Primates in Peril

Rondo Dwarf Galago -- Africa

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in conjunction with Conservation International, the Species Survival Commission and the International Primatological Society, has released its latest biennial report (the fifth in the series begun in 2000) on Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008-2010. This 92-page document spotlights five primate species from Madagascar, six from Africa, eleven from Asia and three from the Neotropics.

Nearly half the world’s primates are endangered – but each of these twenty-five remarkable creatures is in particularly dire straits. As the IUCN describers the situation:

“Primates are among the most persecuted of tropical species — relentlessly hunted for their meat and fur, bodies broken for dubious medicines, shot for stealing crops in fields which were once their home. All the forests of the world cannot sate the sum of human hunger: they are cut and burned, day and night, and the remnants of their grandeur will not long survive without our intervention.

“Thus no primate is entirely free from danger; but the few highlighted in this report are those whose very existence is in doubt. Each one named here is almost lost — each an entire race of beings, now reduced to a tattered remnant: two or three dozen in the worst of cases, a mere few hundred for the rest.

“From the Atlantic Forest of Brazil to the monsoon slopes of Madagascar, from the mountains of southwest China to the islands of Mentawai, these primates are caught between fading hope and hard oblivion. And if through our failure of action they should cease to exist, we will have lost our nearest companions — and a part of ourselves — from what wilderness remains in the world.”

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] our immediately previous post, Primates in Peril, we noted the release of the IUCN’s new report on the world’s 25 most endangered […]

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