NBA: Mavericks revoke credentials of 2 ESPN reporters

first_imgWe are young Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. AFP FILE PHOTODallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban is no stranger to committing harsh decisions in the past. He made another one on Sunday (Monday in Manila) after revoking the season credentials of veteran ESPN reporters Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon.Stein, a Dallas-based journalist who has been covering the NBA for 25 seasons, has been with ESPN for the last 14 years and is considered to be one of the most respected and most knowledgeable reporters for the Mavericks. MacMahon, on the other hand, has been covering the Mavs for the last seven years.ADVERTISEMENT The league, meanwhile, also addressed the situation in a statement.“We are in communication with both ESPN and Mark Cuban about this matter,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told Dallas journalist Art Garcia.For its part, ESPN also said it was  “committed to thoroughly covering the Mavs and the NBA, regardless of hurdles.”  Khristian IbarrolaSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Folayang eyes ‘legend’ status vs Aoki PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports “After ESPN failed to return MacMahon to a full-time beat position, Cuban followed through on an initial warning and revoked his and Stein’s credentials.”Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said he was not shocked by the news and simply attributed it to Cuban being “a moron.”Yes, this is true. Yes, this is Cuban being a moron. Nothing new in itself, only new level for him. Funny he bashes Trump for this behavior.— Tim Cowlishaw (@TimCowlishaw) November 7, 2016ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img EDITORS’ PICK Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise MOST READ Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Sporting News, which first broke the story, said the pair were not credentialed for either of the Mavericks’ last two home games as well.It remained unclear why the drastic measure took place and none of Stein and MacMahon’s recent articles or tweets suggested anything out of the ordinary.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentSports Blog Nation, however, cited a petty reason why the split might have occurred.“MacMahon’s role at ESPN changed this year, transitioning from a full-time Mavericks beat writer to a more general NBA position that included other teams, something Cuban was unhappy with,” an SB report said. Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 View commentslast_img read more

Formula One champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement

first_imgAs fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes “So I have decided to follow my heart, and my heart has told me just to stop there, to call it a day.”Rosberg said he made the decision on Monday, a day after finishing second at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to clinch the F1 title.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“I am on the peak, so this feels right,” he said.He wrote on Facebook of the difficulties he faced over a season that took a toll on people close to him: “It was a whole family effort of sacrifice, putting everything behind our target.” Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 “If you accomplish your goal, then there’s no reason to stay around,” track and field’s athlete of the year Usain Bolt said upon hearing the news in Monaco.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Senators to proceed with review of VFA Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine “I’m probably one of the only people that it was not a surprise to,” Hamilton said. He later added: “Will I miss the rivalry? Of course.”The three-time champion said he would help Mercedes look for a replacement.“I’m interested to see who would want to be my teammate, and respect anyone that would want to,” Hamilton said.Rosberg said it had been his dream, “my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One world champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain.”In an online video, the German said: “I’m not willing to do it again next year.”Rosberg won 23 races (tied for 12th all-time) and 30 pole positions (8th) from 206 races since his debut in 2006.He began thinking of retirement after winning in Suzuka in early October, “when the destiny of the title was in my own hands.”Mercedes chief Toto Wolff paid tribute to Rosberg for making a “brave decision.”“He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as world champion, having achieved his childhood dream,” Wolff said. “The clarity of his judgment meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me.”Rosberg is the first reigning champion to retire since Alain Prost in 1993. Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH MOST READ EDITORS’ PICK Rain and sorrow accentuate memorial for dead at Brazil club FILE – This is a Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 file photo of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany as he celebrates winning the World Championship during the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Rosburg announced Friday Dec. 2, 2016 that he will retire from Formula One racing. APQuitting at the top, Formula One champion Nico Rosberg shocked the world of motor racing Friday by announcing he was retiring at the age of 31, five days after earning his first world championship.“I have decided to end my Formula One career. I had a very, very clear dream, that was to become Formula One world champion. I have achieved this childhood dream now and I am not willing to do that sort of commitment again,” Rosberg said in Vienna.ADVERTISEMENT We are young Rosberg had a strained relationship with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. They came up through the karting circuits to became fierce rivals in F1, constantly needling each other in the media. They dueled for the F1 championship for the last three years. Rosberg was runner-up to Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, but hung on this year to relieve Hamilton of the title in the final race.Rosberg’s father, Keke, the 1982 F1 champion, said after watching his son in Abu Dhabi that the strain of fighting Hamilton was sapping him.“I don’t know how much it’s taken out of him,” Keke Rosberg said on Sunday. “Maybe he retires tomorrow.”All observers thought that was a quip. Mercedes said on its website that Rosberg “will stop racing in Formula One with immediate effect.”Hamilton said he was not surprised by his teammate’s decision.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

