As you may have noticed I took a short hiatus from Endangered Living, which I think is only too understandable when you realise I was busy with my last month of graduate school classes. Although I have posted the first of, hopefully, many virtual field trips it wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. Nor am I in the country I hoped I would be. This post is to tell you a bit about where I am with my research, how I got there, and how I think it’s making me a better person. Continue reading Learning to deal with defeat
Have you always wanted to travel to remote jungles but didn’t know how? Maybe your kids are fascinated by exotic wildlife and want to see amazing creatures in their natural habitat? There is an easy way to explore far away places without ever leaving your home, and it has come to Endangered Living. With Wild Learning you and your kids can experience the wonders of Southeast Asia by donating to my research to receive access to this series of virtual field trips. No minimum donation! Continue reading Wild Learning through virtual field trips
Saturday June 7th, 2014
Today was a devastating blow. We only have a few days left in the field and we have still not heard a single chimp call or seen a trace of one on a camera trap.
This does not mean that there are no chimpanzees present in the area. We find fresh feeding sites on a daily basis, smell fresh urine and have even been lucky enough to find some feces.
I am waiting on some photographs from some fellow travelers for my next post, so while I wait I decided to write down my side notes, and tell you a bit about my research project. So let’s begin with some side notes. These are just little things I have written down in my journal that might have belonged with a previous post that I forgot, or if it was a thought or observation that didn’t really belong anywhere:
Wednesday May 26th, 2014
When we woke up we ate some hard boiled eggs before a few students joined Nate on his tour of the sanctuary of Tacugama. I decided to stay behind and enjoy the peace that came with an empty bungalow in the middle of a rainforest. It was such a beautiful place to be with your mind, that I couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice the time I could be alone to wander through the sanctuary surrounded by people.
There are ancient trees here, covered in spots of lichen and orchids. While Lungi was hot and miserable, Tacugama is shaded and stays a pleasantly warm temperature all day, and even cool enough at night for a sweater.
The National Institute of Health is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world and is comprised of almost 30 centers. Wednesday, June 26, NIH announced that they would be retiring 310 government owned chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA, they have complex relationships, raise their young, wage wars, have friendships, alliances and enemies. They have extensive tool use and even have intricate means of communication. As far as I knew, they were endangered species. I mean, this is what IUCN’s website and even WWF will tell you. But today I learned that that was only applicable to free-living chimpanzees. This means that chimpanzees in captivity are listed as threatened. Maybe this doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize that that is the loophole that allows them to be test subjects and live in labs, in often, sub-par conditions.