Connect to share and comment

How species are categorized as "most threatened" may surprise you

Recently, a report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) unveiled shocking numbers. There are 635 known primate species globally, and about half of them have been labeled as "threatened." Many of these creatures have only received this label over the past three years as more species have been at risk.

The report itself is eye-opening to say the least, but it’s also not surprising. What is shocking is that the world’s most threatened primate species is a label that does not necessary apply to the rarest.

The world’s rarest primate species is the Hainan gibbon. It does not make the list as "most threatened" because while it too is nearing extinction, there is no environmental intervention that would save it.

In a way this classification is understandable, but it does skew the accuracy of the number. Saying that only half of the 635 primate species are threatened doesn’t do justice to the true scope of the issue. But at the same time, light is shed only upon those species whose fate we might be able to change.

(Image Courtesy: IUCN)