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Posts Tagged "Indonesia"

Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: How to Follow an Orangutan

Siboy

In my previous post, I wrote about the first task in studying orangutan behavior: finding the animals. In this one I’ll explain the second major task: following them. First things first, not to spoil anyone’s ideas about the glamor of being an orangutan researcher, but in my honest opinion the majority of “follows” are awful! [...]

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Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: How to Find an Orangutan

Field assistant Ben searches for an orangutan at location A425 on the Sikundur grid.

While many animal researchers use fancy scientific methods to analyze data and samples they’ve collected, the mechanics of virtually every animal behavior study begins with finding an animal or animals and recording its or their behavior at a given interval to produce what’s called an ethogram. So, in this blog I’ll be running through the [...]

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Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: An Ape Named James

Siboy

It has been an exceptionally exciting and productive first month for me at the Sikundur research station. I couldn’t have asked for much more in terms of data, and it’s been so hectic that sitting here in Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra, it seems like far longer than a month since I started! [...]

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Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: Welcome to Camp

The research camp centers around a cabin built by Leuser International Foundation that was renovated in 2013

It’s taken a bit longer than I’d initially anticipated, but I’m finally at my first field site, Sikundur in North Sumatra, which will be my home for the next eight months. The research and monitoring station is located in the east of the spectacular Gunung Leuser National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, which is [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Bali Myna

bali myna

Birds don’t get much more beautiful than the Bali myna. Unfortunately, they also don’t get much rarer. Species name: Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi), a.k.a. the Rothschild’s Mynah, Bali Starling, or Jalak Bali Where found: Bali, an island province of Indonesia IUCN Red List status: Critically endangered, with an estimated wild population of probably fewer than [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Illegal Pet Trade Wiping Out Yellow-Crested Cockatoos

yellow-crested cockatoo

The population of critically endangered yellow-crested cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea) in the Indonesian province of West Nusa Tenggara has reached an all-time low of 107 individual birds, according to a recent report from The Jakarta Post. The cockatoos are protected by international and Indonesian law, but they are also highly valued in the illegal pet trade, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Female Komodo Dragons Die Young, Housework to Blame

komodo dragon

An eight-year study of Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) has revealed some interesting differences between the genders in the world’s largest lizard species. Male Komodo dragons grow much bigger than and live nearly twice as long as females, who apparently spend so much time reproducing and doing the equivalent of housework that it sends them to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rhino Poaching: An Extinction Crisis

white rhinoceros

In 2010 a black rhinoceros female named Phila survived two separate and brutal attempts on her life. In the first, poachers used a helicopter to attack the private game reserve where she lived in South Africa. Another rhino died in the assault. Phila escaped with two gunshot wounds. She was lucky, but her ordeal was [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Eye in the Sky: Drones Help Conserve Sumatran Orangutans and Other Wildlife

drone launch

What better way to study the world’s largest arboreal animals than by putting an eye in the sky? A team of scientists working in Indonesia has done just that by launching inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drone airplanes), to study critically endangered Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) from above the treetops. The technology is already being [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Researchers Capture Fleeting Images of Incredibly Rare Sumatran Rabbit [Video]

Blink and you might miss it. A team of researchers studying leopards and other cats on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has instead captured a few seconds worth of video of the Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri), a species so rare and elusive that it has only been photographed three times previously, in 1998, 2000 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

160 Video Cameras to Help Monitor Last 35 Javan Rhinos

javan rhino

Smile, you’re on endangered-species camera. The world’s last 35 Javan rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros sondaicus) are a little bit safer this week as 120 new camera traps have been installed in Ujung Kulon National Park, located on the western corner of the island of Java, in Indonesia. The new video cameras were donated by the World Wildlife [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Nearly Extinct Primate Rediscovered in Borneo [Video]

langurs

Researchers working on the island of Borneo have discovered two tiny new populations of Miller’s grizzled langurs (Presbytis hosei canicrus), one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. The species is so rare that it has probably disappeared from all of its previously known habitats, which have been almost completely logged and burned out of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Apps for Apes: Engaging Orangutans with iPads

apps for apes

With the release of the Apple iPad 3 rumored for March, a bunch of first- and second-generation iPads are probably about to hit the secondary market. Some of them just might end up in the hands of orangutans. The nonprofit Orangutan Outreach is collecting donated iPads for its new Apps for Apes program, which is [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Indonesia’s Palm oil economy drives human fortunes–And orangutan misfortunes

The net worth of Indonesia’s 40 richest men has doubled to $42 billion in the past year, driven in no small part by the growing demand for palm oil, according to Forbes magazine’s annual examination of the country’s top richest people. Global demand for palm oil is now more than 40 million tons per year, [...]

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Guest Blog

In Indonesia, a Worrying Silence on Climate Change

Resilient coral. A colony of table coral that broke down, recovered and is now growing into other direction.

Dive into the limpid waters off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and you’ll spot the beginnings of an environmental success story. Older reefs are recovering from the devastating coral bleaching of 1998 and 2009. New corals are now taking hold. On shore, local fishermen also see improvement. There are, at long last, more and bigger [...]

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Observations

Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings Force Rethink of Art’s Origin

Cave painting of a babirusa

Archaeologists have determined that artwork found in limestone caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is far older than previously thought. First documented in the 1950s, the images–stencils of human hands and depictions of animals—were assumed to be less than 10,000 years old. Paintings older than that would not survive in such a tropical environment, [...]

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Observations

Obama’s Indonesia trip may be cut short by deadly volcanic eruption

Gunung Merapi, Java

President Obama’s visit to Indonesia this week will reportedly be cut a few hours short due to an ash plume from a volcanic eruption in the country. The eruption of Mount Merapi, more than 400 kilometers from Jakarta, where Obama is visiting, has killed more than 150 people since it began erupting in late October, [...]

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Running Ponies

Rinjani scops owl: New owl species discovered in Indonesia

Rinjani scops owl

A new species of owl called the Rinjani scops owl has been discovered, and it’s unique to the tiny Indonesian island of Lombok. Until fairly recently, it was common practice for scientists to identify owl species based largely on their plumage and morphology. Both features are important in distinguishing all kinds of birds, but can [...]

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