PETA: Journal Should Retract Flawed Monkey Population Paper

For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Please see the following statement from PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa-Jones Engel regarding a paper by Dr. Matthew Luskin et al. from the University of Queensland’s School of the Environment, which claims that monkey populations in Southeast Asia are booming:

Papers like this play into sensationalism and dangerously undermine scientific integrity. The research is flawed—and largely funded by universities in China, where long-tailed macaques are imported from Southeast Asia and used extensively in laboratory experimentation. The authors’ population projections  are based on pockets of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaque populations found next to human settlements. The densities in these areas can’t be extrapolated to the entire forest. The paper is rife with incorrect statements. These two species can’t be lumped together, because they have different ecologies, behaviors and distribution. Macaques in Asia are not reservoirs for monkeypox, and these species cannot reproduce rapidly—they have at most one offspring a year. Nor do the authors mention that nearly a year before this paper was published, the International Union for Conservation of Nature assessed populations of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques and reclassified them as endangered based on assessments by scientists with expertise in macaque ecology and distribution. This present publication serves only to undermine science. It should be retracted immediately, or the consequences for these very fragile populations of monkeys could be devastating.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind