Bad news has arisen from a review of primate species populations. The conclusion reached is that 60 percent of all primate species are threatened with extinction, and a full 75 percent of species’ populations are in decline. Why is this important? Well, humans are primates, and we are causing the extinctions of all the others. To me, this doesn’t bode well for our own species. If we ruin various habitats to the point where other primates cannot survive, it’s only a matter of time until we ruin our own habitat to the point where we cannot survive. As they say, don’t crap where you sleep.
OK, fine. Why is this environmental news on a bigfoot blog? Well, sasquatches are primates as well. They are clearly hominids, just as we and the other known apes are. Whatever else they may be, they are primates. Could it be that sasquatches will also succumb to the pressures that are driving the other primates to extinction?
Human actions were found to be behind all of the factors that threaten the various primate species. Poverty and greed seem to be the largest contributing factors.
“The IUCN has found that agriculture, logging and wood harvesting, livestock farming and ranching, as well as direct loss due to hunting and trapping pose the primary threats. Still other threats include habitat loss due to road and rail construction, oil and gas drilling and mining, pollution and climate change.”
The fact that human forces are behind the decline of primate populations is a good thing, sort of. This means that we can do something about it. The article says, “Building economies based on the preservation of forests and their primate inhabitants, and broadening educational opportunities for women would begin to address some of the greatest threats to these animals.”
This is a serious problem, and one that is not a political issue with red or blue sides to take. It is a human issue. It is something that we, as a species, must address before it’s too late for hour primate cousins, and then later, for ourselves.
The Survival of Primates Is in Doubt
The most comprehensive review of primate populations ever conducted finds that 60 percent of our closest biological relatives are threatened with extinction.
A future without primates outside of humans seems unthinkable, but an extensive review of ape, monkey, tarsier, lemur and loris populations finds that 60 percent of all primates are now threatened with extinction, and about 75 percent are declining in numbers.
The review, the most comprehensive of its kind to date and published in Science Advances, paints a dire future for our closest biological relatives. Their only hope hangs on global conservation becoming an immediate priority, the international team of authors says.
“It is possible that some primates will go extinct in our lifetimes if we don’t increase our efforts dramatically,” Russell Mittermeier, a primatologist who is the president of Conservation International, told Seeker from a Madagascar airport.
Madagascar is one of just four countries—with Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo being the other three—that host two-thirds of all species of primates. Mittermeier, who is also the chair of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, explained that “primates are largely tropical rainforest animals,” and these countries have such habitat, although these once-lush landscapes are shrinking across the planet.
A species of monkey might have already gone extinct during your lifetime: Miss Waldron’s red colobus monkey. It was reportedly last seen in 1978.