More than half of primates on Earth face extinction according to new report

A new report in the journal Science Advances stated that three quarters of primates now face extinction.

Carmelo Sheppard | Jan 19, 2017

A new report in the journal Science Advances stated that three quarters of primates now face extinction.

The report, "Impending extinction crisis of the world's primates: Why primates matter", was published on Wednesday. According to Alejandro Estrada, the leading author of the report, and the over a dozen other credited authors, 60 percent of all primates are now at risk of extinction. The report observed the conservation status of 504 species of nonhuman primates to discover the population decline.

Although humans are not considered to be at risk, some of the primates that are in the three quarters in danger include apes, the closest biological relatives of humans, monkeys, lemurs and lorises.

"It was surprising to learn that the rate of decline was so high," said Dr. Estrada, who is a senior research scientist at the Institute of Biology, National Autonomous University of Mexico. "This is of great concern as the figures suggest that we may be reaching a tipping point -- or perhaps we are already there."

"The situation turns out to be worse than most of us thought going in," concurred co-author, Dr Paul Garber, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois. "Primates worldwide are facing mass extinction."

According to the report, humans and their business practices are to blame.

"There are a lot of multinational corporations working (in these areas) and their goal is to extract resources as quickly and as cheaply as they can," said Garber. "No matter which industry, there is rarely an attempt made to do it in a way that is sustainable."

bottom ad