Bolivian Circus Baboon!

A Baboon that was rescued from awful conditions in a Bolvian Circus has been shipped over to the UK to live out its old age in a Berkshire monkey sanctuary. The Bolivian government handed over Tilin, an 18-year-old Hamadryas baboon, after a campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI). The Bolivian Government banned the use of domestic and wild animals in circuses in April, so cases are still frequently being found across the country, although this is a good sign that the law is being successfully enforced. Up until he was rescued, Tilin lived a solitary life chained up most of the time, and performing for crowds for the rest. No life for a beautiful wild animal. Hopefully he will be able to regain something close to normality with other primate species around him in a comfortable environment.

Read More about Tilin on the BBC’s website


Tiny Tarsier Caught on Film

The BBC website has a 2 minute 45 second clip of one of the smallest primates in the world in its Earth News section. The Spectral Tarsier is notoriously difficult to catch on film, as not only is it only 13cm tall, it is also nocturnal. Its eyes do not reflect light like other nocturnal animals, so they are very difficult to see in the dark. However, David Attenborough’s team managed it whilst filming for their Life series, and throughout the short clip, you are able to see many of the wonderfully perfect adaptations natural selection has provided these creatures with; their paper-thin, bat-like  mobile ears for catching noise of a potential prey, their huge eyes for catching every ray of moonlight, their ability to pounce on quick-moving prey from 5 metres away, and their sucker-pad fingers to aid precision landings. Not only is this clip a credit to the Life team, it is also a delightful demonstration of the elegance and fantastic attention to detail in the natural world, which has created the marvellous adaptation and diversity we see before us today.

Primate’s Closest Relative Identified

New research has suggested that a rare mammal called a colugo is the closest genetic relative of all primates, including humans. Over the past decade, several candidates for the closest mammalian relative to primates have been suggested, including the small tree shrews of Asia and the colugos – sometimes called flying lemurs.

By using new molecular and genomic data, gathered by a team from Penn State University, it has been shown that the colugos are the closest surviving relative of all primates.”

[15.11.07] IAR Global News

The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates

ScienceDaily reported today, in an article entitled “Primates: Extinction Threat Growing For Mankind’s Closest Living Relatives”, about a report titled “Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2006-2008,” compiled by 60 experts from 21 countries, prepared by the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the International Primatological Society (IPS), in collaboration with Conservation International (CI).

Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, said: “You could fit all the surviving members of these 25 species in a single football stadium. That’s how few of them remain on Earth today.”

The report warns that failure to respond to the mounting threats now exacerbated by climate change will bring the first primate extinctions in more than a century. Overall, 114 of the world’s 394 primate species are classified as threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List.

The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, and the countries where they are found:
1. Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), Madagascar
2. White-collared lemur (Eulemur albocollaris), Madagascar
3. Sahamalaza Peninsula sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis), Madagascar
4. Silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus), Madagascar
5. Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Nigeria, Cameroon Continue reading

Jane Goodall: What separates us from the apes?

Traveling from Ecuador to Africa, Jane Goodall takes the audience on an ecological journey, discussing highlights and low points of her experiences in the jungle.

She shows how progress is helping research (DNA analysis) and hurting the environment (clear-cutting). And she draws a dozen parallels between primate and human behaviour, making the point that we really aren’t all that different. Our big advantage, she says, is the ability to communicate with sophisticated spoken language – yet, sadly, we are abusing this power and destroying the planet. She urges the TED audience to behave differently, and use their higher powers to correct the planet’s course.

Two Years Left to Save Wild Orangutans from Extinction!

Dutch ecologist Willie Smits says he will never forget the day in October 1989 when he saw the desperately sad eyes of an orangutan baby looking at him from a dark cage on a market in the Indonesian seaport of Balikpapan.

Smits was so disturbed that he returned to the market that same evening, just in time to find the limp body of the orangutan lying on a rubbish heap where the trader had dumped it. It was the start of a lifelong mission to save one of the world’s last surviving great apes from extinction and to preserve its rainforest habitat that is rapidly being destroyed in Borneo.

“Time is running out. We have less than two years to save the last 40,000 wild orangutans from extinction,” Smits said during an interview in the German port city of Hamburg, pointing that there were once more than three million of the apes.

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[26.10.07] Borneo Orangutan Survival UK (BOS)
[26.10.07] Digital Journal

Retail Responsibly for Orangutans

Experts at Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, have called on us all to recognise the plight of the rare and diminishing species, the Orangutan. In a conference held on Thursday, Cheryl Knott, a leading Orangutan expert on a project at Harvard University, explained how something as simple as buying the right brands can truly make a big difference.

The main threat to the Orangutan species is the loss of habitat in their only native countries of Burma and Sumatra, Indonesia. A report earlier this year from the United Nations’ Environment Programme [UNEP] said Indonesia’s forest habitat for orangutans may be gone by 2022 without intervention. Boycotting retail products that source Palm Oil from an unsustainable source, can cut down on the massive rainforest loss.


  • Read the labels of your grocery and toiletry shopping, choose brands that either do not use Palm Oil at all, or use a sustainable source.
  • Do not buy any wood materials from an uncertified tropical hardwood – it will have come from an illegal logging site. Anything from toothpicks to furniture…..
  • Next time you pass a charity box at a zoo or otherwise aimed at underfunded conservation efforts – drop £1 in. If we all made a small contribution the difference would be huge.

Not only are the trees destroyed, but the mothers killed and the babies taken away to be sold as illegal pets, forcing them into a new life of captivity and misery. Please do a little something to help – a little change for you could make a massive change for them.