Asian Primate Classification

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In the foreseeable future there is little likelihood of achieving consensus on the number of Asian primate genera and species, and their subspecific composition. There is a more realistic hope of reaching agreement on the number of recognizable subspecies. The latter objective is more urgent because in order to reliably assess generic and specific numbers, it is essential that effective conservation measures are implemented for as many subspecies as possible. This cannot be comprehensively accomplished until their validity is assessed and they are satisfactorily established and defined. The Asian primate classification that we present is the outcome of electronic communication among the co-authors after a workshop, which was especially convened to attempt to determine the number of recognizable primate subspecies and to identify potentially recognizable subspecies. The generic and specific arrangement is a compromise that does not necessarily reflect the individual views of the co-authors: 183 subspecies in 77 species in 16 genera. The 31 subspecies allotted a low credibility rating are almost balanced by the 22 scientifically unnamed populations that may warrant subspecific status.

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