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Thursday, February 9, 2017

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Primates face mass extinction

Primates face mass extinction, Animals, Foxi news More than half the world’s primates are on the verge of extinction, and they have their Homo sapiens cousins to blame. A landmark new study reveals that farming, hunting, mining, and other human activities threaten to wipe out chimps, lemurs, bonobos, and orangutans, to name just a few. Tracking all 504 species from Madagascar’s tiny mouse lemur to the 450-pound eastern lowland gorilla of the Democratic Republic of Congo a global research team found that 75 percent are currently in decline and 60 percent face imminent extinction. “This truly is the 11th hour for many of these creatures,”primatologist Paul Garber tells USA Today. Amid rising global demand for natural resources and food, primate forests are being converted into cattle ranches, soybean fields, rice paddies, and palm oil plantations. Bushmeat has become a key source of food and income for impoverished communities near primate habitats, while primate body parts believed to have healing powers are also being sold on black markets in Asia. If steps aren’t taken to mitigate habitat loss, climate change, and illegal wildlife trade, these mammals will begin to disappear over the next 25 years, researchers warn. They say conservation efforts should focus on Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Congo; these four countries are home to two-thirds of all primate species. “Governments, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and citizens have to come together to change business as usual,”  Garber says. “Now is the moment.”

More than half the world’s primates are on the verge of extinction, and they have their Homo sapiens cousins to blame. A landmark new study reveals that farming, hunting, mining, and other human activities threaten to wipe out chimps, lemurs, bonobos, and orangutans, to name just a few. Tracking all 504 species from Madagascar’s tiny mouse lemur to the 450-pound eastern lowland gorilla of the Democratic Republic of Congo a global research team found that 75 percent are currently in decline and 60 percent face imminent extinction. “This truly is the 11th hour for many of these creatures,”primatologist Paul Garber tells USA Today. Amid rising global demand for natural resources and food, primate forests are being converted into cattle ranches, soybean fields, rice paddies, and palm oil plantations. Bushmeat has become a key source of food and income for impoverished communities near primate habitats, while primate body parts believed to have healing powers are also being sold on black markets in Asia. If steps aren’t taken to mitigate habitat loss, climate change, and illegal wildlife trade, these mammals will begin to disappear over the next 25 years, researchers warn. They say conservation efforts should focus on Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Congo; these four countries are home to two-thirds of all primate species. “Governments, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and citizens have to come together to change business as usual,”  Garber says. “Now is the moment.”

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