TUESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2021The BBC Natural History Unit’s recent series Primates was the first to focus entirely on this group of animals, exploring survival strategies, social behaviours, and the threats facing these species, such as habitat loss, the pet trade, and climate change. The series could not have come at a more important time — according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 0.4% of primate species are already extinct in the wild and 60% are threatened with extinction. The programme shone a welcome light on our own group within the animal kingdom, as well as highlighting our moral responsibility to save our endangered relatives from extinction.
By drawing focus to humans’ place in the natural world, this series reminds us that despite being just another ape, we are the ones with whom the fate of all other primates rests. Understanding our place within the animal kingdom affects our worldview. Too few people understand we are just one of the millions of species to inhabit our planet, and too many view us as having dominion over the rest of the planet’s biodiversity. Primates did a beautiful job of highlighting our own order, its beauty and diversity, and its plight.
Artwork by Marida Ianni-Ravn