Conservation & Research
Monkey Forest actively encourages observational non-invasive studies in the field of behavioural ecology and sociobiology.
Due to the semi-free-ranging conditions and groups of similar composition to those in the wild, Trentham Monkey Forest, as well as its 3 sister parks (Montagne des Singes, Forêt des Singes, Affenberg Salem) offer optimal conditions for behavioural studies.
Since 1973, research has been conducted in our parks on different aspects of the Barbary macaques’ behaviour, such as reproduction, socialisation, communication and cognition. These studies have helped to contribute to a better understanding of this endangered species.
If you would like to conduct a study at Trentham Monkey Forest please download the guidelines here, and send your research proposal to Matt Lovatt, at least 2 months before you want to begin your study. After considering your proposal, we will get back to you to let you know if it has been approved. Email Matt by clicking here.
Your proposal should contain: research aims and hypotheses, detailed observational methods, length of study, proposed statistical analysis, letter of authorisation (from your supervisor) and any other supporting information.
Research and education opportunities at Monkey Forest
- For longer projects (e.g. Masters/PhDs), ensure you factor in a sufficient pilot study (recognition of individuals, establishing ethogram, familiarising with groups, testing methods);
- For shorter projects (e.g. undergraduate projects), aim for a few simple research questions dealing with frequent behaviours. We recommend working with age-sex classes rather than with focal individuals, as the identification of a large number of individuals is not possible in a short time frame.
- Practical courses: The park is an ideal setting for students to make first experience field work. Lecturers with students can come for one day, or a longer period of time. The students can work on different research questions, test sampling and evaluate techniques.
- For research in the wild: We are also an excellent option for preparation for field work in the wild, where you will be able to test out methodologies in a more controlled setting.