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Primates on the brink

es list, compiled at the 20th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Turin, Italy, follows similar reports in 2000 and 2002. Fifteen of the primates on the new list, including the Sumatran orangutan of Indonesia and the northern muriqui of Brazil, are "three-time losers" for having appeared on all three lists. Seven are new additions to the 2004-2006 list, and three appeared once before.

Madagascar and Vietnam each have four primates on the new list, while Brazil and Indonesia have three, followed by Sri Lanka and Tanzania with two each, and one each from Colombia, China, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Some primates on the list are found in more than one country.

By region, the list includes 10 from Asia, seven from Africa, four from Madagascar, and four from South America, showing that threats to monkeys, lemurs, great apes and other non-human primates exist wherever they live.

All 25 primates on the 2004-2006 list are found in the world's biodiversity hotspots-34 regions identified by Conservation International that cover just 2.3 percent of the Earth's land surface but harbor well over 50 percent of all terrestrial plant and animal diversity. Eight of the hotspots are considered the highest priorities for the survival of the most endangered primates: Indo-Burma, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands, Sundaland, Eastern Afromontane, Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa, Guinean Forests of West Africa, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, and Western Ghats-Sri Lanka.

Habitat loss due to the clearing of tropical forests for agriculture, logging, and the collection of fuel wood continues to be the major factor in the declining number of primates, according to the report. Hunting for subsistence and commercial purposes also is a major and insidious threat, especially in Africa and Asia. Live capture for the pet trade also poses a serious threat
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Source:Conservation International


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