NBA: Disgruntled Rondo to ask for trade if benching continues

first_imgSEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold00:50Trending Articles01:57Local peace talks in Davao City may proceed – Palace01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Senators to proceed with review of VFA Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are young Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in Chicago. (AP/Kamil Krzaczynski)After being traded from the Boston Celtics in 2014, Rajon Rondo had a fall out from the Dallas Mavericks and did not seem to be the right fit for the Sacramento Kings.The feisty point guard has since moved on as a member of the Chicago Bulls this season, but it seems like he could once again be headed to his fifth team in just three seasons.ADVERTISEMENT Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine PH among economies most vulnerable to virus The one-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star has fallen out of the rotation as of late and has already caught the ire of head coach Fred Hoiberg.He did not play for the entirety of the Bulls’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year’s eve, and was once again relegated to the bench on Monday’s (Tuesday in Manila) victory against the Charlotte Hornets.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngREAD: ‘Phenomenal’ Butler does it with 52 points for BullsThe demotion did not sit well with the former Kentucky product and will “absolutely” request a trade if the coach continues to keep him out of the rotation, according to the Chicago Tribune.center_img Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH PBA D-League: AMA elated with ‘all-around’ Teng MOST READ However, the 30-year-old’s disappointing averages of 4.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.3 assists, while shooting just 29.6 percent has forced Hoiberg to play Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant in his stead.Rondo’s struggles deeply affect the team,  which has dropped two games below .500 with a 5-11 win-loss record in December. Khristian IbarrolaRELATED STORYNBA: Rondo dropped for one game after outburstSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town EDITORS’ PICK View comments “He told me that I’ve been looking slow the last five games,” Rondo detailed his conversation with the former Iowa State bench boss.“I disagree. But that’s part of it. He’s the head coach. And we’re going to go with that,” he added.Despite clashing horns over Rondo’s lack of playing time, Hoiberg still lauded his guard’s professionalism regarding the delicate matter.“I’ll say this about Rajon, he’s handled this as well as he possibly can in this type of situation,” Hoiberg said.After somehow regaining his pre-injury form with Sacramento last year, Rondo signed a two-year deal worth $27 million prior this season.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

