Why are our closest relatives, the primates, declining almost everywhere?
In West Africa, for example, primate numbers are plummeting from the fatal one-two punch of deforestation and overhunting. A recent study found that over 9000 dead primates are sold each year in a single bushmeat market in the Ivory Coast.
And in Borneo and Sumatra, the iconic Orangutan continues to suffer widespread declines despite a high-profile pledge from the Indonesian President to stabilize its population--ostensibly using the scheme as a "blueprint" for conservation of other endangered wildlife in the country.
Despite such rhetoric, habitat destruction continues apace in Indonesia. The endangered Leuser Ecosystem of Sumatra--the focus of a recent ALERT press release--is the only place on Earth where the Orangutan still lives alongside Elephants, Rhinos, and Tigers. But this forest is under assault from a massive road-building scheme and other development pressures (see blog below and please sign this petition).
Unfortunately, most primate species live in parts of the world where human numbers and environmental impacts are skyrocketing. Studies like those above reveal a tough road ahead for our closest kin.