NEW DELHI — Twenty-five species of monkeys, langurs, lemurs, and gorillas are on the brink of extinction and need global action to protect them from increasing deforestation and illegal trafficking, researchers said Monday.
Six of the severely threatened primate species live on the island nation of Madagascar, off southeast Africa. Five from mainland Africa, five from South America, and nine species in Asia are among those listed as most threatened.
The report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature was released at the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity being held in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.
The report, which counts species and subspecies of primates across the world, noted that Madagascar’s lemurs are severely threatened by habitat destruction and illegal hunting, which has accelerated dramatically since the change of power in the country in 2009. Among the most severely hit was the northern sportive lemur, with only 19 known individuals left in the wild.
While the prospects look poor for some species, wildlife researchers say conservation efforts are beginning to pay off for others previously listed.