Tuesday, April 14, 2009
There are still some animals left in the jungle?
For once a little good news. A previously unknown group of orangutans has been discovered in eastern Borneo. Their population is estimated at somewhere between a couple hundred and a couple thousand and they are black-furred instead of red. This is the second species of large mammal that that I remember being discovered in Indonesia in the last few years, the first was a new species of clouded leopard found in Borneo and Sumatra in 2007. They are less tawny than the ones in other parts of Southeast Asia; almost a chocolaty brown.
Who says there are no benefits to extreme deforestation? These darker animals are simply too proficient at hiding in dense forests and jungles. It's those pesky trees that have been getting in the scientists' way. Maybe when they get all of them cut down and pulped we'll discover some ebony unicorns. It will be better to have these reclusive faunal treasures properly cataloged before we wipe them out entirely. This way we can give our children a more accurate picture of what they will be missing.