Asian supermodel Nadya Hutagalung joined A-list celebrities to launch a United Nations campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife that is pushing species to the brink of extinction, robbing countries of their natural heritage and profiting international criminal networks.
The role of zoos has evolved to prioritize research, education, and conservation in modern times. While some groups still condemn their existence based on a reputation of entertainment and fun-fairs started in the 1800s, many zoos are working hard to change that narrative. In collaboration with scientific agencies, governments and other conservation bodies, zoos are now playing their part in the much bigger picture of the conservation of our natural world
A web-based tool that superimposes maps of valuable above ground carbon stocks with great ape distribution in Africa and Asia – thereby making the strongest possible argument for protecting both – was launched this week in Monrovia, Liberia, by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the United Nations Collaborative Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme).
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil globally and is found in approximately 50% of consumer products including chocolate among others. It is estimated this year that the U.S alone will spend $18 billion on chocolate and gifts for Valentine’s Day.
Ambassadors for the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) today called on the government of Indonesia to immediately ban the use of fire to clear land if sustainable practices cannot be implemented, following the environmental crisis currently unfolding in Southeast Asia.
Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey, Russell Mittermeier, Richard Wrangham and Nadya Hutagalung issued a joint statement that warned endangered orangutans are at risk in Sumatra and Borneo and globally important biodiversity is at stake.
On a recent flight from Jakarta to Denpasar, I stared out the window at the blue sky — a real luxury these days that I was only able to see after passing through toxic haze and smog. I am sure there isn’t a person out there who hasn’t wished for blue skies to return.
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) welcomed the bold commitment to halt deforestation and support orangutan conservation in the Malaysian state of Sarawak that was announced at the recent GRASP Regional Meeting – Southeast Asia.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Haji Adenan Bin Satem announced a series of actions to protect Sarawak’s estimated 2,500 orangutans, which are endangered by clearing of forests for new oil palm plantations, illegal logging and other threats. Describing himself as an “amateur naturalist,” Adenan pledged “make decisions that are in the favour of nature.”
An experimental program that uses a model drone airplane to conduct aerial surveys of vital rainforest habitat in Indonesia has quickly proven a success – returning with images of both orangutans and the sad effects of deforestation.
The radio-controlled drone was tested recently in Indonesia, and relayed images that would previously have only been possible with low-flying airplanes. Those flights, however, are both dangerous and prohibitively expensive.
The thick forest canopy in Indonesia makes visual identification difficult of orangutans in the high treetops. But the drone’s mounted cameras clearly showed orangutans nesting in the trees.
It is believed that systematic drone flights will be a valuable tool in developing accurate counts as to the number of orangutans left in the wild, which previously had been estimates.
Four men went on trial in Borneo on February 8, accused of killing orangutans and other endangered primates for profit at a palm oil plantation.
Phuah Chuan Hun, manager of the plantation in East Kalimantan, and his employee, Widiantoro, paid two men to kill orangutans and proboscis monkeys, prosecutors claimed. They and the two alleged killers, Imam Muhtarom and Mujianto, face five years in prison if convicted.
According to news agency AFP, prosecutors allege the men were paid one million rupiah (USD $111) for each orangutan and 200,000 rupiah (USD $22) for other monkeys. The two used a 4.5-millimetre calibre airsoft gun to shoot the orangutans out of trees before their hunting dogs chased them.
Prosecutors claim Muhtarom and Mujianto would then club the orangutans with rocks or wooden sticks before binding their corpses and taking photographs as evidence.