Man’s closest relatives in Sri Lanka face extinction

Oct 27, 2007 (LBO) – Two Sri Lankan primates, man’s closest relatives in the wild, have been named as being among 25 species that are most severely threatened with extinction globally, in a new report by conservationists. . Chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys are among the most widely known primates, though it also includes others such as lemurs and loris.

A subspecies of the endemic purple-faced leaf monkey found in the suburbs of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo and a loris found in the central hills of the island have been named as being critically endangered and facing extinction.

Overall, 114 of the world’s 394 primate species are classified as threatened with extinction on the International Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Red List.

The report, Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2006–2008 issued jointly by IUCN and two other conservation charities, Conservation International and the International Primatological Society warns that the first primate extinction in more than a century is at hand unless corrective action is taken soon.

The Western purple-faced leaf langur Semnopithecus vetulus nestor found in the highly populous Thalawatugoda area and fast developin