This is a composite score combining ratings for each species on basis of degree of threat, taxonomic uniqueness, and association with other threatened primates. Those species with scores above 7 (11 is maximum score possible) are judged in need of conservation action.
A total of 37 species or 59 % of all Asian primates received a 7 or above. Second, Action Plan prioritizes recommended conservation actions in each of four areas viz., small-scale surveys, large-scale surveys at regional or country level, protected area development and management, and special projects.
The project priority rankings are based on evaluation of four criteria viz., number of species in project area, imminence of threat to project area, primate species diversity in area, and number of endemic primates in area.
A total project rating is produced by summing scores for each criterion. IUCN is now working to prepare regional and country overviews of priorities identified by various Specialist Groups.
First of these overviews (Stuart et al, 1990) includes countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Gumming et al., (1990) pointed out, “the purposes of calculating and using such indices are to produce rational, dispassionate thinking into process of setting priorities and to reduce arbitrary, subjective elements as much as possible.
A primary function of such exercises is in reaching consensus about priorities for conservation action.” Action Plans developed by IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups can be an important reference for anyone involved in setting conservation priorities.