Hunting and trading of wildlife, including primates, has been occurring for thousands of years. However, the rapid escalation of the bushmeat trade and the trade in live animals and body parts in recent years have come to present a serious threat to biodiversity. Asian slow lorises Nycticebus spp. are at a high risk of extinction due to their trade in wildlife markets. The African lorisiformes (pottos Perodicticus spp. and angwantibos Arctocebus spp.) are closely re-lated to Asian slow lorises, and show similar behaviour and ecology. Here, we present an ex-ploratory study comparing the threats faced by African and Asian lorises. Furthermore, we examine the overall trend of the African lorisid trade. We conducted a comprehensive literature review covering all African lorisid range countries, analysed export and import data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) database, distributed questionnaires to researchers in the field and carried out an in-depth questionnaire in Nigeria. Pottos were the most commonly hunted primate in the Nigerian focal villages studied herein, and 72% of respondents reported eating their meat at least once a month. The questionnaire responses from researchers reported on all types of trade, varying across different areas. The literature reported hunting of Perodicticinae, but it did not mirror our findings from the 2 questionnaires. Increased research into Asian slow lorises has revealed trade to be a real impediment to their conservation, and our data strongly suggest that the threat is of equal importance to the conservation of their African counterparts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nature and Landscape Conservation