Scientists find new population of orangutans

Scientists find new population of orangutans

Conservationists discovered a new population of orangutans in a remote, mountainous corner of Indonesia – perhaps as many as 2,000 – giving a rare boost to one of the world’s most critically endangered great apes.

A team surveying forests nestled between jagged, limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of Borneo island counted 219 orangutan nests, indicating a “substantial” number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the US-based The Nature Conservancy.

“We can’t say for sure how many,” he said, but even the most cautious estimate would indicate “several hundred at least, maybe 1,000 or 2,000 even”.

The team also encountered an adult male, which angrily threw branches as they tried to take photos, and a mother and child.

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 90% of them in Indonesia and the rest in neighbouring Malaysia.

The countries are the world’s top producers of palm oil, used in food, cosmetics and to meet growing demands for “clean-burning” fuels in the US and Europe.

Rainforests, where the solitary animals spend almost all of their time, have been clear-cut and burned at alarming rates to make way for lucrative plantations.


More in this Section

South African province prepares 1.5 million graves as virus hits ‘full speed’South African province prepares 1.5 million graves as virus hits ‘full speed’

Significant divergences between Brussels and UK on trade deal, EU saysSignificant divergences between Brussels and UK on trade deal, EU says

Hundreds stranded in Japan as downpours cause more than 60 deathsHundreds stranded in Japan as downpours cause more than 60 deaths

Seoul mayor reported missing amid sexual harassment allegationsSeoul mayor reported missing amid sexual harassment allegations


Lifestyle

Is there a natural treatment I could use instead of steroids and antibiotic drops for dry eye?Natural health: I suffer from chronic dry eye

Denise O’Donoghue checks in with several expats affected by the cancellation of shows in BritainIrish actors on the crisis the West End theatre industry faces

This month marks four decades since the release of the classic record that would also be Ian Curtis’s final album with Joy Division. Ed Power chats to a number of Cork music fans about what it meant to themJoy Division: Forty years on from 'Closer'

Last week, I shared my lockdown experience. I asked for a more uniform approach, should there be another lockdown. I explained that I worked mornings. Maybe I should have been more specific: working 8am to 1pm without a break, I gave feedback and covered the curriculum, using our school’s online platform. In the afternoons, I looked after my three kids (all under ten) while my husband worked. It was a challenging time for everyone and the uncertainty around what I should have been doing as a teacher made it harder.Diary of an Irish teacher: I want to get back to work. But I would like to do it safely

More From The Irish Examiner