Lemur, monkeys and apes – over half of the primates in the world are on the brink of extinction, according to the latest list of most endangered primates released by The International Union for Conservation of Nature. Experts have warned that primates' lives are threatened due to destruction of their habitats as a result of deforestation, tropical forest fires, illegal wildlife trade and hunting.

According to the experts, the IUCN report "highlights the plight of species such as the Hainan gibbon, of which there are thought to be just 25 individuals left in the wild. Similarly, around just 50 northern sportive lemurs remain in their native Madagascar".

"More than half of the world's primate species are classified as threatened with extinction," the experts said, adding that all of the enlisted species were "the most in need of urgent conservation action".

The endangered list includes five primate species from Madagascar, five from Africa, 10 from Asia, and five from Central and South America. One of the species from Madagascar known as Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur is a lesser known primate species and was discovered only two years ago, according to leading primatologist Christoph Schwitzer, director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society in Britain.

He said among the 25 listed species, some were on the "very" verge of extinction. These include the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur and the Roloway monkey from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. "Some of these animals have tiny populations remaining in the wild and support and action to help save them is vital if we are to avoid losing these wonderful animals forever."

Experts are particularly concerned over the extinction risk of primates as these animals play an indirect role in mitigating climate change. "What is more, beyond the great scientific interest of primates, there is increasing evidence that certain species may play a key role in dispersing the seeds of tropical forest tree species that have a critically important role in mitigating climate change," Schwitzer said, adding that the fact was "a particularly noteworthy consideration given the upcoming conference of the parties of the climate convention in Paris".

The primates that face severe extinction are –

Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur
Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur
Red ruffed lemur
Northern sportive lemur
Perrier's sifaka
Rondo dwarf galago
Roloway monkey
Preuss' red colobus monkey
Tana River red colobus monkey
Grauer's gorilla
Philippine tarsier
Javan slow loris
Pig-tailed langur
Cat Ba langur
Delacour's langur
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
Kashmir grey langur
Western purple-faced langur
Hainan gibbon
Sumatran orangutan
Ka'apor capuchin
Northern brown howler monkey
Colombian brown spider monkey
Ecuadorian brown-headed spider