Primates play a vital role in ecosystems, including using their faeces for pollination. This is why the growing number of endangered monkey species is both alarming and critical.
In this article we will discuss the various monkey species that are most endangered.
Monkey species currently living in danger of extinction
1. Greater bamboo lemur
Endemic to Madagascar, the bamboo lemur is classified as critically endangered. It is associated with tropical forest and the presence of large reed bamboo. These areas are mainly found at mid and high altitudes, although it can also be found in lower areas. It is estimated that 80% of the great bamboo lemur population has declined due to the impact of logging and burning on its habitat, as well as direct hunting. Climate change is also having a major impact on ecosystem modification.
2. Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus)
Also native to Madagascar and also critically endangered, estimates indicate that only about 250 adults remain. Its natural habitat is mountain rainforests. The species is impacted by the slash-and-burn policies of agricultural development. Hunting is also a problem, as it is used for human consumption as a type of bushmeat.
3. Western Gorilla
Another endangered primate is the western gorilla. It is an ape and technically not a monkey, but falls into the category of Simiiformes. It is typical of Africa, especially countries such as Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Nigeria. It is considered critically endangered, especially due to the decline of the Western lowland gorilla subspecies.
Several factors have led to the dramatic situation facing this species. The main problem is poaching. This happens for various purposes, including using them for meat consumption, an action that is completely unsustainable. The Ebola virus has also caused a significant decline, as well as habitat damage and the consequences of climate change.
4. Dryas Monkey (Cercopithecus dryas)
This species is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is listed in the endangered category. It is an enigmatic animal, several aspects of which are unknown, requiring further research to understand how to help populations. However, it is known to inhabit moist, riparian and swamp forests. Poaching and habitat conversion for planting are the main causes of population loss.
5. Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus)
The gibbon is native to China. Due to a drastic population decline of 80%, it is considered critically endangered, although it is now officially reported as stable. It lives in montane forest ecosystems in tropical areas. Its main threats are hunting, inbreeding due to population decline and habitat alteration.