Speed Reads

way to go humankind

This primate species was just discovered in the Angolan forest. Thanks to human activity, it might soon go extinct.

Scientists only recently discovered a new species of primate in the Angolan forest — but it may be gone before people even get to know it. Thanks to human activity, scientists predict the dwarf galago could disappear in the next few years.

The dwarf galago is roughly the size of a squirrel, though it's big compared to other bushbabies, a family of small primates that resides in sub-Saharan Africa. The dwarf galago's unusual call, which CNN described as "a loud, chirping crescendo of longer notes, followed by a fading twitter, used to attract mates and scare rivals away," is what led scientists to discover the species.

"This new galago species is a very exciting discovery," said Russell Mittermeier of Conservation International. "It is only the fifth new primate from the African mainland to be described since 2000, and only the second species of galago. What is more, it is from Angola, where there has been very little primate research to date."

But scientists aren't optimistic they'll get a chance to expand their research on the new primate. Charcoal production, agriculture, bushmeat trade, and logging have put the dwarf galago's habitat in peril, and the team that discovered the dwarf galago has already recommended that it be added to the list of vulnerable species. "It is worrying that a species we've only just discovered could well disappear within the next few years," said Magdalena Svensson, a primate researcher on the Angola trip. "It might have gone completely unnoticed."