Category Archives: apes

Mangrove species may perish in a decade: global study

THE HINDU

KOLLAM: Several among the 70 known species of mangroves are at high risk of extinction and may disappear well before the next decade if protective measures are not enforced, warns the first global study by U.S. researchers.

Eleven of these have been placed on the red list of threatened species kept by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The study, led by Beth A. Polidoro attached to the Global Marine Species Assessment unit based at Old Dominion University, Virginia, shows that about 80 per cent of the mangrove areas in India and Southeast Asia have been lost over the past 60 years.

In India alone, over 40 per cent of the mangrove area on the west coast has been destroyed for aquaculture, agriculture, coastal development and urban development.

Disappearing at 2%-8%

The global mangrove area loss since 1980 stands at between 20 and 35 per cent. The areas are disappearing at 2-8 per cent per year and the rates are expected to continue unless mangrove forests are protected as a valuable resource, says the study recently published in PloS One, journal published by the Public Library of Science.

In addition, 40 per cent of the animal species that are restricted to mangrove habitat are at an elevated risk of extinction due to extensive habitat loss.

Given the accelerating rate of loss, mangrove forests may at least functionally disappear in around 100 years, the study states.

Mangrove forests are the economic foundations of many tropical regions providing at least $1.6 billion per year in ecosystem services worldwide.

It is also estimated that almost 80 per cent of the global fish catches are directly or indirectly dependent on mangroves. These are provided by mangroves, occupying only 0.12 per cent of the world’s total land area.

Implementation of conservation plans for mangroves have largely been done in the absence of species-specific information, says the study. Tree felling, aquaculture and overexploitation of fisheries in mangrove areas are expected to be the greatest threats to mangrove species over the next 10-15 years.

Unlike other forests, mangrove forests consist of a relatively few species with 30-40 in the most diverse sites. Another big threat to mangroves is climate change, says the study.

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Common human viruses threaten endangered great apes

Press Release..

Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press

Common human viruses are responsible for outbreaks of respiratory disease that have led to the decline of endangered chimpanzees in the wild, according to a study reported online on January 24th in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The findings—which are the first to provide direct evidence of virus transmission from humans to wild great apes—illustrate the challenge of maximizing the benefit of research and tourism to great apes while minimizing the negative side effects that come with human contact, the researchers say.

“Research and tourism has a strong positive effect on great apes’ survival since it reduces poaching activities in these areas and gives more ‘political weight’ to the apes and protected areas,” said Fabian Leendertz of Robert Koch-Institut and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. “[The spread of viruses] has been a concern, but people had never proven it. Our demographic analyses of chimpanzees suggest that this started as soon as people got close enough to chimps to transmit diseases. There is a correlation between habituation—the proximity between humans and chimps—and disease outbreaks.”

Commercial hunting and habitat loss are major drivers of the rapid decline of great apes, the researchers said. Ecotourism and research have been widely promoted as a means of providing alternative value for apes and their habitats. While close contact between humans and habituated apes has raised concerns about disease transmission, previous studies had only demonstrated the spread of relatively mild bacterial and parasitic infections from humans to wild apes.

In the new study, the researchers gathered evidence from chimpanzees hit by five distinct respiratory outbreaks between 1999 and 2006 in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The outbreaks sickened almost all of the chimps and led to a significant number of deaths.

All available tissue samples taken from chimps who had died tested positive for one of two paramyxoviruses: human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) or human metapneumovirus (HMPV), the researchers report. HRSV and HMPV are common causes of respiratory disease in humans and are the leading causes of lower respiratory disease in children and, in developing countries, a major source of infant mortality, the researchers said. In adults, HRSV and HMPV usually cause mild upper-respiratory-tract infection but can lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia.

“The viruses we found are very common,” Leendertz said. “Antibody prevalence in humans is almost up to 100 percent, meaning almost everybody has had contact with these viruses.”

