However, things are starting to change.“The application of microbial analyses to conservation is currently in its infancy,” write researchers led by Rebecca Stumpf in the July issue of the journal Biological Conservation,
“but holds enormous potential.” By looking at research that has been done, they are concentrating their research on how the microbiome is calibrating the immune systems, processing nutrients, synthesizing hormones, and fighting off disease in monkeys, chimpanzees and other primates.
It is easy to know how healthy a habitat is for primates by just checking dropping specimens and using a DNA sequencer which can identify microbiomes among and within hosts. If it is found that primates in captivity are low in species in their microbiome, they could do what is being done for humans in this case which is to give these animals a probiotic or a bacteria transfer. Microbial diversity correlates with habitat quality. It will give valuable information on corridor quality and for reintroduction efforts of species into particular habitats.
"Understanding the microbial communities living on and in primates has enormous and unexplored implications,” wrote Biological Conservation editor and biologist Richard Primack “and one could say the same about almost every other group of mammals, birds, and animals.”
So it looks like that sometimes giving animals in captivity a probiotic might be a smart move in improving their health. I am looking forward to new research on the microbiome of animals which might help conservation of some of our animals in need.