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Technology Over half of world’s apes and monkeys in danger of extinction

22:38  18 january  2017
22:38  18 january  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

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The world ' s apes and monkeys are in serious trouble. About 60% of Earth’s non-human primate species, including apes , monkeys , gorillas, gibbons and lemurs, are threatened with extinction and about 75% have declining populations, according to a study published Wednesday.

Over half of world ’ s apes and monkeys in danger of extinction . 6 PHOTOS.

Two white-cheeked gibbons, a mother (R) and her baby, frolic September 16, 2002 in the Tropic World at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois. © Tim Boyle/Getty Images Two white-cheeked gibbons, a mother (R) and her baby, frolic September 16, 2002 in the Tropic World at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois.

The world's apes and monkeys are in serious trouble.

About 60% of Earth’s non-human primate species, including apes, monkeys, gorillas, gibbons and lemurs, are threatened with extinction and about 75% have declining populations, according to a study published Wednesday.

"This truly is the 11th hour for many of these creatures," said University of Illinois anthropology professor Paul Garber, who co-led the study.

In the case of the Hainan gibbon, a species of ape in China, fewer than 30 animals remain on the planet. That and many other species will disappear in the next 25 years unless conservation becomes a global priority, Garber said. Of the 500 species of primates in the world, about 300 are threatened or endangered, he added.

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About 60% of the world ’ s non-human primates, including apes , monkeys , gorillas and lemurs, are in danger of extinction and about 75% have These results were published in the journal 'Science Advances' and represent the most comprehensive study of the world ' s primates ever conducted.

Logging, oil and gas drilling, over -grazing and development all result habitat destruction. Endangered species habitat should be protected and these impacts minimized. By protecting habitat, entire communities of animals and plants can be protected together.

Humanity's population expansion is the main cause for the extinction threat, with 5 billion humans living in countries with primates. Habitat loss due to logging, mining and agriculture; hunting; the illegal pet trade; and climate change are all top reasons for the decline, Garber said. "Most of this has gone on in the past 100 years," he added.

The study, which involved dozens of authors from around the world, is the most comprehensive review of the world's primates ever conducted, the researchers say. 

Jan Vertefeuille of the World Wildlife Fund, who was not part of the study, said the report "raises the alarm" about the plight of these species. 

"The problem seems far away but there are a few easy things consumers in the U.S. can do to help take some of the pressure off," he said. Insisting on responsibly harvested wood products, recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, sustainable palm oil and beef are just some of those ways.

The study appeared in the journal Science Advances, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

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