Rungwecebus kipunji Declared an Endangered Species

The discovery of Rungwecebus kipunji was announced in 2005 and placed in its own genus in 2006 (see here for some of the details). Now it is being placed on the endangered species list. Science Daily has the details:

The population estimate [of 1,117 individuals – afarensis] was the result of more than 2,800 hours of field work by WCS scientists in the Southern Highlands and Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania where the kipunji was discovered. The team found that the monkey’s range is restricted to just 6.82 square miles (17.69 square kilometers) of forest in two isolated regions.
The authors also discovered that much of the monkey’s remaining habitat is severely degraded by illegal logging and land conversion. In addition, the monkey itself is the target of poachers. Because of these combined threats, WCS proposes that the kipunji should be classified by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as “critically endangered” – which means it is threatened with extinction in the wild if immediate conservation action is not taken.

7 Responses

  1. I wonder how many species, in just the last century, have become extinct without ever having been discovered by humans?
    As invasive species go, we really are top o’ the line.

  2. As invasive species go, we really are top o’ the line.

    Big-time props to you, Bee. Truer words was never spoke.

  3. BTW, what’s this I hear about a newly discovered population of gorillas? (A friend says he saw it on the network news last night.)

  4. W0000000000000000T!!!!!!!!!eleventyhundredeleven!!!!!!! That is MADE OF AWESOME.
    Can’t wait for the story to show up in NGM itself.

  5. Yup, the video was great too.

  6. For those who are interested, there is quite a bit about another highly endangered primate at the home site of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) on the web. Sign up and they’ll periodically send you the latest. You can download info on fund-raising to help with two shelters where they raise orphaned baby orangutans and reintroduce them to the rainforest. If you watch cable TV and get Animal Planet, look for “Orangutan Island,” which shows the adventures of some of their charges. A recent study, widely reported in a number of science mags online, estimates that over half of all primate species today are endangered, not just the great apes. But the orang reproduces less often and grows up more slowly than any of the others, plus its range is the smallest, so it is the most likely of the great apes to go extinct in the near future. But these animals are probably as intelligent as chimpanzees, altho’ more laid back in personality. They make tools in some areas, have been taught sign language, and, where the environment allows it, live in complex groups.

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