PRIMATES AND THEIR HABITATS

Activities for introducing the diversity of nonhuman primate species and the habitats in which they live 

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Most nonhuman primates live in the world’s rainforests. But did you know that some live in dry semi-deserts? Or that some live in cold, snowy mountains and other regions that may surprise you? Did you know that, because we humans are moving our settlements into their habitats, some primates live in cities alongside humans? Yet—despite the diversity of their habitats—did you know that 69% of the world’s primate species are threatened by extinction? 43% are considered to be Critically Endangered or Endangered. All are at risk due to habitat loss—and most habitat loss is due to human activity.

Nonhuman primates are indicator species for the health of ecosystems. That means that if their habitats are in danger, so is every other creature that lives there. Each ecosystem includes exactly the right number, combination, and diversity of plants and animals to create a beautiful, interdependent relationship that allows it to flourish. This interdependence is why biodiversity exists. Biodiversity keeps the Earth and her creatures living and thriving.

The good news is that because most habitat destruction is due to human activity, it is preventable, repairable, and reversible. We cannot and should not sit back and wait for someone else to do something. We must each be the change that we hope for.

The first step is to learn about the many diverse primate species, where they naturally live, and what they need to thrive, survive, and produce future generations. Their futures are dependent upon the survival of the ecosystems that nurture and support them, and that they nurture in return.

Learn where your favorite monkeys and apes live as you enjoy playing these card games. And maybe someday you can help protect them.

Learning Goals:

  • Introduction to the diversity of primate species
  • Gain familiarity with the difference between apes, monkeys, and prosimians
  • Understand that primate species can vary greatly in appearance
  • Learn where in the world primate species naturally live
  • Learn some world geography
  • Understand that nonhuman primates live naturally in habitats to which they are specifically adapted
  • Learn that, although most primate species live in the canopy of the world’s rainforests, many live in other surprising habitats
  • Gain awareness that animal species are adapted to nourish their habitats and those same habitats nourish the animals that live in them
  • ​Learn that a primate’s appearance can be an indicator of its native habitat​

PLAY AND LEARN

THE DECK

The cards in this photo are printed on white card stock
The cards introduce just a few of the 400-ish primate species

THE GAMES

Learn about the habitats and primates featured in the card deck

​A memory game for younger players

A more challenging memory and matching game

A fun solitaire game

A “fishing” game for multiple players

MATERIALS AND PREPARATION

THE CARDS

36 game cards include 27 primate cards and 9 habitat cards.
Note: There are three times as many rainforest cards in the deck because most nonhuman primates live in the world’s tropical rainforests
  1. Print the cards. For best results, print on card stock.
  2. Cut out the cards.
  3. Play!
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FEATURED HABITATS

The habitats are identified as “suits” on the cards by the following icons:​​

Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2018-2022, You may freely use, copy and share these Learning Activities for educational purposes. 
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected]