Whether or not you think this guy is your long lost relative, it's a mixed barrel of monkeys out there. First, the bad: an IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that 48 percent of the world's primates are facing extinction. That number includes the fact that 70 percent of Asia's primates (as high as 90 percent in Cambodia) are listed as endangered.
What's behind the loss of monkeys? Loss of habitat, mostly through the burning and clearing of tropical forests, as well as the hunting of primates for food. IUCN's primate specialist says, "In many places, primates are quite literally being eaten to extinction." Sadly, because primates live a long time, reversing the trend will take a long time.
But I promised good monkey news, too. To see what it is,
Deep in the Republic of the Congo, a newly discovered secret ape wonderland houses 125,000 western lowland gorillas. If the finding is confirmed, it will double the amount of the species worldwide. The gorillas have lived happily thanks to remoteness, lots of food, and 20 years of conservation efforts in one of the world's poorest countries.
Saving endangered species? Now that's no monkey business.