In 2022, long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a once ubiquitous primate species, was elevated to Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In 2023, recognizing that the long-tailed macaque is threatened by multiple factors: (1) declining native habitats across Southeast Asia; (2) overutilization for scientific, commercial, and recreational purposes; (3) inadequate regulatory mechanisms; and (4) culling due to human–macaque conflicts, a petition for rulemaking was submitted to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to add the species to the US Endangered Species Act, the nation's most effective law to protect at risk species. The long-tailed macaque remains unprotected across much of its geographical range despite the documented continual decline of the species and related sub-species and the recent IUCN reassessment. This commentary presents a review of the factors that have contributed to the dramatic decline of this keystone species and makes a case for raising the level of protection they receive.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Afro-Eurasian primate
- biomedical trade