Endangered primates are becoming more common than ever. With increasing logging, deforestation, slash and burn agriculture, and illegal hunting, primate populations have drastically decreased within the last few decades. Without proper conservation, it’s very likely we’ll see the mass extinction of several primate species. Primates are an essential part of the world’s rainforests and other ecosystems, helping with regeneration. They also play valuable roles in various cultures, religions, and give us insight into human evolution. Ready to see which primates might go extinct? Here are 25 Most Endangered Primates We May Lose This Century.
Tana River Red Colobus
Living near the lower Tana River in Kenya, hence the name Tana River Red Colobus, this species has seen a population decline of 1,300 from 1,800 since 1975. Overall, the species seems to be coping with the decline but is still considered endangered.
Due to heavy deforestation in Sumatra’s rainforest, the Sumatran Orangutan population has diminished to 14,600, making them critically endangered. Their populations are also fragmented and easy targets for poachers.
Cross River Gorilla
Of the four gorilla species, the Cross River Gorilla is the most endangered with fewer than 300 left on the planet. Their main threats are deforestation and bushmeat hunters. However, some researchers believe there are potential lands for the Cross River Gorilla to especially thrive.
Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey
Due to habitat loss and hunting, this critically endangered primate only has 113 individuals left living in their native Vietnam and a total global population of 250. While some researchers believe they could be making a comeback, they’re still not out of the woods yet.
Alaotran Gentle Lemur
From Madagascar, these primates live in both rainforests and marshlands that are being reduced by the day. They’ve been critically endangered since 2008 and have an estimated population of 2,500 individuals.
Bioko Red Colobus
These primates are native to Bioko, Equatorial Guinea and have seen a 45% population decline from 1986 to 2006. There are roughly only 5,000 individuals left, and that number is expected to decrease.
Found in swamps and lowland rainforests, the Pig-Tailed Langur is under threat of having its habitat rapidly taken away. With a population decline of 73% to 90% in just 10 years, it has become critically endangered and in need of serious protection from deforestation.
Gray-Shanked Douc Langur
Native to Vietnam, these primates have lost 80% of their population and researchers believe their decline could even increase in the coming years. It’s estimated there are only around 550 individuals left.
Siau Island Tarsier
These primates are considered critically endangered for the 80% reduction of their population in the last three generations. Estimates about their population size vary, however, ranging from 1,358 to 12,470.
Black Lion Tamarin
Located in the rainforests of Brazil, these primates have been critically endangered since 2003. It’s estimated there are 1,000 individuals in the wild, but their population is decreasing every year.
These primates live in north-central Vietnam in a 3,728 mile (6,000 km) rocky and forested area. It’s experienced a continuing decline since 1996 with fewer than 250 individuals in existence.
Western Purple-Faced Langur
Native to Sri Lanka, these primates have declined over 50% in 36 years. Researchers believe the decline will continue at the same rate over the next three generations due to extensive logging and hunting.
These primates went from endangered in 1996 to critically endangered in 2000. As of 2006, their population was around 864 individuals with some sub-species only at 64 individuals. Their population continues to decline due to human hunters capturing or killing the sleeping langurs.
The Kipunji was originally thought to be a native myth and spirit animal, but scientists discovered it in 2003. Within the same year, it was put on the endangered species list. Currently, it’s estimated there are only 1,000 of them left.
Brown-Headed Spider Monkey
These primates are some of the rarest in the world. Hailing from Ecuador’s Chocóan rainforests, it’s estimated there are only 250 left in the wild.
These primates have seen their habitat in Ghana significantly decline over 50%. In a study in 2007, researchers believe this animal is nearing extinction if it’s not already extinct.
Blue-Eyed Black Lemur
Since 2011, these primates have shifted into critically endangered status. Native to Madagascar, researchers have noted there are several hundred lemur traps and heavy logging in their habitat causing the heavy decline of these creatures. Much of the decline, they say, will not be easily reversible.
Northern Sportive Lemur
From 2000 to 2008, these primates shifted from vulnerable all the way to critically endangered. Only fifty individuals remain of this species and that number is likely to continue to decline.
Horton Plains Slender Loris
This primate is so critically endangered, scientists thought it was extinct until it was re-discovered again in 2002. The Zoological Society of London confirmed the sightings again in 2009 and even was able to study them. Populations are estimated to be fewer than a hundred.
Native to Madagascar, this rare primate has also seen its habitat significantly reduced. As a result, since 1996 it has been labeled critically endangered with fewer than 250 remaining in the wild.
Hainan Black-Crested Gibbon
Over the last 45 years, this primate has seen an 80% population decline and is virtually headed for extinction. In 2003, only 20 individuals were recorded being in existence.
Red Ruffed Lemur
Also native to Madagascar, these primates are critically endangered due to an uptick in logging as of 2009. Populations are in rapid decline with estimates of 50 individuals per square kilometer.
Black Headed Spider Monkey
These primates, like many others, have seen their population decline more than 80% in 45 years. Living in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama, they are very difficult to see and find in the wild. It’s believed there are 1.2 individuals per square kilometer.
Northern Brown Howler
Found in the Brazillian rainforests, these primates are South America’s largest leaf-eating species and are known for making a specific barking sound. Unfortunately, fewer than 250 of these primates are believed to be left.
These primates are also critically endangered with 80% of their population reduced over a 43 year time period. Of all the Amazonian primates, the Kaapori Capuchin is the most vulnerable to extinction.