Global warming and deforestation is driving many species of monkeys and lemurs down from trees, a new study has found.

Experts say that the changing climate is pushing the primates to spend more time on the forest floor so they can search for food, water and shelter.

While this may protect some species from the effects of rising temperatures, scientists have warned that not all species are able to adapt to this change, leaving some more at risk of danger.

Photo by Juan Camilo Guarin P on Unsplash

What did scientists find?

In the study, published in the journal proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists from all around the world looked at over 150,000 hours of data on different lemur and monkey species at a range of sites in the Americas and Madagascar.

They found that the hotter the climate, the longer most tree-living primates would spend on the ground.

This was also the case in areas that had experienced more deforestation – fewer trees made it warmer so the animals largely adapted by moving down to the forest floor.

Photo by Renting C on Unsplash

Researchers also found that the monkeys living near humans were more likely to spend more time in the trees rather than coming down to the ground.

Experts added that this could indicate that the presence of humans could stop species being able to adapt to climate change.

Scientists said that conservation plans must be put in place to ensure these species’ survival.

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