Monkey in the Middle
The number of primate species or sub-species classified as endangered or critically endangered has risen 63 percent since 2000, according to “Primates in Peril: The World’s Top 25 Most Endangered Primates,” a report issued recently by Conservation International and the World Conservation Union. The report found that one-third of all primate species are at risk of extinction, and blamed the troubles on increased human pressures, primarily the clearing of tropical forests and commercial hunting. Nearly 45 percent of the most endangered primates live in Asia; in a few spots, such as in Brazil and Madagascar, primate numbers are improving. “It’s important to mention that it is not all doom and gloom,” said Conservation International President Russ Mittermeier. “There’s some good stuff going on.” But there’s not much good news from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which recently updated its Red List of Threatened Species to include 11,167 imperiled species — 121 more than in 2000.