Primates are in trouble. In a study of unprecedented scope, a team of 31 primatologists has analyzed every known species of primate to judge how they are faring. The news for man’s closest animal relatives is not good.
Three-quarters of primate species are in decline, the researchers found, and about 60 percent are now threatened with extinction. From gorillas to gibbons, primates are in significantly worse shape now than in recent decades because of the devastation from agriculture, hunting and mining.
“I think we’re going to get quite a number of extinctions within next 50 years if things go on the way they are,” said Anthony B. Rylands, a senior research scientist at Conservation International and a co-author of the new study, which was published in Science Advances.