By Dan Shapley
Conservation International wants to cause an international stir by publicizing a startling fact: 114 of the world's 394 primates -- 29% -- are threatened with extinction.
Its new report, "Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates--2006--2008," compiles research by 60 scientists in 21 countries.
No primate has gone extinct in a century, but the 21st century could see a wave of extinctions in our closest animal relatives, as hunters continue to kill primates for food, loggers and farmers clear their habitat and human wars heighten their peril.
The loss of these large primates would signal serious problems in their forests. Most fill important niches, and their loss would have a cascade of effects on other wildlife.
Here is the list of the 25 most endangered primates:
- Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), Madagascar
- White-collared lemur (Eulemur albocollaris), Madagascar
- Sahamalaza Peninsula sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis), Madagascar
- Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus), Madagascar
- Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Nigeria, Cameroon
- Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway), Ivory Coast, Ghana
- Rondo dwarf galago (Galagoides rondoensis), Tanzania
- Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus), Kenya
- Miss Waldron's red colobus (Procolobus badius), Ivory Coast, Ghana
- Kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji), Tanzania
- Pennant's red colobus (Procolobus pennantii pennantii), Equatorial Guinea (Island of Bioko)
- Variegated spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), Colombia, Venezuela
- Brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps), Colombia, Ecuador
- Peruvian yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda), Peru
- Western Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock), Bangladesh, India, Myanmar
- Horton Plains slender loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides), Sri Lanka
- Western purple-faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus nestor), Sri Lanka
- Pig-tailed langur (Simias concolor), Indonesia (Mentawai Islands)
- Siau Island tarsier (Tarsius sp.), Indonesia
- Delacour's langur (Trachypithecus delacouri), Vietnam
- Golden-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus poliocephalus), Vietnam
- Grey-shanked douc (Pygathrix cinerea), Vietnam
- Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus), Vietnam
- Hainan black-crested gibbon (Nomascus hainanus), China (Hainan Island)
- Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), Indonesia (Sumatra)