SOURCE: The London Economic

DATE: October 7, 2019

SNIP: SEVEN new species have appeared for the first time on the world’s 25 most endangered primates list – including western Chimpanzees and the super-rare Skywalker hoolock gibbon.

The bleak report, named ‘Primates In Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2018-2020’, warns that many of the world’s primates are on the brink of extinction and need urgent help.

A shocking seven species have never before appeared on the list – but their rapidly dwindling numbers are as low as just a few hundred individuals in the wild.

The small, black Skywalker hoolock gibbon – named after popular sci-fi film series Star Wars – numbers just 150 in the wild.

And one of the most imperiled primates on the list is the Tapanuli orangutan from Sumatra, Indonesia – the first great ape identified since the bonobo from the D.R.C. in 1929.

The endangered orangutan was only identified in 2017, but is one of the world’s most threatened primates, numbering less than 800 in the wild.

The new research has been compiled by conservationists from Bristol Zoological Society.

The Primate Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Primatological Society (IPS), and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) also partnered with the zoo for the report.

Dr Russell Mittermeier, chief conservation officer of GWC, said: “If you took all the remaining individuals of the 25 Most Endangered Primates list, you wouldn’t fill the seating of a large football stadium.”

Across the globe, 69 per cent of the total 704 primate species and subspecies are considered threatened, the report shows.

One of the lead editors of the report is Dr Christoph Schwitzer, chief zoological officer at Bristol Zoological Society.

He said: “This report reveals the bleak prospects of some of the world’s most incredible animals.

“Some are well-known and others barely studied, but all are in danger of extinction from the relentless destruction of their habitats, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bushmeat hunting.

“We hope this report will help draw attention to their plight.