More than half the world’s primates, including apes, lemurs and monkeys, are facing extinction, international experts warned Tuesday, as they called for urgent action to protect mankind’s closest living relatives.
The population crunch is the result of large-scale habitat destruction — particularly the burning and clearing of tropical forests — as well as the hunting of primates for food and the illegal wildlife trade.
Species long-known to be at risk, including the Sumatran orangutan, have been joined on the most endangered list for the first time by the Philippine tarsier and the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur from Madagascar, scientists meeting in Singapore said.
“This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world’s primates,” leading primatologist Christoph Schwitzer, director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society in Britain, said in a statement.
“We hope it will focus people’s attention on these lesser known primate species, some of which most people will probably have never heard of.”
This includes the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur — a species only discovered two years ago — and the Roloway monkey from Ghana and Ivory Coast, which experts say “are on the very verge of extinction”.
There are 703 species and sub-species of primates in the world.
Madagascar and Vietnam are home to large numbers of highly threatened primate species, the statement said.
In Africa, the red colobus monkeys was under “particular threat”, as were some of South America’s howler monkeys and spider monkeys, it added.
“All of these species are relatively large and conspicuous, making them prime targets for bushmeat hunting,” the statement said.
Russell Mittermeier, chair of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said he hoped the report would encourage governments to commit to “desperately needed biodiversity conservation measures”.
Mittermeier said ahead of next month’s global climate conference in Paris, there was growing evidence some primate species might play key roles in dispersing tropical forest tree seeds, which in turn “have a critically important role in mitigating climate change”.
Here is the list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates for 2014-2016 and their estimated numbers remaining in the wild.
The list is compiled by the IUCN, Bristol Zoological Society, International Primatological Society and Conservation International and is updated every two years:
Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur — unknown
Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur — about 2,500-5,000
Red ruffed lemur — unknown
Northern sportive lemur — around 50
Perrier’s sifaka — 1,700-2,600
Rondo dwarf galago — unknown but remaining habitat is just 100 square kilometres (40 square miles)
Roloway monkey — unknown but thought to be on the very verge of extinction
Preuss’ red colobus monkey — unknown
Tana River red colobus monkey — 1,000 and declining
Grauer’s gorilla — 2,000-10,000
Philippine tarsier — unknown
Javan slow loris — unknown
Pig-tailed langur — 3,300
Cat Ba langur (golden headed langur) — 60
Delacour’s langur — 234-275
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey — less than 250
Kashmir grey langur — unknown
Western purple-faced langur — unknown
Hainan gibbon — 25
Sumatran orangutan — 6,600
Ka’apor capuchin — unknown
San Martin titi monkey — unknown
Northern brown howler monkey — less than 250 mature animals
Colombian brown spider monkey — unknown
Ecuadorian brown-headed spider monkey — unknown
Pro-Trump internet trolls tried to hijack Nickelodeon’s kid’s survey on who should be president — and failed
On Tuesday, Nickelodeon hosted its "Kids Pick The President" straw poll, in which young viewers of the network give their own opinion on who should win the presidential election. The poll has no electoral significance, given that kids cannot vote and given that the survey methodology is not scientific and lets anyone opt in regardless of how it balances the sample.
Despite this, pro-Trump internet trolls reportedly sought to hijack the results, spreading the message to get people to flood the poll with votes for President Donald Trump.
In the end, however, they couldn't even do it. Joe Biden won the poll, 53 percent to 47 percent.
Wisconsin sees ‘nightmare scenario’ of COVID cases — as Trump ignores medical advice for campaign rally
Wisconsin residents saw a “nightmare scenario” situation unfold Tuesday as 5,262 COVID-19 cases rocked the state, resulting in 64 deaths as President Donald Trump held a large campaign rally with few masks and zero social distancing.
"This is no longer a slow-motion disaster," said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "This is a disaster in warp speed. And it's maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying."
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.
Trump’s website hacked and defaced to stop the ‘fake-news’ spread by the president: report
President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.
Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.
"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."
"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.
The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."
There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.