A recent study published in the journal Science Advances reported that nearly 60% of the primate species are threatened with extinction.
Primates are one of the largest groups of mammals in the world. There are 504 species of primates in the world. Most of the primate species are found in tropical rainforests and two thirds of them are in countries like Brazil, Madagascar, Congo and Indonesia.
Reasons for Population Decline
There are various factors threatening the primate species:
- Habitat loss (farm expansion, logging, infrastructure development, oil and gas extraction, etc.)
- Climate change
- Illegal trade in pets and body parts (bush meat), etc.
The authors highlighted the case of Virunga rangers’ role in primate conservation. These rangers work in Virunga National Park- a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Congo. There are over 700 rangers (both men and women) who go through intensive training and qualify to become civil servants to work as rangers. Over 175 rangers have lost their lives in protecting the primates in the region.