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STATES CHRONICLE – A professor in CU’s of Biological Anthropology tries to raise awareness regarding primate extinction. Approximately three-quarters of the primates existing in the world are currently threatened by extinction. Joanna Lambert, the co-author of the study who is also a professor in the Department of Biological Anthropology at CU, claimed that we need to take care of these species.
She also stated that the next few years would be critical for primates and a lot more species. The new paper entitled “Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: Why primates matter” was recently published on January 18 in Science Advances. Lambert stated that the extinction problem is not new for people working in the field. Nevertheless, the new study is meant to represent the first accurate evaluation.
Researchers’ purpose was to draw everyone’s attention to the idea that many primate species are threatened with extinction. Scientists were aware of this problem for some time, and this paper is bound to spread the news to determine people to help every endangered species. The study proved that this terrible situation represents the outcome of increasing anthropogenic pressures on primates and their habitats.
The pressures caused by humans can lead to terrible habitat loss due to the development of industrial agriculture, logging, large-scale cattle ranching, gas and oil drilling, dam building, the construction of new roads and mining. Other significant factors which may influence the extinction include increased bushmeat hunting, the emerging threats like climate change and diseases transmitted from humans to animals and the illegal trade of primates as body parts or human pets.
All species of apes are currently threatened by extinction, including bonbons, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas together with 87% of all lemur species. Based on the data included in the study, approximately two-thirds of all primate species happen in only four countries, namely in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Brazil.
Lambert has previously studied the interactions between species and seed dispersal in Africa for 27 years. She monitored many species analyzing what happens to the seeds of the fruit consumed by chimpanzees and other species of monkeys. What is more, she also studied the importance of these seeds’ role in the regeneration of forests through seed dispersals. As the world loses the population of primates, the forests are not regenerating as they should be.
Image source: wikipedia