Monkeys living in South America are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an “elevated risk of extinction”, according to a new University of Stirling-led study.
The research, involving an international team of scientists, found that a large percentage of non-human primates – including monkeys, lemurs and apes – are facing substantial temperature increases and marked habitat changes over the next 30 years.
The team, led by Dr Joana Carvalho of Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said that New World monkeys – which live primarily in tropical South America – will be particularly affected.
Dr Carvalho said: “Based on our analysis, it is clear that New World monkeys in particular can be considered highly vulnerable to projected temperature increases, consequently facing an elevated risk of extinction.”
The study looked at all 426 species of non-human primates contained within the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List database – and examined their exposure risk to changes in climatic and land use conditions forecast for the year 2050. The authors considered the best-case scenario – slowly declining emissions, with appropriate mitigation measures put in place – and the worst-case scenario, assuming that emissions continue to increase unchecked. MORE