Six out of 10 Apes and Monkeys Are Facing Extinction

Daily Mail (London), January 19, 2017 | Go to article overview

Six out of 10 Apes and Monkeys Are Facing Extinction


Byline: Colin Fernandez Science Correspondent

MORE than 60 per cent of the world's apes and monkeys are threatened with extinction within 25 years, a shocking report reveals.

Among the biggest threats to chimps and gorillas is their habitats being mined for the metals that go into making mobile phones and laptops, the authors said.

For most of the world's 504 primate species it is now 'the 11th hour', with nearly two thirds facing extinction and 75 per cent of populations in decline.

Behind the collapse in numbers is an increase in industrial agriculture, cattle ranching, logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, dam building and road construction.

Primates are incredibly diverse, ranging from the Madame Berthe's mouse lemur which weighs 1oz to the 31 stone male western and eastern gorillas.

But despite being among the most 'charismatic' species, only a 'revolution' will stop apes and monkeys becoming extinct, the authors said.

To stop losing primate habitats, industrial nations will have to reduce their demands for tropical hardwoods, beef, palm oil, soy, rubber, minerals and fossil fuels.

Primates are found in South and Central America, Africa and Asia - but two thirds are found in just four areas: Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia and the Congo.

To help protect them, the authors urge that people make sure they recycle their mobile phones and laptops.

This could reduce the demand for coltan - a metallic ore mined in the Congo Basin which produces elements used in electronics. The illegal trade in bushmeat is also threatening the animals, as is changing climates and diseases spread from humans to apes.

In Nigeria and Cameroon, checks on 89 markets found 150,000 primate carcasses from 16 species traded annually as bushmeat. …

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