Twenty-four years of mortality data from observed chimpanzees revealed that such respiratory outbreaks could have a long history, Leendertz’s team reported. But, they added, there was some good news: “Survey data show that research presence has had a strong positive effect in suppressing poaching around the research site.”

The researchers have already stepped up guidelines to help minimize the disease risk to chimpanzees, and they urge others to do the same. For example, Leendertz said, they now maintain a distance of at least seven meters, wear masks, and disinfect their boots regularly.

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The researchers include Sophie Kondgen, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; Hjalmar Kuhl, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; Paul K. N’Goran, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, Centre Suisse des Recherches Scientifiques en Cote d’Ivoire, Cote d’Ivoire; Peter D. Walsh, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; Svenja Schenk, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, Berlin Veterinary Faculty, Institute of Immunology and Molecular Biology, Berlin, Germany; Nancy Ernst, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, Roman Biek, Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; Pierre Formenty, Ebola Tai¨ Forest Project, World Health Organization (WHO)WHO Office in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Kerstin Matz-Rensing, German Primate Center, Gottingen, Germany; Brunhilde Schweiger, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany; Sandra Junglen, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, Heinz Ellerbrok, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany; Andreas Nitsche, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany; Thomas Briese, Centre for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY; W. Ian Lipkin, Centre for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY; Georg Pauli, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany; Christophe Boesch, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; and Fabian H. Leendertz, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

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Endangered orang-utan baby born at Perth Zoo

Perth Now

PERTH Zoo has announced the birth of one of the world’s most critically endangered animals – a Sumatran Orang-utan.

Today’s public debut of the male infant coincides with the 12-month anniversary of the Zoo’s historic release of one of its female orang-utans into a protected national park in Indonesia as part of an orang-utan re-introduction program.

Temara – the first captive bred orang-utan in the world to be released into the wild – is thriving in her new home and continues to be closely monitored and tracked daily.

Perth Zoo’s Curator of Exotics, Leif Cocks, said the Zoo’s newest addition, young Nyaru, was born on October 20 to 14-year-old first time mother Negara. Nyaru weighed just under 2kg at birth.

“We gave Nyaru and his mother some private time together before introducing him to the public,” Mr Cocks said.

“He is doing very well and Negara is proving to be a wonderful mother. She is very protective and caring.”

Perth Zoo is a world leader in breeding Sumatran Orang-utans and is part of a regional breeding program for this most threatened species.

“Orang-utans are facing imminent extinction in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss, in particular, land clearing for palm oil plantations,” Mr Cocks said. “There are only 7300 Sumatran Orang-utans left in the wild.

“With the success so far of the reintroduction of the first zoo-born orang-utan to the wild, successful breeding programs like that at Perth Zoo may assist with the re-establishment of extinct populations of Sumatran Orang-utans in protected areas.”

Fifteen-year-old Perth Zoo-born Temara was released into the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra in November 2006 as part of an international effort to re-establish a population of this critically endangered species in the national park. The park is protected by specially trained anti-logging and anti-poaching patrols.

“The release of Temara provides the opportunity to increase the numbers and genetic diversity of the orang-utan population in Bukit Tigapuluh,” Mr Cocks said.

The community can support Sumatran Orang-utan conservation by donating to Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action to help build an open orang-utan breeding sanctuary in Sumatra.

• Nyaru will start eating some solids, such as tropical fruit, at about five months of age but will continue to suckle for the next five to six years.

• The father of Nyaru is Perth Zoo’s breeding male 20-year-old Dinar, who arrived from Canada in 2004, bringing with him a valuable new genetic line.

• Nyaru is named after an orang-utan rehabilitation centre in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Nyaru is also a Dyak word meaning ‘very strong’. The Dyak people are the original inhabitants of Kalimantan.

• Since 1970, 26 orang-utans have been born at Perth Zoo. The last birth (a male named Semeru) was in 2005.

• The Zoo’s colony currently comprises eight females and four males.

