Primate conservation in the new millennium: The role of scientists

Colin A. Chapman, Carlos A. Peres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


For nearly three decades, the academic community has clearly recognized that many primate populations are severely threatened by human activities. In 1983, Wolfheim estimated that more than 50% of all primate species faced some form of threat. Over a decade later, the Primate Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union5 estimated that half of the world's 250 species of primates were of serious conservation concern. In a recent review of the current status of primate communities, Wright and Jernvall commented that it was an achievement for primate conservationists that we had not lost any species in the last millennium. It is ironic that the first documented extinction of a widely recognized primate taxon occurred just as we entered the new millennium. Based on surveys in Ghana and Cote d'lvoire, Oates and colleagues have failed to find any surviving populations of Miss Waldron's red colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni), a primate taxon endemic to this region and one that some authorities consider worthy of species status. Because 96 primate species are now considered to be critically endangered or endangered, much must be done in the near future to ensure that extinction curves do not lag behind tropical deforestation and high levels of commercial and subsistence hunting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-33
Number of pages18
JournalEvolutionary Anthropology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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