Nearly Half of the World’s Primates Face Extinction

LONDON, England (CNN) — Almost 50 percent of the world’s primates are in danger of extinction, according to a report from an international conservation group that cites habitat destruction and hunting as the two greatest threats.

The situation is especially dire in Asia, where the report says more than 70 percent of monkeys, apes, and other primates are classified as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.

“We’ve raised concerns for years about primates being in peril, but now we have solid data to show the situation is far more severe than we imagined,” said Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and chairman of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group.

“Tropical forest destruction has always been the main cause, but now it appears that hunting is just as serious a threat in some areas, even where the habitat is still quite intact,” he said.

The golden-headed lion tamarin has been brought back from the edge of extinction.