PETA Scientist and Colleagues Show How Experimentation Is Pushing Monkeys to Extinction

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2 min read

PETA has been saying it loud enough for the people in the back of the room to hear: Long-tailed macaques, a favorite monkey species of laboratories everywhere, are being driven to extinction by the voracious experimentation industry.

But this week, 18 primate scientists from around the globe, including Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel, PETA’s senior science advisor for primate experimentation, published an article laying out the plight of these monkeys in the American Journal of Primatology.

Graphic that lists threats to long-tailed macaques and actions to protect them

The piece, titled “Removal From the Wild Endangers the Once Widespread Long‐Tailed Macaque,” shows exactly how, when, and why the numbers of long-tailed macaques worldwide have steadily dwindled to the point that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has red-listed them as an endangered species.

Dr. Jones-Engel and colleagues meticulously document exactly how a number of threats have taken a toll on long-tails. Chief among those threats is the “overutilization for scientific, commercial, and recreational purposes.” Between 2019 and 2022, the demand for these monkeys for use in experimentation increased significantly, further incentivizing countries where the macaques live to increase their exports.

long tailed macaques on dirt path

The article points out that in every country with native long-tailed populations, the drop in numbers is jarring. Vietnam reports a dramatic decline. Cambodia has reported declines of up to 50% between 2010 and 2020. In Lao PDR (formerly Laos), populations are down to about 500 individuals—a precipitous decline of almost 400%. The species is already considered extinct in Bangladesh, where recent surveys failed to find any at all.

Jones-Engel and the other authors note that the situation is so bad that if no measures are taken to protect long-tailed macaques, their numbers will plummet by half over the next three generations of monkeys.

In case you missed it, the unvarnished truth is that something must be done immediately—or soon there will be no more long-tailed macaques on Earth.

What You Can Do

Please take a minute today to urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list long-tailed and southern pig-tailed macaques as endangered:

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