The crab-eating or long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) of tropical Southeast Asia is a widespread but rapidly declining species. The threats to the species are manifold and include habitat loss and degradation that increasingly result in conflict with expanding human populations in both rural and urban landscapes, as well as trapping and trade for pharmaceutical testing, research, and development. The greatest threat from the trade is in the Indochinese region, especially Cambodia where in 2003–2004 macaques began to be harvested from the wild, ostensibly for captive breeding for export to China and to the USA and elsewhere. The lucrative operations, however, may serve to “launder” wild-caught monkeys and appear to have resulted in their disappearance even from legally protected areas. Much of the impetus for this trade appears to be biowarfare research in the USA, the country that is the world's largest user of primates. Macaca fascicularis is classified as of “Least Concern” in the IUCN/SSC 2008 Red List of Threatened Species. It is imperative that the conservation status of the species be reassessed and that the impact of trade on the species be assessed by the CITES Secretariat.
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