Primate Apocalypse: One Third of Primate Species Risk Extinction

The world's primates are in peril. According to a new report, 29% of all primate species risk complete extinction in the wild from bushmeat hunting, illegal trade and loss of habitat. The report says that primates face an "unprecedented threat" and criticizes the world's governments for not doing more to protect them.


The "Primates in Peril" report from the World Conservation Union lists the 25 primate species most at risk, including:

  • The Miss Waldron's red colobus of Ivory Coast and Ghana -- may already be extinct
  • The Hainan gibbon of China -- just 17 left
  • The Horton Plains slender of Sri Lanka -- only observed in the wild four times since 1937
  • Vietnam's Delacour's langur, Golden-headed langur, Grey-shanked douc and Tonkin snub-nosed monkey -- all hunted into near-extinction

The list also includes species we have written about several times here before, such as the Sumatran orangutan.

Good news, too -- The primate news isn't all horrible. According to the report, nine species have done well enough over the last three years to be dropped from the "at risk" list, including Eastern gorilla, the Black-faced lion tamarin, the Buffy-headed tufted capuchin and the Perrier's sifaka.

Let's just hope that a few more species can get some good news by the time the report is updated again three years from now.

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