Today marks the first time in almost two decades that new species of great ape was discovered. Scientists have found an isolated population of orangutans in Sumatra, Indonesia, and studies show that it is a new species, and that it has been separated from the other population of Sumatran orangutans for over a million years.
While I faced visa problem after visa problem I found comfort in knowing that one of my cohort, and a great friend, Tom was out in the jungles of Borneo living the dream. Somewhere between May and July of 2015 I asked him to write a guest post, and being the person that I am, I am only getting around to posting it now. Sorry, Tom! But it was worth the wait, he really brings the jungle to life:
In this summer of 2015 I had the good fortune to find myself in a Bornean rainforest conducting fieldwork for my MSc. The Sabangau peat-swamp forest in Central Kalimantan was my home for two months. As I write these words my time here is drawing to a close. Read on, if you will, and I will tell you about the remarkable place where I lived and the strange and wonderful things that I saw in my short time living in the jungle. Continue reading Guest Post: Tom in the Jungle
Yippee! It’s time for hornbills! This one is from Southeast Asia, not Africa, and they are gorgeous! Honestly every single time I see a hornbill (any species) I heard my dad laughing and shouting “Look at the head on that rooster!” which he says to every ridiculous looking bird. It never fails to make me smile. Well, enough about me! Let’s get to the bird!
Maybe you’ve read some past blog posts, or been following my journey, or maybe you just read the tagline at the top of my website, but I’m sure you’ve figured out that while I might be in Dallas, my heart lives in Indonesia. I will soon be pursuing a graduate degree at Oxford Brookes University to get my masters in Primate Conservation, which I will be talking about in my next ‘my journey’ post. But while perusing the Facebook page of my future school I came across this lovely blog titled “The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project” which talks about the animals of Borneo and life of a field researcher.
Happy World Orangutan Day! A day especially for those fuzzy arboreal apes, orangutans! Orangutans are very special apes, they are the only arboreal ape and they are the only ape in found outside of Africa! The name orangutan is derived from the Malay words ‘orang’ and ‘hutan.’ ‘Orang’ means person and ‘hutan’ means forest, giving the orangutan the name person of the forest. These people of the forest are an incredible look into the evolution of humans, with their intelligent eyes and knack for gentle parenting, but unfortunately we are destroying their habitat at an alarming rate. 300 football fields worth of forest are cut down every single day in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The binturong, the malaysian bearcat, what ever you call it, it’s still one of my favorite animals. I vaguely remember hearing about the strange animals on some television show when I was young, but I never really knew anything about them until I began my internship at the Palm Beach Zoo. Behind the scenes of the Wild Things show lived the retired Scooter, a very old, very sweet binturong.
Biruté M. F. Galdikas was born to parents leaving Lithuania at the end of WWII for greener pastures in Canada. She was raised in Toronto in an ever-growing Baltic community. She states, “because of my mother’s tales and my parent’s fondness for nature, I became that unlikely combination of bookworm and nature lover”(39, Reflections of Eden). While growing up in Canada she often explored in the woods behind her home, envisioning herself becoming a great adventurer like the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George a favorite book form her childhood.