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One in every three primates now threatened with extinction

Washington, DC New evidence of the peril facing the world's apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates, with one in every three now endangered with extinction, is revealed in a new report -- The World's Top 25 Most Endangered Primates 2002 released today by Conservation International (CI) and the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN-The World Conservation Union. Primate species and sub-species classified as "critically endangered" and "endangered" jumped nearly 63 percent from 120 to 195 since the initial report was issued in January 2000.

The report emerged from a recent gathering of the International Primatological Society, at its 19th Congress in Beijing, China. Asia now accounts for almost 45 percent of the world's most endangered primates, with 11 listed in the top 25, including six that are new additions. Africa (8), the Neotropics (3) and Madagascar (3) are home to the other primates represented on the list. These include the Sumatran orangutan of Indonesia, the mountain gorilla of Africa, and northern muriqui of Brazil.

"The latest information made available at the International Primatological Society Congress in Beijing highlighted the fact that Asia has now become the world leader in endangered primates," said Conservation International President Russ Mittermeier. "Of particular concern is the situation in Vietnam and China. Indeed, with several primates now numbering only in the dozens or low hundreds of individuals, Vietnam is at risk of undergoing a major primate extinction spasm within the next few years if rapid action is not taken. Fully 20 percent of the top 25 primates are located in Vietnam, with another 16 percent from China and 12 percent from Indonesia."

Twenty-three of the 25 primates are found in the world's biodiversity hotspots: 25 regions identified by Conservation International which cover a mere 1.4 percent of Earth's land surface but harbor more than 60 percent of all terrestrial plant and animal diversity.


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Contact: Pamela Moyer
p.moyer@conservation.org
202-912-1294
Conservation International
7-Oct-2002


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