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Primate Conservation

Coordinators:  Nancy Ruggeri, Department of Zoology,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The World's Top 25 Most Endangered Primates- 2002

A recent report released by Conservation International (CI) and the Primate Specialist
Group of IUCN was finalized at the 2002 International Primatological Society meetings
in Beijing. It is a revision of their previously released "The World's Top 25 most Endangered Primates",
which indicates that about one out of every three primate species is currently
threatened with extinction.  This updated version suggests that Indonesia now exceeds
Madagascar and Brazil for the country with the most endangered primates.  However,
Madagascar, identified as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, has 10 critically endangered
species, and 21 endangered species.  For the full report, please refer to the link at the bottom
of this message.

Each week, we will be featuring one of the 25 primate species in peril.  This is being
done in conjunction with Conservation International.  The fact sheets are compiled by
Sean Flannery at the WPRC Library and Information Service.

Pig-tailed Snub-nosed Monkey or "Simakobu"
Simias concolor

The genus Simias is known only from Indonesia's Mentawai Islands, situated off 
the west coast of Sumatra. Until humans arrived approximately two millenia ago, 
its only predators were probably large constricting snakes and birds of prey. 
Today, however, hunting is considered a serious threat to the four indigenous 
Mentawai primates, all of which are endemic to these islands. Simias concolor 
was originally considered monotypic, but is now believed to include two subspecies, 
S. c. Concolor from the Pagai islands and Sipora, and S. c. siberu from the island 
of Siberut. The common English name of this large-bodied monkey is derived from its 
short pig-like tail and its shortened nose, which very much resembles that of the 
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) of Vietnam, another critically 
endangered species. Simias concolor concolor occurs in the Betumonga Wildlife Sanctuary 
on the island of North Pagai and in Siberut National Park on the island of Siberut. 
It is also known to occur in a number of forests reserves on the islands of South Pagai, 
Sipora, Simalegu and Sinakak. However, while the simakobu apparently can adapt to some 
human encroachment and habitat disturbance, almost all its remaining natural habitat 
that lies outside officially protected areas is now included in logging and mining 
concessions and could very well be lost.

Photo Links:

This information is from a report by Conservation International: Primates in Peril, 
The World's Top 25 Most Endangered Primates- 2002. The full report is available at:

Relevant Citations from Primate Lit (
Miller CT, Paciulli LM.  Patterns of lateralized hand use in an arboreal primate, Simias concolor.
AM J PRIMATOL 56 (4): 231-236 APR 2002

Tenaza RR ; Fuentes A.  Monandrous social organization of pigtailed langurs (Simias concolor)
in the Pagai Islands, Indonesia.  INT J PRIMATOL. 1995. 16(2). Pgs: 295-310

Yanuar A ; Fuentes A ; Studd K.  A short report on the current status of the Mentawai snub-
nosed pig tail langur (Simias concolor concolor) on Simalegu Island, South Pagai, 
Mentawai, Indonesia.  TROP BIODIV. 1998. 5(3). Pgs: 299-305

The full report is available at:
Full report
Topics in Primate Conservation is supported by a grant RR00167,
Regional Primate Centers Program, National Center for Research
Resources, The National Institutes of Health.

Posted Date: 05-21-03