• Perth Zoo is part of an Australasian captive breeding program for the critically endangered Sumatran Orang-utan.

• Sumatran Orang-utans are the slowest reproducing species in the world. Adult females only give birth to an infant every nine years. The gestation period of orang-utans is 260 days (or 8.5 months) – almost identical to that of humans. The oestrous cycle of orang-utans is 30 days – once again, almost identical to humans.

• Females usually have their first offspring between 12-16 years of age.

• One of our closest biological relatives, orang-utans have around 97% human genetic make-up and have an intelligence level equivalent to that of a five or six-year-old child.

• Orang-utan means person of the forest in Indonesian.

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Congo establishes nature reserve for endangered apes

International Animal Rescue

Congo is setting aside more than 11,000 square miles of rainforest to create a nature reserve designed to protect the endangered bonobo ape.

The Sankuru Reserve, established by the African country’s Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with environmental groups, will help to preserve numbers of the rare animal that is also one of the human race’s closest relatives.

Announcing the reserve, the Congolese Minister of the Environment, Didace Pembe Bokiaga, emphasised that its creation was another step towards the government’s aim of safeguarding 15 per cent if its forest as protected land.

“This increases the total area of protected land in the DRC to 10.47 per cent, bringing us closer to our goal of 15 per cent,” he explained.

“We are proud that the Sankuru Reserve is being created in the framework of community participative conservation…and will be zoned to guarantee the rights of the local population,” the Minister added.

Start-up funding of $50,000 (£25,000) for the project is being provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Associated Press reported, with an additional $100,000 (£50,000) coming from private donors.

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Ebola said depleting gorilla populations

Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The most common type of gorilla is now “critically endangered,” one step away from global extinction, according to the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species released Wednesday by the World Conservation Union.

The Ebola virus is depleting Western Gorilla populations to a point where it might become impossible for them to recover.

Commercial hunting, civil unrest and habitat loss due to logging and forest clearance for palm oil plantations are compounding the problem, said the Swiss-based group known by its acronym IUCN.

“Great apes are our closest living relatives and very special creatures,” Russ Mittermeier, head of IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group, told The Associated Press. “We could fit all the remaining great apes in the world into two or three large football stadiums. There just aren’t very many left.”

In all, 16,306 species are threatened with extinction, 188 more than last year, IUCN said. One in four mammals are in jeopardy, as are one in eight birds, a third of all amphibians and 70 percent of the plants that have been studied.

“Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken,” the IUCN warned.

The Western Gorilla’s main subspecies – the Western Lowland Gorilla – has been decimated by the Ebola virus, which has wiped out about a third of the gorillas found in protected areas over the last 15 years.

“In the last 10 years, Ebola is the single largest killer of apes. Poaching is a close second,” said Peter Walsh, a member if IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group, told the AP. “Ebola is knocking down populations to a level where they won’t bounce back. The rate of decline is dizzying. If it continues, we’ll lose them in 10-12 years.”

Female gorillas only start reproducing at the age of 9 or 10 and only have one baby about every five years. Walsh said even in ideal conditions, it would take the gorillas decades to bounce back.

The World Conservation Union also said the Yangtze River dolphin is now “possibly extinct.” There have been no documented sightings of the long-snouted cetacean since 2002. An intensive search of its habitat in November and December proved fruitless but more searches are needed as one was possibly spotted in late August.

The Redheaded Vulture soared from “near threatened” to “critically endangered.” The birds’ rapid decline over the last eight years is largely due to diclofenac, a painkiller given to ill or injured farm cattle so they can still work. But the substance poisons the vultures when they scavenge livestock carcasses.

Only 182 breeding adults of the Gharial crocodile remain, down almost 60 percent from a decade ago. India and Nepal’s crocodile has become critically endangered because dams, irrigation projects and artificial embankments have reduced its habitat to just 2 percent of its former range.

The woolly-stalked begonia is the only species declared extinct this year. Extensive searches have failed to uncover any specimens of the Malaysian herb in the last century, IUCN said.

