There is an unusual looking monkey called the crested black macaque that is endemic to rainforests in Indonesia, which includes the island of Sulawesi. These striking black primates, sporting punk hairstyles and copper-colored eyes, first caught the attention and won the heart of wildlife cameraman and biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson 25 years ago. But since then, their numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent, so the filmmaker returns to the island to discover why and how he could help.
Upon his arrival, Stafford-Johnson finds a very different looking Sulawesi. An island once entirely covered in forest, is now undertaken with new roads, people and buildings. He meets up with the leader of a team of local biologists — Giyarto, or Ugi for short — who has been studying the macaques for seven years. Together they will make a film to show how special these monkeys are, hoping to involve the local community in protecting them before they disappear forever.
Showing 61 posts tagged conservation
The next time that you’re in your local natural history museum, don’t just look at the large animals in the dioramas — really look for those hidden small animals, too: a brown-headed cowbird near a bison, a Botta’s pocket gopher peeking from a burrow, or a Blue Echo Butterfly on a flower. These smaller details in scenes get as much attention from museum staff as the central figures.
Above, the American Museum of Natural History's Conservation Fellow Bethany Palumbo describes how she studied museum specimens of the Blue Echo to recreate it using a mix of photocopying, hand painting, and sculpting with layers of glue.
Every detail was studied for accuracy, down to the cougar’s whisker texture:
Even the shadows, background paintings, and native grasses demand proper attention to detail. After new, energy-efficient lights were installed, museum artist Stephen C. Quinn even altered the slight color variations of the crushed marble dust “snow” to better represent the moon shadows in the Wolf Diorama:
h/t Sagan Sense.
In this episode of Songs for Unusual Creatures, Michael Hearst visits the Frog Pod at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and then collaborates with glass armonica player Cecilia Brauer on a new song for the amazing little glass frog.
Check out this bright green and blue Four-Toed Whiptail Lizard, Teius Teyou, a common animal in the grassy sands of Paraguay, South America. Biologist Dr Jonny Miller introduces the reptile, named for the four long, spindly toes on its back feet.
Only Superman himself could chase and catch one of these lizards - the one I’m holding in the video had fallen into a bucket trap from which I retrieved it. Bucket traps are designed for exactly that purpose - for animals to fall into! Biologists and conservationists use them to discover what species of small animal, particularly reptiles and amphibians, small mammals and large insects, are living in the area. The traps are checked regularly, a note of any visitors is made, and the bucket guests are then released as quickly as possible into the habitat.
Visit Ambika Conroy’s angora rabbit “Friendly Fur Farm” and the New York Wolf Conservation Center with Inhabitat's Jill Fehrenbacher and her 5 year old son Petey.
In the archives: more amazing angora rabbits.