IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee Accepts NABR’s Petition Challenging the Reclassification of Long Tailed Macaques
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2023
Contact: Eva Maciejewski
WASHINGTON – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Standards and Petitions Committee has accepted the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) formal petition challenging the IUCN’s 2022 designation of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) as “Endangered.” NABR’s petition, filed with IUCN on September 11, 2023, concludes that the underlying scientific justification for the “Endangered” listing is “biased” and “not based upon the best available scientific information.”
Prior to July 2022, long-tailed macaques were designated as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. In 2022, the IUCN revised its designation of the long-tailed macaque to “Endangered” based upon a scientific review completed by the IUCN.
The NABR petition takes issue with conclusions reached by the IUCN and demonstrates that the IUCN assessment fails to present any credible evidence to support the reclassification of the species from vulnerable to endangered.
“The NABR scientific review team is pleased that the IUCN has accepted this petition, and that the IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee will objectively review this matter,” stated Dr. Ray Hilborn, a world-renowned scientist and member of NABR’s scientific review team.
“Given the lack of data on trends in abundance, and misrepresentation of the data that do exist in the IUCN assessment, we expect that the IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee will agree with our conclusions,” added Dr. Hilborn.
The IUCN SSC’s formal acceptance of NABR’s petition initiates an eight-week discussion between the IUCN and NABR to reach an agreement on the status of the long-tailed macaque. If no agreement is reached by the end of this period, each party will have 16 weeks to file a formal petition with the IUCN for consideration, deliberation and a determination by the IUCN.
Long-tailed macaques are the most widely used non-rodent species for drug development as well as for drug safety and efficacy testing. They are also extensively used in cancer research, immunology science, regenerative medicine and genetic disease research.
Long-tailed macaques are considered as an invasive species in many countries including Hong Kong , Indonesia  , Mauritius , Papua New Guinea,  and Thailand . For decades, Asian and African countries have bred specific pathogen free long-tailed macaques and exported them to the United States and other countries for biomedical research.
“The NABR petition demonstrates that by all objective measures long-tailed macaques are not an endangered species, but rather a highly invasive one that thrives both in wild and humanized habitats in the majority of countries where they live,” stated Matthew R. Bailey, president of the National Association for Biomedical Research.
“Combined with the existing nonhuman primate shortage and restrictions on the importation of long-tailed macaques from Cambodia, the IUCN assessment, which is based on incomplete scientific data, could severely compromise America’s R&D sector, our economy, and our quality of life,” added Mr. Bailey.
More information regarding the NABR petition is available online atwww.nabr.org.
About the National Association for Biomedical Research
Founded in 1979, the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) is the only 501(c)(6) nonprofit association dedicated to sound public policy for the humane use of animals in biomedical research, education, and testing. Members include more than 340 universities, medical and veterinary schools, teaching hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, patient groups, and academic and professional societies who rely on humane and responsible animal research to advance global human and animal health. Learn more about us atwww.nabr.org.