Over Half Of World’s Wild Primates Face Extinction.
This article reports on the results of research conducted by Conservation International. The summary of the Report indicated that wild primates are an essential component of tropical biodiversity, contributing to forest regeneration and ecosystem health. Current information shows the existence of 504 species in 79 genera distributed in the neotropics, mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Alarmingly, about 60% of primate species are now threatened with extinction and about 75% have declining populations. This situation is the result of escalating anthropogenic pressures on primates and their habitats, leading to extensive habitat loss through the expansion of industrial agriculture, large-scale cattle ranching, logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, dam building, and the construction of new road networks in primate range regions. Other important drivers are increased bushmeat hunting and the illegal trade of primates as pets and primate body parts, along with emerging threats, such as climate change and anthroponotic diseases. Given that primate range regions overlap extensively with a large, and rapidly growing, human population characterized by high levels of poverty, global attention is needed immediately to reverse the looming risk of primate extinctions and to attend to local human needs in sustainable ways. Raising global scientific and public awareness of the plight of the world’s primates and the costs of their loss to ecosystem health and human society is imperative.
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