New generation of scientists needed to protect Africa’s endangered primates

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By Sarah Mawerere for UBC Radio News in Uganda

Greater international support is needed to mentor and build the capacities of the next generation Africa’s primatologists, delegates at the recent African Primatological Society Conference heard.

The conference, held in Entebbe in Uganda, attracted researchers, primatologists and conservationists drawn from within Uganda and the entire continent. This is the second conference of the kind to be held after the first one held in Gabon in 2017.

The primate family includes baboons, chimpanzees, monkeys and other related animals.

African primates are facing extinction due to the danger posed by factors of climate change, illegal poaching, and diseases, said Inza Kone, president of the African Primatological Society Conference, also Co-Vice Chair of the African primates section of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Kone said a critical skilled mass of young African primatologists is needed to carry out research and conservation activities that will influence decision making and stimulate impactful action by Africa.

The rate of habitat destruction for the wild animals is alarming, and affecting natural habitats for the animals, said Sam Mwandha, Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

He however said a new plan is underway to engage all sectorial partners to work together and ensure that forests are conserved to keep the animals in their natural settings.

Listen to Sarah’s full report here.

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