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This report was first presented at the Asian Red-Listing meeting the IUCN had in Singapore in November 2015.
Here the IUCN reports on the eighth iteration of the biennial listing of a consensus of the 25 primate species considered to be among the most endangered worldwide and the most in need of conservation measures.
The 2014–2016 list of the world’s 25 most endangered primates has five species from Africa, five from Madagascar, ten from Asia, and five from the Neotropics. Madagascar tops the list with five species. Indonesia and Vietnam both have three, Brazil two, and Cameroon, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Venezuela each have one.
The changes made in this list compared to the previous iteration (2012–2014) were not because the situation of the eight species that were dropped has improved. In some cases, such as, for example, Microcebus berthae, the situation has in fact worsened, due to ongoing deforestation in this species’ small distribution range in western Madagascar. By making these changes the editors intend rather to highlight other, closely related species enduring equally bleak prospects for their future survival. One species for which the situation may have improved since it was first added to the list in 2008 is Eulemur flavifrons, Sclater’s black lemur. While severe threats to this species remain in large parts of its range, some populations inside the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park are now under more effective protection, mainly owing to a long-term research and monitoring programme that has been active in this protected area since 2004.
Eight of the primates were not on the previous (2012–2014) list. Four of them are listed as among the world’s most endangered primates for the first time. The Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur, Perrier’s sifaka, the Hainan gibbon and the Sumatran orangutan had already been on previous iterations, but were subsequently removed in favour of other highly threatened species. The 2014–2016 list contains two members each of the genera Piliocolobus, Trachypithecus, Semnopithecus and Ateles, thus particularly highlighting the severe threats that large-bodied primates are facing in all of the world’s primate habitat regions.
During the discussion of the 2014–2016 list at the XXV Congress of IPS in Hanoi in 2014, a number of other highly threatened primate species were considered for inclusion. For all of these, the situation in the wild is as precarious as it is for those that finally made it on the list.