India’s foxes and monkeys are dumpster diving and eating food scraps

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta In Spiti Valley in northern India, red foxes can be seen rummaging through kitchen waste. Such dumpster diving could potentially bring wild animals in close proximity to humans and increase conflict, researchers say.Increasing reliance of wild animals on food waste could affect other ecological processes.In the state of West Bengal, for example, some troops of rhesus macaques spend most of their time “begging or chasing” tourists for food. These troops, unlike the forest-dwelling ones, contribute very little to the dispersal of seeds, researchers have found. Spiti Valley, located in the remote Trans-Himalayas, is one of the least populated places in India and home to several rare and endangered wild animals. Here, to see wild herbivores like the Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) you may have to trek up to mountain pastures sometimes 5,000 metres (16,404 feet) high. If you want to see a snow leopard (Panthera uncia), you may have to track herds of the Himalayan blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) and hope to run into a snow leopard doing the same thing. If it is a Himalayan wolf (Canis lupus filchneri) you want, well, good luck to you.But for a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), just go back to a village and take a quiet walk after dinner. You are likely to see a fox rummaging through the kitchen middens – small heaps of food scraps usually discarded in the backyard.Even in this landscape of vast open spaces, people and wildlife can’t help rubbing shoulders, according to researchers from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). In a recent study published in the Journal of Arid Environments, the researchers analysed the diet of red foxes from five locations in three states across the trans-Himalayas and one location in the Dachigam National Park in Kashmir. In locations close to human habitation, such as Spiti Valley, Ladakh and Chiktan village in Kargil, between 30 to 55 percent of the food red foxes ate came from human sources.Human provisioning comprised one third of the red fox diet in Leh town, Ladakh. Image by Hussain S. Reshamwalaa.Humans in the Himalayas are inadvertently providing a substantial amount of food to these animals, including discarded meat bones, fruits, dead livestock, cereals and inedible things like plastic, paper, or rubber, which the researchers euphemistically termed Human Derived Materials (HDM).This is not a new phenomenon, nor is it restricted to red foxes.Cosmopolitan eatersScientists have pointed out that humans have been subsidizing the diet of wild animals since we were hunter gatherers discarding remains of kills. Indeed, the domestic dog is believed to have evolved from an ancestor who was attracted to the prehistoric man’s rubbish dumps.The options have only increased with time. Today, wild animals can access human subsidised food from kitchen middens in villages, garbage dumps, and landfills in big cities, discarded fish catch in coastal areas and even directly when people fed animals like monkeys.Thomas Newsome, an ecologist and lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia, who has been studying the consequences of food subsidies to wild carnivores like dingoes (Canis lupus dingo), said that most species that consume food waste are generalists who don’t depend on specific foods.Red foxes are particularly cosmopolitan in their eating habits. This species which is found across the Northern Hemisphere, eats rodents, small birds, eggs, lizards, insects, fruits, berries, and scavenges on other animals’ kills.Red foxes scavenging from kitchen waste or garbage is a common sight in villages in the Trans-Himalayas and makes up between 30-55% of their diet. This red fox was seen in Gete village, in the Spiti Valley. Image by Abhishek Ghoshal.Quick and easy mealsSo, the transition from this versatile diet to dumpster diving in the Himalayas seems unsurprising. But what is the motivation? What were the animals thinking?“I am getting food, without expending too much energy,” said Bilal Habib, a scientist at WII and one of the lead researchers of the red fox study.Such a diet can be beneficial for animals like red foxes in the short term. Studies show that provisioning increases the animals’ body weight, increases fertility and improves chances of mating and having offspring.One of the reasons for this is that provisioned food is typically, “predictable, calorie-rich and [an] easily digestible source of food,” said Asmita Sengupta, an ecologist at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) in Bangalore, India, who studies the effect of food provisioning in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in the Buxa Tiger Reserve in the eastern state of West Bengal.Newsome added that a shortage in the natural food supply could also drive wild animals towards human subsidies.But the costs of such behavior far outweigh the benefits, all three researchers said.The dangers of quick mealsEven in the remote Trans-Himalayas, the waste humans generate nowadays includes plastic and medicines that are very likely to be harmful for red foxes, Habib pointed out.Such dumpster diving also brings to fore a bigger and more powerful carnivore competitor — the domestic dog. In 2015, researchers from the conservation groups Nature Conservation Foundation in India and the Snow Leopard Trust, U.S., reported that red foxes and dogs were often attracted to the same villages and garbage dumps in Spiti. The presence of dogs didn’t seem to convince the smaller, usually solitary fox to stay away. These stray or feral dogs moving in packs can attack foxes and spread diseases like canine distemper in the wild animals.There’s competition even for garbage in the Trans-Himalayas. Feral dogs often scavenge in the same garbage dumps as red foxes, leading to conflict between the two species. Dogs which are bigger and move in packs can cause serious harm to the smaller, solitary red foxes. Photo by htsh_kkch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).Even if no stray dogs were present, Habib said that there were other problems with wild animals accessing food waste.