Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thousands of 'critically endangered' apes discovered

There are only 50 - 60 thousand orangutans believed to exist these days (90 percent in Indonesia, the rest in Malaysia), but researchers recently stumbled upon a new population of 2,000 along the eastern edge of Borneo island (that's in Indonesia). (AP / Newsvine)

Orangutans have had a hard time getting along in Indonesia and Malaysia as their native habitat is cleared out to make way for palm oil plantations ("to meet growing demands for 'clean-burning' fuels in the U.S. and Europe," of course).

The area where the new population was discovered is protected by "steep topography, poor soil and general inaccessibility." These apes aren't big fans of people, either. One of the orangutans "angrily threw branches as [researchers] tried to take photos."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.