Sunday, 18 October 2015

Endangered orangutans face a new threat

Study says some habitats may not offer enough high-energy food

Date:October 14, 2015
Source:Rutgers University

The loss of habitats is the greatest threat to the endangered orangutans, and now a new study says their existence could be further jeopardized if conservation efforts don't include reintroducing these great apes into natural environments with enough high-energy food for them to survive.

In the study, published on October 14 in PLOS ONE, Rutgers researchers found that the density of Bornean orangutans is almost two times greater in an Indonesian peat-swamp forest -- just 39 miles from similar surroundings where orangutans must survive on thousands of calories less each day for most of the year.

"This study gives us a better understanding of how living in an unpredictable environment can influence the population density of large animals that spend the majority of their time in tress," said Erin Vogel, an evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University. "If animals can't obtain enough energy, reproductive output and population sizes will suffer."

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