Sri Lankan monkey among most endangered 25 primates

Twenty-five species of monkeys, langurs, lemurs and gorillas are on the brink of extinction and need global action to protect them from increasing deforestation and illegal trafficking, researchers said today (15th). Among the 25 Primates is Western purple-faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus nestor) of Sri Lanka. These 25 primate species are considered to be among the most endangered worldwide and the most in need of conservation measures.

The report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature was released at the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity being held in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Primates, mankind's closest living relatives, contribute to the ecosystem by dispersing seeds and maintaining forest diversity.

More than half of the world's 633 types of primates are in danger of becoming extinct because of human activity such as the burning and clearing of tropical forests, the hunting of primates for food and the illegal wildlife trade.

Research carried out by Rasanayagam Rudran, Kanchana Weerakoon and Ananda Wanasinghe indicate that “one of the most serious problems facing Sri Lanka’s western purple-faced langur (T. v. nestor) stems from the fact that it inhabits some of the most densely populated regions of the country.  The Purple-faced Langur is a monkey that lives only in the forests of Sri Lanka.  As a result, this endemic monkey’s long-term survival is severely threatened by unplanned and haphazard urbanization.  It is believed that the species has undergone a decline of more than 80% over three generations.

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