Monday, July 25, 2011

Conservationists keep tabs on proboscis monkeys via satellite tags

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife conservationists in Sabah are working towards ensuring the survival of the state's unique primate the proboscis monkey by installing satellite tags on 10 of these long-nosed creatures.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu said the department staff and volunteers from the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) in the east coast Kinabatangan district had recently fitted the first satellite tag on a 24kg male proboscis monkey.

“This is the first time in Borneo that a proboscis monkey is tagged with a satellite device,” said Dr Ambu, adding that it was the start of a long-term research and conservation programme initiated by their department and DGFC with funding from the Sime Darby Foundation.

Department veterinarian Dr Senthilvel Nathan said the primate was caught by members of the Wildlife Rescue Unit and DGFC during the course of Proboscis Monkey Programme initiated last week, a collaboration between the department, DGFC and Cardiff University.

“We will catch proboscis monkeys in the whole state to collect blood for genetic analyses and parasite identification, saliva for viruses and bacteria, ectoparasites and morphometric data.

“We will also fit 10 primates with satellite tags in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary,” added Dr Senthillvel.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goosens said the satellite tagging was aimed at understanding the ranging patterns of proboscis monkeys and the factors hindering their movement and density.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Conservationists keep tabs on proboscis monkeys via satellite tags

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