“I expect two red foxes to occur naturally around the village, but this garbage sustains five or six. A wildlife lover may think this is a good thing, [but] in the long run this may bring the species in conflict,” he said.Newsome agreed, adding that provisioning increases chances of conflicts with people. “Food waste also acts as a magnet for wildlife activity, so it can potentially draw animals in close proximity to humans,” said Newsome leading to attacks on livestock or even people in case of large predators.“Even communities who are tolerant of wild animals right now can develop a negative attitude in such a case,” added Habib.A disproportionate increase in wild animals like red foxes could also affect other animals in nature, through a phenomenon called hyper-predation, where a boost to carnivore numbers because of the garbage would lead to a simultaneous increase in attacks on natural prey species like pika (Ochotana roylei) in the case of red foxes. But the prey species wouldn’t be able to keep up with the predator numbers and eventually would die out. With no natural prey, the carnivores would be even more reliant on waste.Rhesus macaques eating food scraps affects forest dynamicsReliance on provisioning also disrupts larger ecological processes like regeneration of forests, Sengupta of ATREE and her team reported in a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Primatology. In the Buxa Tiger Reserve in North Bengal, the researcher studied two troops of rhesus macaques. Macaques are a particularly familiar sight in human-dominated areas, especially in India where people often directly and deliberately feed these animals.Rhesus macaques play an important role in forest regeneration, by eating wild fruits and dispersing seeds. In the Buxa Tiger Reserve in North Bengal, one troop of rhesus macaques dispersed seeds of 41 species of trees. Image by Charlesjsharp via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).In Buxa, however, Sengupta found one troop that lived entirely inside forests and ate mostly wild fruits (around 79 percent of their diet), and had no contact with people or their food. Sengupta found that this wild troop dispersed seeds of a whopping 84 percent of the fruits they ate. At least 50 percent of these seeds germinated, helping plants spread and grow.The other troop of macaques lived on the fringes of the forest, next to a state and national highway and a tea shop. For seven months of the year, this troop spent most of their time at the tea shop in turns, begging or chasing tourists for food and returned to forage in the forest when the reserve was closed for tourists.Fruits formed only 46 percent of their diet, and the macaques dispersed 24 percent of the seeds on the highway where they wouldn’t grow, as opposed to the wild troop that dispersed all of the seeds in the forest. During the peak tourist months, the provisioned troop ate no fruits and dispersed no seeds.“I would expect any region in northern and northeastern India, where forests are relatively undisturbed and where there are fruiting tree species, to be places where rhesus macaques can act as important seed dispersers,” said Sengupta.While humans feeding the macaques was disruptive to this important process, Sengupta said that as long as human beings encroached on forests, animals would continue depending on anthropogenic food.  She is hopeful, though, that the non-provisioned troop in Buxa would for now at least continue staying in forests, “if there are preferred food species in the forests.”In the same Buxa Tiger Reserve, another troop of Rhesus macaques that are being fed by tourists, venture less into the forest and eat fewer fruits, disperse fewer seeds. Image by Asmita Sengupta.To deal with the problem, Newsome said that “people must ask why the wildlife are consuming food waste or other forms of food provided by humans. If they are just eating it because it is accessible, then this food source should be removed or made inaccessible to wildlife. But if the wildlife are turning to eat food provided by humans because there are no alternatives, then steps should be put in place to restore prey availability and viable habitat.”Citations:Reshamwala, H. S., Shrotriya, S., Bora, B., Lyngdoh, S., Dirzo, R., & Habib, B. (2018). Anthropogenic food subsidies change the pattern of red fox diet and occurrence across Trans-Himalayas, India. Journal of Arid Environments.Newsome, T. M., & van Eeden, L. M. (2017). The effects of food waste on wildlife and humans. Sustainability, 9(7), 1269.Ghoshal, A., Bhatnagar, Y. V., Mishra, C., & Suryawanshi, K. (2016). Response of the red fox to expansion of human habitation in the Trans-Himalayan mountains. European journal of wildlife research, 62(1), 131-136.Sengupta, A., & Radhakrishna, S. (2016). Influence of fruit availability on fruit consumption in a generalist primate, the rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta. International Journal of Primatology, 37(6), 703-717.Newsome, T. M., Dellinger, J. A., Pavey, C. R., Ripple, W. J., Shores, C. R., Wirsing, A. J., & Dickman, C. R. (2015). The ecological effects of providing resource subsidies to predators. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(1), 1-11.Sengupta, A., McConkey, K. R., & Radhakrishna, S. (2015). Primates, provisioning and plants: Impacts of human cultural behaviours on primate ecological functions. PloS one, 10(11), e0140961.This story was first published on May 3, 2018, by Mongabay-India. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Animal Behavior, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Green, Interns, Mammals, Predators, Research, Seed Dispersal, Tropical Forests, Wildlife last_img read more

