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 Wildfire smoke messing with orangutans’ eating and sleep.

01:06:18. On trips to Borneo in 1997, 2006, and 2013, we were witness to the awful smog caused by smoke from wild fires, and cut and burn agriculture.  The sun was rarely visible, and when it was, it appeared only as a glowing disc through the smoke. As humans, we were affected in obvious ways, developing breathing problems and sore eyes, and seeing worse affects in the vulnerable members of our family and friends there. There were even sad losses in our family likely due to the effects of the smog. We were only one small element of life on Earth being affected and thought about though.

Since then, in 2015, Wendy Erb, a postdoctoral researcher in the anthropology department at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, was studying male orangutans in the forests of Indonesian Borneo when fires started.   Wendy and her fellow researchers noticed differences in the long calls during the smog, and decided to study the effects of the smog on the apes further. Read more in the article about the study here.

 

Tapanuli orangutan among 10 new species! 

01:06:18. Interesting news reported in the Jakarta Post today! The Tapanuli orangutan of North Sumatra has been announced as being one of 10 new species so far, recognised by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE). This is fantastic news, and will hopefully help with the conservation effort of securing the future of the small, endangered population of only 800 great apes!

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