SMALL APES IN MALAYSIA
Small apes are charismatic megafauna and play a crucial role in maintaining Malaysian forests through their ecological role as keystone seed dispersers. The IUCN lists all five Malaysian species as Endangered (A2cd) due to habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation and hunting. Small apes are frugivores that are dependent on the closed-canopy forest for their diets and locomotion, and are strictly territorial, so they are particularly vulnerable to forest fragmentation. Unfortunately, due to rapid economic development, Malaysia’s forests are being lost at an alarming rate. Each Malaysian species is estimated to have lost more than 50% of their original habitat in the last 50 years, with much of the remaining habitat fragmented and degraded.