More than Half of the World’s Primates Disappearing
Scientists who study primates say that we are moving towards a time when species like gorillas will no longer be found in the wild .
They say Orangutans would be gone too. And Madagascar would lose its lemurs.
Jo Setchell is a primatologist at Durham University in Britain. She studies primates, the group of mammals that includes gorillas, chimps, monkeys, gibbons, mandrills, and lemurs. And, of course, humans.
"So If we have 60 percent threatened with extinction at the moment, then we will see that number rise and within our lifetimes, within our children's lifetimes, we will eradicate other primates."
In all, there are an estimated 600 different species of primates. They include the little creature called the mouse lemur, whose body is only about six centimeters long. Then, there is the largest of the species, the gorilla, weighing up to 250 kilograms.
Primates face one common threat: loss of habitat, the places in nature where they live. Primatologists like Setchell say human activity is to blame.
"... the major problem is habitat loss and habitat conversion, and essentially it's humans changing primate habitat into human habitat - logging for timber, logging for conversion to agriculture, logging for cattle ranching; anything essentially that destroys tropical forests because primates are largely tropical forest species."
More than half of all primate species are grouped in four countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Paul Garber says each of these countries is working to help protect the primates in their areas. "But often, there is neither the funds, community support nor in-country expertise to address their conservation problems."
Madagascar is a good example of these problems, he says. It is home to over 100 primate species; almost all of them live nowhere else. And 94 percent of them are endangered. Ninety percent of the original forests of Madagascar have been cut down, Garber says.
Neither Garber nor Setchell have any easy answers about how to stop this road to extinction.
"We knew that primates were in trouble, but I think even for those of us who work in primate conservation, it was still shocking to discover quite what the scale of the problem is."
They do say that the clearest way is to slow human activity in primates' habitats. They also say the decrease is reversible if humans make primate and habitat conservation a top concern.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.at the moment 此刻；当时
I can just about tolerate it at the moment.
2.top concern 头等大事
Seeing their children get married will always be their top concern.
3.cut down 削减；砍伐
He cut down on coffee and cigarettes, and ate a balanced diet
4.no longer 不再
When a thing has been used, it is no longer new.
1.Scientists who study primates say that we are moving towards a time when species like gorillas will no longer be found in the wild .
moving towards 迈向；前进
The world is moving towards multipolarization.
This survey gives the lie to the idea that Britain is moving towards economic recovery.
2."We knew that primates were in trouble, but I think even for those of us who work in primate conservation, it was still shocking to discover quite what the scale of the problem is."
be in trouble 处于困境
It's too bad of you to desert her in trouble.
This is not the first time his exploits have landed him in trouble.
乔·赛切尔（Jo Setchell）是英国达勒姆大学的灵长类动物学家 。她主要研究灵长类动物，例如大猩猩、黑猩猩、猴子、长臂猿、狒狒、狐猴等哺乳类动物，当然还包括人类 。
地球上的灵长类动物预计达600种 。其中包括身长约6厘米的小嘴狐猴 。还有体重达250公斤的大猩猩 。
灵长类动物面临着共同的威胁：栖息地的丧失，即他们在大自然中的栖身之所 。赛切尔等灵长类动物学家称人类活动是首要因素 。
“主要的问题是栖息地的丧失以及变更，基本上是人类改变灵长类的栖息地为人类使用，如伐木取材，毁林造田，建牧场 。基本上都是破坏热带森林的行为，因为灵长类动物主要生活在热带森林 。”
保罗·加伯（Paul Garber）表示，这几个国家都在努力保护境内的灵长类动物 。“但是他们既缺乏资金和社会支持，国内自然环境保护问题的专业知识也不完备 。”
他说，马达加斯加就是一个典型的例子 。该国境内有100种灵长类动物，它们几乎已经无家可归 。而其中94%为濒危物种 。加伯表示，马达加斯加约90%的原始森林已被砍伐殆尽 。
他们指出，最明显的解决方案是如何减缓人类对灵长类动物栖息地的破坏 。他们还强调，如果人类能把保护灵长类的栖息地作为紧要任务，那么这一灭绝的趋势是可以逆转的 。