Half of All Primates Endangered

Deforestation, hunting threaten man's closest kin
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 18, 2010 1:21 AM CST
Chameli, a female golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) sits on a branch as her baby sleeps in her lap at a zoological park in India. The golden langur is the most endangered primate species of India.   (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
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(Newser) – Nearly half of all primate species on the planet are in danger of extinction, warns a shocking report by a world conservation organization. Destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bush meat hunting are the key threats to man's closest relatives, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The organization estimates 48% of the 648 species are in jeopardy, with some populations already reduced to a few dozen individuals, reports CNN. "This report makes for very alarming reading," said an adviser to the group. "Support and action to help save these species is vital if we are to avoid losing these animals forever."

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