Only one species moved to a lesser category of threat. One of the world’s rarest parrots 15 years ago, the Mauritius Echo parakeet, eased back from critically endangered to only endangered. That was a result of close monitoring of its nesting sites, and supplementary feeding combined with a captive breeding and release program.

IUCN says 785 species have disappeared over the last 500 years. A further 65 are found only in artificial settings such as zoos.

The Red List, produced by a worldwide network of thousands of experts, includes some 41,000 species and subspecies around the globe.

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Western gorilla just one of the 16,300 species facing threat of extinction

The Scotsman

GREAT apes laugh when they are tickled and cry when they grieve; they think about their past and plan for the future. But that future seems to be a long road to extinction.

The World Conservation Union, which yesterday published this year’s Red List of Threatened Species, said the western gorilla was “critically endangered” – one step from global extinction – because of poaching and the Ebola virus.

One expert said anti-poaching measures and the use of available vaccines could halt a terminal decline and cost as little as £1 million.

The western gorilla is just one of 16,306 species at risk of extinction – 236 animals and plants were added to this year’s list – out of more than 41,400 assessed.

One in four mammals, one in eight birds, a third of all amphibians and 70 per cent of the plants out of those that have been studied are in jeopardy.

“Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken,” the World Conservation Union, which is known by the French acronym IUCN, warned.

But the plight of the western gorilla – the most common of the gorilla species – suggests humans will move too slowly to make a real difference.

Dr Peter Walsh, a member of IUCN’s primate specialist group, said the rate of decline in populations was “dizzying” and unless action was taken in the next ten years, numbers would fall to unsustainably low levels, with ultimate extinction.

In some areas, 90 per cent of the gorillas have been wiped out by outbreaks of Ebola. “It’s in the next ten years that the real damage is going to be done,” Dr Walsh said. “They’re being reduced to tiny populations of a few hundred animals.”

He said the situation could be reversed with just a few million pounds spent tackling poachers and vaccinating gorillas.

“In the future, people are going to remember this as a period when we knew our closest relatives were being wiped out and did nothing,” he said.

A Malaysian herb, the woolly-stalked begonia, was the only species declared extinct this year. Ten species of seaweed are listed as critically endangered, with six possibly extinct.

The Yangtze river dolphin remains critically endangered but further studies are to be carried out to establish whether it is extinct, as many experts believe.

Vultures in Africa and Asia are also believed to be in trouble, with the red-headed vulture deemed critically endangered and several others facing problems due to a lack of food, habitat loss and power lines strikes.

But what is the hope for these animals, given the lack of action to save the gorilla?

Russ Mittermeier, head of IUCN’s primate specialist group, said: “We could fit all the remaining great apes in the world into two or three large football stadiums. There aren’t many left.”

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Last refuge of the orang-utan

The Independent.

Once it was a mighty orange army, 300,000-strong. Now the tree-dwelling mammal is down to its last 25,000 as its habitat is destroyed in favour of palm oil plantations. David McNeill reports from the sanctuary in Borneo battling to keep them alive

Published: 04 September 2007

 

Homeless, semi-paralysed and blind in one eye, Montana faces an uncertain future. Even if his friends find somewhere for him to live, the 15-year-old has been seriously weakened by years in assisted care.

orangutan-traveling-forest.jpgThe lethal dangers of readjustment in his natural home include men like those who shot him out of a tree when he was just a baby and the hostile attentions of his stronger neighbours. But for the source of the greatest threat to Montana’s existence, say his supporters, look no further than your food cupboard.

The orang-utan, one of our closest animal relatives and the largest tree-living mammal on the planet, is in deep crisis. A once-mighty orange army of 300,000 that swung through the dense forests of much of south-east Asia has dwindled to fewer than 25,000 concentrated on the two Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, conservationists say. There, they cling precariously to life on government-protected nature reserves that are under siege by developers of one of the world’s most lucrative commodities: palm oil.

