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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - More than Half of the World’s Primates Disappearing

更新时间:2017/3/20 9:40:34 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Scientists who study primates say that we are moving towards a time when species like gorillas will no longer be found in the wild.

研究灵长类动物的科学家表示,我们正朝着野外再也找不到大猩猩等物种的这样一个时代迈进。

They say Orangutans would be gone too. And Madagascar would lose its lemurs.

他们表示,猩猩也会消失,马达加斯加的狐猴也会消失。

Jo Setchell is a primatologist at Durham University in Britain. She studies primates, the group of mammals that includes gorillas, chimps, monkeys, gibbons, mandrills, and lemurs. And, of course, humans.

乔·撒切尔(Jo Setchell)是英国达勒姆大学的灵长类动物学家。她研究灵长类动物,这类哺乳动物包括大猩猩、黑猩猩、猴子、长臂猿、狒狒、狐猴,当然还有人类。

"So If we have 60 percent threatened with extinction at the moment, then we will see that number rise and within our lifetimes, within our children's lifetimes, we will eradicate other primates."

“如果灵长类动物现在濒临灭绝的风险是60%,那么我们就会看到这个数字增长。而在我们的有生之年,在我们孩子的有生之年,其它灵长类动物就会灭绝。”

In all, there are an estimated 600 different species of primates. They include the little creature called the mouse lemur, whose body is only about six centimeters long. Then, there is the largest of the species, the gorilla, weighing up to 250 kilograms.

地球上预计共有600种不同的灵长类动物。它们包括身长只有6厘米的小嘴狐猴这种小生物,还有重达250公斤的大猩猩这种最大的物种。

Primates face one common threat: loss of habitat, the places in nature where they live. Primatologists like Setchell say human activity is to blame.

灵长类动物面临一个共同的威胁:丧失栖息地,也就是它们在大自然中的栖身之处。撒切尔等灵长类动物学家称人类活动就是罪魁恶首。

"... the major problem is habitat loss and habitat conversion, and essentially it's humans changing primate habitat into human habitat - logging for timber, logging for conversion to agriculture, logging for cattle ranching; anything essentially that destroys tropical forests because primates are largely tropical forest species."

“主要问题是栖息地丧失和转变,基本上是由于人类将灵长类栖息地变为人类栖息地--伐木取材、毁掉林地转为耕地和牧场。基本上都是破坏热带雨林,因为灵长类动物主要生活在热带雨林。”

More than half of all primate species are grouped in four countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

一半以上的灵长类动物分布在巴西、印尼、马达加斯加以及刚果民主共和国这四个国家。

Paul Garber says each of these countries is working to help protect the primates in their areas. “But often, there is neither the funds, community support nor in-country expertise to address their conservation problems.”

保罗·加伯(Paul Garber)表示,这几个国家都在努力保护境内的灵长类动物。“但是通常他们既没有资金和社区支持,他们国内也没有解决他们自然环境保护问题的专业知识。”

Madagascar is a good example of these problems, he says. It is home to over 100 primate species; almost all of them live nowhere else. And 94 percent of them are endangered. Ninety percent of the original forests of Madagascar have been cut down, Garber says.

他说,马达加斯加就是一个很好的例子。该国有100种灵长类动物,它们几乎无处可去。而其中94%是濒危物种。加伯表示,马达加斯加90%的原始森林都被砍伐了。

Neither Garber nor Setchell have any easy answers about how to stop this road to extinction.

加伯和撒切尔对如何阻止这条灭绝之路都没有任何好的办法。

"We knew that primates were in trouble, but I think even for those of us who work in primate conservation, it was still shocking to discover quite what the scale of the problem is."

“我们知道灵长类动物遇到了麻烦,但是我认为,即使是从事灵长类动物保护的工作人员,发现这一问题的严重程度也会非常惊讶。”

They do say that the clearest way is to slow human activity in primates’ habitats. They also say the decrease is reversible if humans make primate and habitat conservation a top concern.

他们表示,最明显的办法就是减缓人类在灵长类栖息地的活动。他们还表示,如果人类将灵长类动物及栖息地保护作为首要考虑,灵长类动物规模的减少就可以逆转。

I’m Anne Ball.

Words in This Story

extinction – n. the state or situation that results when something (such as a plant or animal species) has died out completely

decline – v. to become lesser in number

primate – n. any member of the group of animals that includes human beings, apes, and monkeys

eradicate – v. to remove (something) completely : to eliminate or destroy (something harmful)

habitat – n. the place or type of place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives or grows

conversion – n. the act or process of changing from one form, state, etc., to another

logging – v. to cut down trees in an area for wood

timber – n. trees that are grown in order to produce wood

funds – n. money

conservation – n. the protection of animals, plants, and natural resources

scale – n. a device to measure or weigh things

reversible – adj. able to be changed back to an earlier or original state

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