Monday, November 15, 2010

Corridors of forest to save Kinabatangan orangutans

KINABATANGAN: Researchers and conservationists in Sabah and United Kingdom have shown that a combination of modest translocation rates (one individual every 20 years) and corridor establishment will enable even the most isolated subpopulations of orangutans along the Kinabatangan to survive in the long-term.

The study, carried out by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) in collaboration with Cardiff University, Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and the NGO HUTAN was recently published in the scientific journal Endangered Species Research (free access on

“We simulated the effects of non-intervention, translocation, corridor establishment and a mixture of the two latter approaches on future genetic diversity in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary’s orangutan population”, explained Benoit Goossens, Director of DGFC in the Kinabatangan and one of the authors of the study. “We found that non-intervention resulted in high extinction risk for a number of subpopulations over short demographic time scales and that the exclusive use of either translocation or corridor establishment as a management tool was insufficient to prevent inbreeding and extinction in the most isolated subpopulations”, he added.

“Last year, all participants to the 2009 Orangutan Conservation Colloquium organized by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, SWD, the NGO HUTAN and other organizations, recognized the importance of corridors within a fragmented landscape for biodiversity conservation and recognized the need to reestablish connections between orangutan populations”, said Marc Ancrenaz, Co-director of HUTAN and another author on the paper.

“Our study, once more, emphasizes the importance of reestablishing habitat connectivity and to do it quickly, or else we will inevitably lose small orangutan populations through inbreeding and demographic instability”, stressed Ancrenaz.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Corridors of forest to save Kinabatangan orangutans

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