Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biologist in bid to save rainforest’s rare monkey

03.11.2005


Scientists at the University of Sussex are working with local communities in Ecuador to help save one of the world’s rarest species of monkey – and the endangered rainforest where it lives.


Critically endangered: The Brown-headed Spider Monkey



The Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps) is “critically endangered”, which means that without urgent action to protect the 50 known breeding pairs still in the wild, the species could become extinct. The spider monkey – unusual in that it is exclusively a fruit-eater – is under threat because up to 80 per cent of the dense rainforest that it depends on for food has been destroyed.

Environmental organisation Ecuador Terra Incognita, supported by partners including the University of Sussex, has now launched the PRIMENET Project to tackle the crisis. Its aim is to determine how best to protect the monkey populations, now restricted to rainforest reserves in northwest Ecuador, then educate local communities to continue the work and ensure the spider monkey’s long-term survival.


University of Sussex environmental biologist Dr Mika Peck is coordinating the project. He has secured £230,000 funding for the project over three years through the Government-sponsored Darwin Initiative to aid conservation in bio-diverse regions around the world. He will also assist, along with colleagues from the geography department, in remote sensing research. This involves analysing satellite data to see where rainforest is at risk from development or logging.

Dr Peck became involved because he has worked on environmental projects in South America and has conducted research into deforestation. He also has a passion for the region where the project will be based – the Los Cedros Biological Reserve in the Ecuadorean Andes, on the doorstep of the spider monkey habitat. He says: “This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It can only be reached by donkey, trekking for five hours. It is a fairytale setting – orchids, humming birds, big cats, tapirs, moths the size of dinner plates – and is one of the richest areas for bird species.”

Protecting all of this, says Dr Peck, is key to the spider monkey campaign: “The spider monkey is a ‘flagship’ species – if they are protected then everything else in the surrounding environment is too, and one of the rare biodiversity-rich habitats of the world is preserved.”

The project will involve the building of a scientific research and education centre at Los Cedros, where locals from a number of diverse indigenous groups will learn how to collect scientific data and monitor monkey populations. Other strands of the project will focus on supporting Conservation International in developing “corridors” to link nature reserves in the region. Teams of scientists will also study the area’s flora and fauna, much of it still new to science.

In the longer term, the project aims to encourage environmentally-friendly ecotourism, offer sustainable forms of work and income for local people and offset the damage done by logging, mining and hunting – the pursuits largely responsible for destroying the rainforest on which the spider monkey and other species depend.

Maggie Clune | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>