In March of 2015, during the height of the Ebola crisis, the New York Blood Center(NYBC), a U.S. based research institution, stopped paying for the care of over 60 of its chimpanzees. These chimps which were used in hepatitis research at a center in Liberia, were then left on islands to live out their lives. The research project they were used in was created and funded by the NYBC in partnership with the Government of Liberia.
On this day in 1932 a great wildlife warrior was born. Dian Fossey was born and raised in San Francisco where a love of horses greatly influenced her early years and education. She began studying to be a veterinarian, though changed courses and pursued a career in occupational therapy. She saved every penny, and even took out a bank loan, and eventually made it to Africa in 1963, where it had been a dream to travel too for much of her adult life. Continue reading Happy Birthday Dian Fossey→
Today, March 3rd, is World Wildlife Day. Every year there is a theme that brings attention to something that is threatening species all over the world. This year’s theme is #seriousaboutwildlifecrime. Wildlife crime includes things like the illegal poaching of animals or animal parts on the black market. This be anything from an elephant tusk sold for jewelry to an infant chimpanzee sold as a pet. Continue reading World Wildlife Day 2015: How Great Apes Change the World→
If I had to pick a favorite family of primates it would hands-down be pongidae. This family is going to include all of the great apes, except humans, because we like to think we are special when in reality we really just aren’t. Pongidae are true great apes. These primate have no tails, no claws (just nails), flat noses, and incredible amounts of tool use.
Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan has stated in a press conference on April 1st that all urban areas on the island of Borneo will be shut down. The reason for this sudden stop of not only the expansion of metropolitan areas, but also to their existence is the Indonesian government’s recent plan to evacuate all citizens currently residing in Indonesian Borneo.
Everything you need to know about orangutans. There are a lot of things, but if you want a quick run down of the species, what they’re like and the troubles they are facing in the wild. Orangutans are critically endangered, as over 50% of the orangutan population has been lost over the last 50 years. This is mainly due to hunting and habitat loss. There are quite a few different organizations working to save the orangutan, most notably OFI which was started by Dr. Birute Galdikas who conducted the first ever long term study of orangutans in 1971. Since then we have learned a lot about orangutans, especially in that they are extensive tool users and they are much more social than previously thought.
Click on the photo for the full infograph! (You won’t regret it!)
I am so excited to finally announce that I will be spending three magnificent weeks in Sierra Leon observing chimpanzees this summer. It has been a while since I published a personal post, since I have been waiting to hear back from a few different institutions regarding my future in primatology. But now that I am pumped full of excitement and vaccines, I think that it is safe to share a little bit about the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leon in Western Africa.
A new study suggests that orangutans (and one young gorilla) may be more capable of identifying types of animals than we had previously given them credit for. In the 1700’s Carolus Linneaus gave two names to each species, organizing species for the first time. He classified them in a hierarchical system, starting broad with kingdom, phylum, class, then getting more specific with family, genus, and finally the most specific, species. It took humans an embarrassingly long time to become so organized and look more critically at the animals we share our planet with.
The second semester of my freshman year of college I was desperate to transfer. I wasn’t a huge fan of the social scene and I would do anything to get out of Texas. I had planned to go abroad for a year to Costa Rica to live at a research station in Monte Verde Cloud Forest. I was leaning away from studying medicine and changing my major to biology and journalism. I wanted to study animals and write about them! What kinds of animals? Well, I just wasn’t so sure yet.