Here’s one list it’s definitely not an honor to appear on.
Conservation International, in partnership with several other primate research groups, today released a depressing Top 25 list of the world’s most endangered primates.
Our closest living relatives, many primates (which include apes, monkeys, lemurs and others) are on the brink of extinction; mainly due to destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bush meat hunting.
“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,” says Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Head of Research at the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation (BCSF). “In particular the lemurs are now one of the world’s most endangered groups of mammals, after more than three years of political crisis and a lack of effective enforcement in their home country, Madagascar. A similar crisis is happening in South-East Asia, where trade in wildlife is bringing many primates very close to extinction.”
The plight of the lemur brings to mind Richard Branson’s attempts to provide a safe refuge for the species on one of his private islands in the Caribbean. Although criticized by conservationists (the concern is that a non-native species could wreck havoc on the island), Branson has already imported 19 lemurs to his sanctuary.
For a look at the 25 primates that made this year’s Conservation International list, check out the image below.