London, Aug 6 : Monkeys, lemurs and apes may soon be extinct, say new figures.
According to the latest Red List of Threatened Species, around half of the world's population of the fascinating primates is under threat of extinction - and the reason why their lives are stake is humans.
Monkeys, lemurs and apes are just some of the 300 types of primates on Earth who are in severe danger of disappearing if no action is taken to save them, the report stated.
Humans are destroying the lush tropical homes of these fascinating creatures and hunting them for food and the illegal wildlife trade, the report added.
Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of the IUCN Species Programme, said the situation in south-east Asia was "terrifying".
"To have a group of animals under such a high level of threat is, quite frankly, unlike anything we have recorded among any other group of species to date," the Daily Express quoted Vie, as saying.
The Red List found that a staggering 70 per cent of primates in Asia were in some way threatened with extinction, while a catastophic 90 per cent of species in Vietnam and Cambodia were at risk - largely because they are hunted for ingredients for Chinese medicine.
In Africa, the red colobus monkey was found to be particularly at risk, with 11 of the 13 different kinds listed as critically endangered or endangered.
Russell Mittermeier, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said: "Tropical forest destruction has always been the main cause, but now it appears that hunting is just as serious a threat in some areas, even where the habitat is still quite intact.
"In many places, primates are quite literally being eaten to extinction."