Out on a limb: Unlikely collaboration boosts orangutans in Borneo

first_imgLogging and hunting have decimated a population of Bornean orangutans in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Indonesia.Help has recently come from a pair of unlikely allies: an animal welfare group and a human health care nonprofit.Cross-disciplinary collaboration to meet the needs of ecosystems and humans is becoming an important tool for overcoming seemingly intractable obstacles in conservation. BUKIT BAKA BUKIT RAYA NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — In the heart of Indonesian Borneo, a dwindling population of orangutans is getting a new lease on life thanks to a group of wildlife rescuers and medical professionals who have joined forces.Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) numbers are only about a third of what they were 20 years ago, with forest destruction and hunting leading to an estimated loss of almost 150,000 individuals between 1999 and 2015. The IUCN predicts that the species’ numbers will halve again by 2025, painting a bleak future for this critically endangered primate.Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, a sprawling 1,811 square kilometers (699 square miles) of rainforest in central Borneo, is ideal orangutan habitat: Towering tropical hardwoods dominate the forest, flowering in synchronized bursts and showering the ground with whirling, two-winged seeds once or twice a decade. Giant trees like ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri) reach dizzying proportions, their trunks stretching 60 meters (196 feet) into the clouds and swelling to 2 meters (6 feet) in diameter. And a ring of mountains surrounds a lowland basin dotted with abundant fruit trees.Butan and Marsela, Bornean orangutans rescued as infants from forest destroyed for a palm oil plantation, climb into the canopy after being released in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Image courtesy of Heribertus/IAR Indonesia.Yet the park is home to only “a very small and potentially non-viable resident wild orangutan population,” Karmele Llano Sánchez, program director of International Animal Rescue in Indonesia, said in an email. Just as hunting and logging have threatened Borneo’s orangutan species as a whole, so too have these human pressures nearly wiped out Bukit Baka Bukit Raya’s population. A recent survey found just a handful of orangutan nests in the park, and the apes have been entirely absent from some areas for 20 to 30 years.Then, in 2016, two unlikely allies teamed up to secure an alternative future for them.On one side, International Animal Rescue, a U.K.-based wildlife welfare group, is providing an initial boost to the population by releasing Bornean orangutans rescued from captivity or conflict. On the other, Health In Harmony, a U.S.-based healthcare nonprofit, is working to eliminate logging and hunting by meeting the needs of the surrounding communities.Gail Campbell-Smith, research and conservation adviser for International Animal Rescue in Indonesia, says the two organizations work well together because each has carved out its own niche.“Both of them do things very differently, but there’s also a lot of commonalities as well,” she said. “And I think we also need each other.”last_img read more