Monday, March 26, 2012

Rare primates spotted with their infants in Sabah jungles

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife researchers have made a pleasant discovery in the jungles along Sungai Kinabatangan in Sabah’s east coast.

A tarsier and a slow loris which were caught before being released in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, have become mothers.

Researchers from the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) feel the development will enable them to learn more about some of the smallest and shiest primates there.

DGFC director Benoit Goosens said the discovery would provide researchers with opportunities to study the maternal patterns of these animals.

“Little is known about the nocturnal primates in Borneo and this project will provide valuable information about their behaviour and ecology in degraded forests,” he said here yesterday.

The capture of the tarsier and slow loris, which were fitted with radio collars, was part of the Kinabatangan Nocturnal Primate Programme that began in March 2010.

Cardiff University student Alice Miles, who was leading the programme at DGFC, said the tarsier collared on March 8 was found to be pregnant.

“While tracking her the following week, she was observed with a tiny offspring. The baby was thought to be no more than a few days old,” said Miles, adding that by following their development and behaviour, researchers could document maternal care in the species.

On March 16, DGFC researchers caught a slow loris – nicknamed Boss – and fitted it with a radio collar before releasing the primate.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Rare primates spotted with their infants in Sabah jungles
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