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Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates : Why primates matter [Science Advances]

Keywords : nonhuman primates, tropical forests, deforestation, hunting, illegal trade, primate conservation, sustainable land use, industrial agriculture, ecosystem health, rural livelihoods

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Nonhuman primates, our closest biological relatives, play important roles in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of many societies and offer unique insights into human evolution, biology, behavior, and the threat of emerging diseases. They are an essential component of tropical biodiversity, contributing to forest regeneration and ecosystem health. Current information shows the existence of 504 species in 79 genera distributed in the Neotropics, mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Alarmingly, 60% of primate species are now threatened with extinction and 75% have declining populations. This situation is the result of escalating anthropogenic pressures on primates and their habitats—mainly global and local market demands, leading to extensive habitat loss through the expansion of industrial agriculture, large-scale cattle ranching, logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, dam building, and the construction of new road networks in primate range regions.(...)

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