Posts tagged ‘conservation’
Late last year, the National Institutes of Health froze all new grants for studies involving chimpanzees after an Institute of Medicine review found little scientific necessity for using man’s closest genetic relative as a research model.
Dozens of ongoing, federally funded projects will be evaluated according to the new stringent conditions adopted by the NIH, which the IOM says are necessary to justify conducting research on chimpanzees.
This is hopefully a huge step forward in ending research on chimpanzees.
Researchers have found male chimpanzees in Bossou, Guinea successfully deactiving snares put out by hunters. This practice has not yet been seen in other chimpanzee populations.
Snares can seriously injure chimpanzees often causing them to lose limbs and can be fatal as well. The researchers are unsure how the chimpanzees learned the skill as trial and error would be almost impossible. It appears as if the animals “knew” which parts not to touch as they explicitly avoided them.
The Primatology Students Association will be screening The Cove on February 24th at 5:00 p.m. in MH 428. The movie is about 90 minutes long and we will have a discussion afterwards. While not directly primate related, The Cove is a controversial documentary from 2009 that exposes some horrible things being done to dolphins and whales. We here at PSA certainly care about the well being and conservation of all animals, not merely primates. Here is the trailer and synopsis from the films website.. We hope you will come watch the movie with us!
The Cove begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O’Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation “Flipper.”
But his close relationship with those dolphins – the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day — led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast.
But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling — and the consequences are so dangerous to human health — they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it.
Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Oceanic Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an “Ocean’s Eleven”-style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.
An undercover operation by conservation group Endangered Species International shows the scale of poaching and the bushmeat trade in Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the investigation up to 2 gorillas are killed and sold in markets for bushmeat a week. The gorillas all come from the same area and they estimate that this is 4% of the population that is being hunted per month.
The conservation group has plans to stop the killings by offering alternative methods of income as well as developing educational programs and conservation awareness. While there are some laws to protect gorillas from poaching they are not enforced.
A glimmer of hope for Sumatran Orangutans, tigers, rhinos and other animals as much needed help comes in from the US to Indonesia to help prevent the loss of more rainforest. The U.S. will forgive $30 million dollars of debt owed by Indonesia in return for protecting their precious rain forests on the island of Sumatra.
“This is a huge boost for the people and wildlife of Sumatra, and demonstrates a forward-looking policy on the part of the US government,” Jatna Supriatna, Vice President of Conservation International Indonesia, said in a statement. “The $30 million will help protect vital habitats and will also help deliver significant social benefits for the people of the island.”