Friday, February 3, 2017

Many Primate Species Face Extinction

Our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, the primates, are in trouble. According to a comprehensive review of primate populations around the world by some 31 scientists from 11 countries, nearly 60% of all primate species are in danger of extinction, and many of the others are in decline. That includes every species of apes and nearly all species of lemurs. The one primate species that still appears to be doing extremely well is humans.

The causes are multiple and predictable. Reduction in habitat due to an expanding human population, changes in primate's habitat due to logging, agriculture, and mining, predation (hunting) by humans, and even climate change are all thought to be contributing factors.

Unfortunately, there aren't any easy solutions on the horizon. Unless action is taken soon, it becomes increasingly likely that some of our primate relatives will disappear from planet Earth, if not within the next few decades, most certainly within the next few centuries. And that would be sad.

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