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Dr Jane Goodall
"It does seem that this monkey has gone for good."
 real 28k

Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Monkey species 'gone for good'
Endangered Rwandan mountain gorilla
Rwandan mountain gorillas are among those at risk
A species of monkey is on the verge of extinction and could be the first primate to die out since the 18th Century, campaigners have warned.

The demise of Miss Waldron's red colobus monkey has been highlighted with the launch of a conservation campaign in the House of Commons, London, backed by the world's top primate experts.

If they continue eating this meat then there'll be nothing left in the forests

Dr Jane Goodall
The threat from the growing trade in wild animal meat is high on the agenda of the campaign, called 2001 An Ape Odyssey.

Poachers are thought to be the main culprit behind the probable extinction of Miss Waldron's red colobus, according to chimp expert Dr Jane Goodall.

Restaurant menus

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Unfortunately, it does seem that this monkey has gone for good.

"I was in Ghana about five years ago and there were reports of one or two being seen in a remote area but I suppose it's very unlikely that there are any left."

Miss Waldron's red colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni) was primarily found in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

There have been no confirmed sightings since the 1970s.

Dr Goodall said the trade in meat from African wild animals was spreading and becoming more lucrative.

Remote areas

Bushmeat, as it is called, is even starting to feature on restaurant menus in the developed world.

 Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek with baby orangutan
Dr Uhlenbroek is backing the campaign
Logging is also blamed for an increase in the number of endangered primate species.

Roads used by logging companies have opened up forests to settlements and allowed hunters to access previously remote areas.

The aim of 2001 An Ape Odyssey is to raise public awareness and highlight the commercial nature of the bushmeat trade.

It wants to press governments to enforce laws designed to protect wild animals from hunting and to help logging firms police their roads.

Urgent action

Dr Goodall also hopes people can be educated to realise that if the bushmeat trade continues "there will be nothing left in the forests".

Anti-logging protest
Logging is targeted by environmental campaigners
The campaign launch has been being organised by Ape Alliance, an international coalition of 34 charities, in association with BBC Wildlife magazine and Radio Times.

Its supporters include Dr Goodall, orang-utan specialist Professor Birtue Galdikas, Ape Alliance chairman and gorilla expert Ian Redmond, bonobo researcher Dr Jo Thompson and BBC wildlife presenter and ape expert Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek.

Mr Redmond said: "The campaign is crucial. Without urgent effective action, the apes' evolutionary odyssey will soon end at the hands of their human cousins."

"There are glimmers of hope but the urgency of the situation demands a higher level of action."

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12 May 00 | Sci/Tech
Dire outlook for many primates
24 Aug 99 | Sci/Tech
Loggers threaten orang-utans
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