The Sumatran Orangutan is considered among the most endangered primates in the world. (AFP Photo/Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program)

Three Indonesian Primates Named on IUCN's Most Endangered List


NOVEMBER 30, 2015

Jakarta. An international conservationist organization has included three Indonesian primates in its latest report of the world's 25 most endangered monkeys, apes and lemurs.

Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) and pig-tailed snub-nosed langur (Simias councilor) have been considered as one step away from extinction because of threats such as habitat destruction — particularly from the burning and clearing of tropical forests resulting in the release of greenhouse gases causing climate change — the hunting of primates for food and the illegal wildlife trade, according to a report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published last Tuesday.

The report, which is updated every two years, was compiled by 63 primate conservation experts from across the world, including the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC), Bristol Zoological Society, the International Primatological Society (IPS) and Conservation International.

"The purpose of our Top25 is to highlight those primates most at risk, to attract the attention of the public, to stimulate national governments to do more, and especially to find the resources to implement desperately needed conservation measures," Russell Mittermeier, chair of the IUCN/SSC primate specialist group and executive vice chair of Conservation International, said in a statement released along with the report.

"In particular, we want to encourage governments to commit to desperately needed biodiversity conservation measures," Mittermeier said.

The list, drawn up by primatologists working in the field with first-hand knowledge of the causes of threats to primates, includes five primate species from Madagascar, five from Africa, 10 from Asia and five from Central and South America — all of which are in need of the most urgent conservation action.

According to the report, Indonesia and Vietnam shared the second highest contributions to the list with three imperiled primate species, while Madagascar topped the record with five species.

“This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world’s primates,” Christoph Schwitzer, director of Conservation at Bristol Zoological Society and a world-leading primatologist, said in the statement.

“We hope it will focus people’s attention on these lesser known primate species, some of which most people will probably have never heard of ... Some of these animals have tiny populations remaining in the wild and support and action to help save them is vital if we are to avoid losing these wonderful animals forever,” Schwitzer added.

Prior to that report, the IUCN also listed ten Indonesian birds as endangered species that urgently needed immediate conservation — Nias hill myna (Gracula robusta), black-winged starling (Acridotheres melanopterus), pied myna (Gracupica contra), Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi), Medan white-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus), straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), Javan green magpie (Cissa thalassina), Rufous-fronted laughingthrush (garrulax rufifrons), Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) and the Anis (Crotophaga ani).