Illegal logging, fires and clearances have decimated the tropical rainforest that is the exclusive home of the primates, who nest high above the forest floor. The casualties join Montana at a care centre near Pangkalan Bun in central Borneo, crowded with more than 320 homeless, orphaned and sick or injured orang-utans – a number that grows by a barely manageable 20 per cent a year, say the workers there.

Montana peers unhappily from his cage. Unlike 250 of his predecessors, who have been relocated to the jungle upriver from here since this centre was set up in 1998, he is unlikely to ever leave. “We just can’t find homes for all of them,” says Birute Galdikas, the famed anthropologist who runs the care facility, after producing a long list of daily needs that includes nappies for the three dozen or so babies. “We are looking at the extinction of orang-utans in the wild.” She estimates that without action, the orang-utans – one of the four great apes along with gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, have just 10 to 15 years left in the wild.

The Borneo orang-utan is listed as “highly endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, one short step on the ladder of extinction above its Sumatran cousin, which is critically endangered. “When it goes extinct, it will be a terrible loss,” says Dr Galdikas. “I can’t tell you how urgent it is.”

To grasp just how urgent, you have to travel from Pangkalan Bun up the chocolate-coloured Sekonyer river to the heart of one of the world’s last great wildernesses, the Tanjung Putting Park, a 410,000-hectare nature reserve that is home to perhaps 6,000 orang-utans (nobody knows for sure) along with proboscis monkeys, gibbons, macaques and crocodiles.

The reserve is an oasis in a landscape pressured by human demands and the growing local population. Behind the thick canopy of mangroves and Pandanus along the Sekonyer, bald patches of cleared jungle can be seen from the boat. Guards posted along the river patrol for illegal logging and poaching.

Some orang-utans are kept as pets or smuggled out of the country and sold to perform in Thai kick-boxing matches or in circuses. But the “real issue”, say scientists, is palm oil plantations.

Julia Roberts and Joanna Lumley made this journey a few years ago, with documentary crews to film one of the only places in the world where orang-utans can still be seen in the wild. Lumley is said to have been “horrified” to discover that her handbag was stuffed with cosmetics containing palm oil.

Extracted from the fast-growing oil palm tree, it is now probably the world’s most popular vegetable oil, surpassing its soybean alternative and used in a tenth of supermarket products, including crisps, biscuits, toothpaste, margarines and make-up.

So ubiquitous is the oil that few UK supermarkets have ever seriously considered removing it from their shelves – and 85 per cent of it comes from Malaysia and Indonesia, the world’s number one and number two producers. Often it comes from giant mono-crop plantations hewn from the tropical forests and run by agri-business concerns with powerful political support.

“Greed drives the industry,” says Dr Galdikas. “The industry is tied with the political elite who are making bundles of money off this. You have to see these mansions in Jakarta to understand the money that is coming from it.” She calls the clearance of central Borneo to make way for the crops a “scorched earth” policy. “It is unbelievable,” she says.

Conservationists say many of the devastating fires in 1997-98 that robbed the orang-utans of perhaps 30 per cent of their habitat in Borneo and helped blanket much of south-east Asia in a dense smog were caused by forest-clearing for palm oil plantations. Those fires briefly drew attention to the plight of the Borneo and Sumatra orang-utan, but Indonesia is still converting land at a rate of at least 1,000 sq miles a year and has announced plans to raze an area half the size of the Netherlands to make the world’s biggest palm oil plantation, according to the UK-based Orang-utan Foundation.

A couple of years ago, say local forest guides here, 2km was shaved off the northern end of the Tanjung Putting reserve. “Nothing is safe,” says one, who explains that the valuable forest hardwood, including teak and mahogany is often sold to finance the plantations.

The reserve is dotted with elevated feeding stations, where the guides leave ripened bananas and milk to supplement the animals’ diets. As a small group of tourists wait in the sweltering tropical heat, the animals descend from the forest roof in ones and twos, first mothers hugging their children, accompanied by the sound of creaking and breaking branches.

