Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Global Warming Cycles Threaten Endangered Primate Species

monkeys climateSeveral endangered species of monkey are likely to be pushed further towards extinction by the effects of climate change, research has suggested.

At least four primates from South America that appear on the international Red List of endangered species are adversely affected by climate phenomena that are predicted to worsen as the world warms, scientists have found.

The muriqui, the Colombian red howler monkey, the woolly monkey and Geoffroy’s spider monkey, have all declined in population either during or soon after recent El Niño events, according to a study from a team at Pennsylvania State University.

Many scientists expect El Niño events, in which abnormally warm ocean temperatures in the southern hemisphere affect the climate, to become stronger or more frequent over the next century.

This could create fresh pressures on species that are already under threat. The muriqi and Geoffroy’s spider monkey are officially endangered, while the woolly monkey has vulnerable status and the Colombian red howler is classified as declining but of least concern.

Full story here.

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