Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 21st: Endangered Species Day

Tomorrow (May 21st, 2010), is Endangered Species Day. It is a day for people to learn about endangered animals and plants and also to share the importance of wildlife conservation with friends and family. I urge you to visit the National Wildlife Federation's website to learn more about Endangered Species Day.

The IUCN Red List does a great job highlighting endangered animals and plants, one species every day on their Species of the Day project which I've blogged about. You can get involved by following them on Twitter (@speciesoftheday) or including a IUCN Red List: Species of the Day button on your website (click here for the code).

If you are a resident of New York City, please tell City Hall to STOP the budget cuts on the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium and other NYC cultural institutions by signing a petition online. Budget cuts are imperative in an economy like this but proposing budget cuts on institutions that play a big role in conservation definitely sends the wrong message. We need these institutions to educate the public about conservation and to provide a place for them to see animals that they otherwise would not have a chance to see up close. As evident from last year's severe budget cut on the Bronx Zoo, some exhibits were closed and its resident sent packing to another zoo including the endangered Arabian Oryx.

Cross River Gorilla, one of the most endangered primate species. 

So, join me as we celebrate Endangered Species Day tomorrow by raising awareness on wildlife conservation and learning more about endangered species. You can do so simply by either participating in any Endangered Species Day event (click here for a full list), spend a day with your family at a zoo or an aquarium, tweet about Endangered Species Day or even raise awareness through your Facebook profile.

Here is a (current) list of the world's 25 most endangered primates, by region:


  • Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Gray-headed Lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps)
  • Sclater’s Black Lemur/Blue-Eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)
  • Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus)


  • Rondo Dwarf Galago (Galagoides rondoensis)
  • Roloway Guenon (Cercopithecus diana roloway)
  • Tana River Red Colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus)
  • Niger Delta Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus epieni)
  • Kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji)
  • Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)


  • Siau Island Tarsier (Tarsius tumpara)
  • Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus)
  • Simakobu or Pig-Tailed Snub-Nose Langur (Simias concolor)
  • Delacour’s Langur (Trachypithecus delacouri)
  • Golden-headed Langur or Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus p. poliocephalus)
  • Western Purple-faced Langur Trachypithecus (Semnopithecus vetulus nestor)
  • Grey-shanked Douc Monkey (Pygathrix cinerea)
  • Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus)
  • Eastern Black Crested Gibbon (Nomascus nasutus)
  • Western Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock hoolock)
  • Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)

Central and South America:

  • Cotton-top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus)
  • Variegated or Brown Spider Monkey (Ateles hybridus)
  • Peruvian Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey (Oreonax flavicauda)

Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates (2008 - 2010) is a list compiled by the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the International Primatological Society (IPS), in collaboration with Conservation International (CI).

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