Primate News of the Week



Borneo’s orangutans in ‘alarming’ decline: study


Source: Science Reports
Summary: In the island of Borneo the orangutan the population has a dropped significantly and many researchers are attempting to rethink methods for conservation of the critically endangered orangutans. This counters findings based upon aerial and ground surveys of orangutan nests that suggest there numbers were increasing. The scientists in this population study used a combination of helicopter, ground surveys, interviews with local communities and models that illustrate that not only the population is declining but funds used to help in conservation are not being effectively spent. The most alarming fundings is orangutans have appeared to have declined by 25% over 10 years.
Read more via Phys

Long-term sexual intimidation may be widespread in primate societies


Source: Cell Press
Summary: A four year study based on Chacma baboons in Namibia suggests the use of long term sexual intimidation as a mating strategy. In order to explore the effectiveness of sexual intimidation the researchers collected data on two large baboon groups. They found males were more aggressive towards fertile females than pregnant or lactating females. They found that often this aggression caused more injuries in fertile females. They also found that males that were more aggressive were more likely to mate with her when she was close to ovulation. Rather than directly harassing the females into maring they instead would attack or chase certain females weeks before ovulation to increase their monopolization of particular females.
Read more via Phys
Journal Reference: Current Biology, Baniel et al.: “Male Violence and Sexual Intimidation in a Wild Primate Society” , DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.013


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