Worlds Most Endangered Primates

At the end of November, the most recent report detailing the world’s 25 most endangered primates was released.  The report is a joint compilation by the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) ; Bristol Zoological Society; the International Primatological Society (IPS) and Conservation International (CI).  Updated every two years, it makes sobering reading for anyone interested in Primates or wildlife in general. However, it also highlights where our conservation efforts and research should be focused in coming years whilst potentially drawing people’s attention to the plight of lesser known species.

Habitat loss, deforestation, bushmeat hunting and the illegal wildlife trade are the primary threats to many primate species on this list.  With over half the world’s primate species threatened with extinction, collaborative reports like this can be key in focusing conservation efforts and monitoring global populations to identify trends and declining populations before it’s too late to act.

The table below (adapted from Bristol Zoological Society’s press release) lists the world’s 25 most endangered primates (2014-16) with links to each species’ IUCN profile, where available.

Primate Species Estimated Number Left in the Wild Geographic Range
Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur Unknown Madagascar
Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur 2,500 – 5,000 Madagascar
Red ruffed lemur Unknown Madagascar
Northern sportive lemur ~ 50 Madagascar
Perrier’s sifaka 1,700 – 2,600 Madagascar
Rondo dwarf galago Unknown Tanzania
Roloway monkey Unknown Ghana
Preuss’ red colobus monkey Unknown Cameroon, Nigeria (Small patch)
Tana River red colobus monkey 1,000, declining Kenya
Grauer’s gorilla 2,000 – 10,000 Eastern DRC
Philippine tarsier Unknown Philippines
Javan slow loris Unknown Indonesia (Jawa)
Pig-tailed langur 3,300 Indonesia (Sumatera)
Cat Ba langur (Golden headed langur) ~ 60 China, Vietnam
Delacour’s langur 234 – 275 Vietnam
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey < 250 Vietnam
Kashmir grey langur Unknown India
Western purple-faced langur Unknown Sri Lanka
Hainan gibbon ~ 25 China (Hainan)
Sumatran orangutan ~ 6,600 Indonesia (Sumatera)
Ka’apor capuchin Unknown Brazil
San Martin titi monkey Unknown Peru
Northern brown howler monkey < 250 Brazil
Colombian brown spider monkey Unknown Colombia, Panama
Ecuadorian brown-headed spider monkey Unknown Ecuador

The full press release, as well as a download of the complete report, can be found here.

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