News Round-Up

Research bias may leave some primates at risk


Recent primate research has had a heavy focus on a few charismatic species and nationally protected parks and forests, leaving some lesser known primates and their habitats at risk, according researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Santa Clara University.

The study, which appeared in Evolutionary Anthropology, examined more than 29,000 research articles published between 2011 and 2015 to determine which primate species and locations were most studied and how that focus affects both conservation efforts and risk for species extinction.

“With nearly a third of primate species listed as critically endangered and 60% of all primate species classified as threatened with extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the window of opportunity for conserving these mammals is quickly closing,” said the study’s co-author, Allison McNamara, a Ph.D. student in anthropology at UT Austin. “To protect these species, we have to understand their biology, ecology, life history, behaviour and evolutionary flexibility.” MORE

Header image: The black-handed spider monkey sits in a tree depicting the major threats to the species’ existence in its root system — agriculture, farming. Credit: Michelle Bezanson, Santa Clara University.

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