At a meeting earlier this week of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity COP11, conservationists revealed a list of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. A complete report, Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2012-2014 is available as a pdf file. It’s a depressing read.
Out of the 25, the most (six) are from Madagascar; five are from Vietnam. Their numbers are threatened due to the loss of their habitats (especially of forests), the seemingly unstoppable global black market in exotic wildlife and the threats posed by hunters and poachers (who sometimes hunt them to use parts of their anatomy in traditional Asian medicine).
Currently, 54 percent of the world’s 633 primate species and subspecies are classified as threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Head of Research at the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation (BCSF), underscores the role of humans in putting primates into peril, in Science Daily: “Once again, this report shows that the world’s primates are under increasing threat from human activities. Whilst we haven’t lost any primate species yet during this century, some of them are in very dire straits.”
1. The heavily hunted Red-Ruffled Lemur (Varecia rubra) of Madagascar is the first lemur threatened by the degraded forest.
Photo by jinterwas
Photo of the Northwest Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) by Tim Sträter
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