A new public database has been released that overviews the status of endangered and almost extinct animals. I feel like it is a critical and timely resource, especially in regards to primate conservation efforts.
The project is called EDGE, and currently lemurs are at the top of the most critically endangered primates on that list, and sadly almost every species of lemur that I know frequent that list. Most of the animals represented on the list are small mammals, many rodents, for example. The mountain monkey of South America has made the list, and at 97 on the list of the most critically endangered is the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus).
In other conservation news, I’m happy to report that the World Wildlife Fund has issued a statement on the rebound of mountain gorillas, in east Africa. They are,
“making a slow but steady comeback due to a decade of conservation efforts to counter the impact of war and poaching…
…There are now 340 in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is home to nearly half the world’s mountain gorillas, the global conservation group said.
That is a 12 percent growth over the past decade.”
Pretty awesome news, and I must tip my hat off to Paulin and his team, who run the blog Gorilla Protection. Let me remind you they broke the news of the two silverback males slaughtered recently. Their reports come straight from the field, and provide us with a tangible connection to the conservation effort of gorillas. If you don’t visit regularly, please do. Make sure you check out their video of a 2-day old gorilla as well as all their wonderful photos.
Last thing, Science has published some reports that came out from this year’s meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. One of the reports, related to gorillas, is a study of,
“the nuclear DNA from the two species of wild gorillas indicates that they diverged slowly into two species, apparently taking the better part of a million years.”
Since we were talking about genome comparisons this week, I thought you maybe interested in keeping track of more primate genome related science. Check out the report, here.