wildlife conservation is wide ranging in its subject matter and scope. Given the impact of human activities on wildlife it necessarily includes human dimensions in addition to species focused studies. This include for example socioeconomic studies of populations; impact of habitat destruction; assessment of an education programme before and after to assess attitudinal and behaviour change; and effectiveness of conservation strategies. Field research is inextricably interlinked with conservation efforts. Population monitoring is essential if conservation practitioners are going to measure the effectiveness of interventions. Regular census provides feedback on what is and is not working, as well as providing an early warning system for emerging threats, allowing conservation to adapt over time and to become increasingly effective. Census results and population statistics not only show actual changes in numbers but reproductive health and potential are indicated by age-sex composition of the population. Understanding aspects of feeding ecology, diet and ranging behaviour are important in determining whether a population could increase in size and for improving management practice in areas underused by the apes. Measurement of ecosystem services can provide valuable data to bolster arguments for keeping forest cover.
Socioeconomic studies are important because the needs of the local community that live adjacent to ape habitat and their attitudes towards the forest, its inhabitants and conservation will determine the success or failure of interventions. Attitudes towards protected areas and conservation will be strongly affected if livelihoods are negatively impacted, for example, when collection of forest products for firewood and building materials is prevented, and when there is crop raiding. Research into poaching and bush meat consumption may include assessing the frequency and location of snares, socioeconomic status of hunters, and the price of, and preference for bush meat. Results may guide community conservation programmes indicating a need to target poorer members of society and to help find alternative means of income generation. Understanding social and economic dynamics and integrating these considerations into conservation planning is crucial to achieving workable and sustainable solutions. We have been collecting information on different wildlife species through research.