1 Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montréal Québec H3A 2T7, Canada2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx New York 10460, USA3 Section of Social Systems Evolution, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama 484-8506, Japan
China is one of the most dynamic countries of the world and it shelters some amazing levels of biodiversity, including some very special primate species. However, primarily as a result of forest loss, most of which occurred in historical times, approximately 70% of China’s primate species have less than 3 000 individuals. Here I evaluate one road for future conservation/development that could produce very positive gains for China’s primates; namely forest restoration. I argue that for a large scale restoration project to be possible two conditions must be met; the right societal conditions must exist and the right knowledge must be in hand. This evaluation suggests that the restoration of native forest to support many of China’s primates holds great potential to advance conservation goals and to promote primate population recovery.