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Steady loss of forests and hunting has made the primates the most imperiled mammal on the planet Of the more than 200 species of primates including gorillas gibbons siamangs and the orangutans almost half face extinction and nearly 20 percent more may soon reach threatened status Only one species of primates are increasing in number Humans Uncontrolled human population growth is to blame for the pate of the primates Humans expand into new regions with no thoughts about their impact on the land and animals already living there In Africa lies a third of the remaining rainforests yet like all the other rain forests already lost forever the land is being cleared for logging timber large scale cattle ranching mining operations government road building and hydroelectric schemes military operation and subsistence agriculture of peasants and landless settlers Sadder still in many places the forest are burnt simply to provide charcoal to power industry in the area While the total removal of natural habitat is clearly a major threat of many African forest primates an analysis of survey data suggests that human predation tends to have a greater negative impact on primate population than does selective logging or low intensity bush fallow agriculture Oates 1996 Illegal bushmeat includes gorilla and the chimpanzee Half the meat sold in local city market is bushmeat and is an estimated 50 million in unpolicied trade Steel 1994 Twenty percent of the bushmeat is primates including apes There can be little doubt that many apes are butchered for meat in the lowland forests every year that live captive in all the worlds zoos laboratories and sanctuaries to feed the tens of million of people living in equatorial Africa Absent of any effective political authority having no cohesive principals common standards or purpose the bushmeat trade has exploded into a rush for personal profit not unlike the goldrush that transformed Western US in the 1800s Especially with the many logging
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