With their bulk and powerful grip, the orang-utans do considerable damage to the trees, but they also help spread the seeds for new growth in the dung they leave across the forest, a process of regeneration that has gone on for millennia.

Then the dominant male arrives, a huge 250lb bruiser named Tom by the guides, who has earned his title by beating off all the other young pretenders.

As Tom peels and eats bananas, the guide tells us he is 24 and, like all male orang-utans, lives alone. “But we don’t know where, somewhere high in the trees,” he says. As the forest shrinks around him, so do his sources of food, but the guides say they must not destroy the orang-utans’ ability to forage, and turn them into vermin dependent on human charity. “The only way for them to survive is for us to preserve their habitat.”

The destruction of the rainforest here would also deprive many other animals of their home, including some possibly not yet discovered. One estimate is that Indonesia is home to perhaps as many as 140 species threatened with extinction in the next few decades, including the Sumatran tiger and the Asian rhinoceros. And in a bitterly ironic twist, they may go the way of the dodo to meet demand for cleaner energy sources in a world choking on fossil fuels: many countries are looking to palm oil as a source of bio-fuel.

Cheap and carbon neutral, palm-oil diesel was until recently hailed as a safe, renewable alternative to petroleum, but such claims have been undermined by a series of studies. One, by Wageningen University in Holland, published this year, found the carbon released from peat swamps in Indonesia and Malaysia – drained and burned to allow plantations of palm oil trees – released 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, or 8 per cent of the world’s fossil fuel emissions.

“It is like kicking your head to get rid of a headache,” says Dr Galdikas. “The palm oil prices are going through the roof because of their use as bio-fuel and this, one of the poorest countries in the world, is cutting down its trees to supply the market.”

Scientists say that the global warming caused by the release of this carbon is drying the forest floor, making it easier to burn and adding to the devastation.

To that double whammy – releasing vast quantities of carbon into the air while destroying the forests that suck it up – add another: the permanent, irreversible loss of countless animals. But demand for palm oil continues to rise. A $48m (£24m) palm-oil bio-diesel plant opened in Australia’s Northern Territories last year and three 50 megawatt power stations are currently planned in Holland.

The staff at the Pangkalan Bun centre say each of those decisions brings the orang-utan one step closer to extinction. Senior administrator Mrs Waliyati fears more for her youngest charge, nine-month-old orphan Britney, than her oldest. “It might be too late for Montana, but what about the young ones?” she asks. The solution, she says, is as simple as it is enormously difficult. “Don’t use palm oil. If you do, it means you are agreeing to cutting down the rain forest. If you don’t stop, in 15 years, or sooner, there will be no place for these animals.”

One of our closest ancestors

One of our closest ancestors, with 97 per cent of its DNA the same as that of humans, the gentle orang-utan was once found across Indonesia and as far north as China, but is now on the edge of extinction. Earthwatch estimates they may have as little as 12 years left in the wild, after which our only chance to see them will be in zoos, where about 1,000 are kept in captivity around the world. Their name comes from the Borneo words orang hutan, meaning “people of the forest”.

Almost totally dependent on trees, the animals survive on a mostly fruit-based diet supplemented by bark, flowers, leaves and insects. They usually live and forage alone, except when mothers are nurturing their children and teaching them how to survive in the dense forests, a process that takes up to six years. Scientists believe the animals are equipped with large memories to help them locate the thousands of food sources on which they depend.

Extremely slow to breed, the inter-birth cycle in orang-utans takes up to eight years, limiting females to three or four offspring during their 45-year life span. Although successfully bred in captivity in Australia and other parts of the world, the long-term impact of captivity on the species is not known, but is likely to be negative. Scientists say it is better to save them now.

“Concern for orang-utans indicates concern for the planet,” says the conservationist Birute Galdikas.

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