Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Evidence of Russian support for Ukrainian rebel counter-attack grows

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

Newly-discovered orangutan 'nests' raise hope for species survival

Latest update : 2009-04-13

Up to 5,000 orangutans from an endangered species could be living in Borneo, scientists say, after the discovery of over 200 orangutan "nests" on the island. The news raises hope for the survival of what was thought to be a nearly extinct species.

AFP -  A previously unknown population of rare orangutans has been discovered in the forests of Indonesian Borneo, raising hopes for the species' survival, conservationists said Monday.

Up to 5,000 endangered Bornean orangutans are believed to be living in limestone mountains in East Kalimantan province after surveyors in December found 219 orangutan "nests", Nature Conservancy scientist Erik Meijaard told AFP.

The nests, sleeping platforms made of branches and leaves suspended in the trees, indicate there could be "several hundred to several thousand" orangutans living in the 2,500 square kilometre (965 square mile) area, Meijaard said.

Nardiyono, who headed the survey team by the US-based conservation group, said the discovery will aid efforts to conserve the apes.

"We are delighted with the new discovery. We consider this an important discovery as we have identified a new area where the orangutans can be found," he said.

"We are already working with the local government as well as (the) community to turn it into a protected area for the orangutans."

The orangutans probably fled into the area in East Kutai and Berau districts after massive forest fires hit Kalimantan in 1997 and 1998, said Nardiyono.

"We saw a family of three orangutans during the trip, the mother, her baby and a male. The male orangutan was angry with us and kept breaking branches and throwing them at us," he said.

Meijaard said the orangutans found in East Kalimantan belong to a subspecies, known as Pongo pygmaeus morio, known for its darker brown-black hair.

"Compared to other species, they are able to adapt better to difficult situations. They can survive in timber forests," Meijaard said, referring to forests denuded by loggers.

"They have strong jaws and can eat bark and leaves. They have smaller brains, we always joke that they are stupid."

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 80 percent of which live in Indonesia and 20 percent in Malaysia, according to The Nature Conservancy.

Date created : 2009-04-13

COMMENT(S)