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New book expands field data available on orangutans
Date:2/23/2009

Des Moines, Iowa February 23, 2009 Great Ape Trust of Iowa scientist Dr. Serge Wich and three other internationally respected orangutan experts have edited a book set for release in the United States this month that, for the first time, compares data collected at every known orangutan research site and examines the information to discern differences and similarities among orangutan species, subspecies and populations.

Scientists are aware of significant variation in the behavior, morphology and life histories of orangutans, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, but the comparative approach in Orangutans: Geographic Variation in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation provides a theoretical framework to explain them, according to Wich and his co-editors. The data analyzed in the book, collected for Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and their subspecies, provide a foundation for conservation action plans to save the critically endangered wild orangutans from extinction, and also emphasize the effects of human settlement on orangutans and their habitat.

Wich and his esteemed co-editors Dr. S. Suci Utami Atmoko, a biology research associate and lecturer at Universitas Nasional in Jakarta, Indonesia, and a member the IUCN-SSC Primate Specialist Group; Tatang Mitra Setia, who has studied Indonesian primates since 1979 at the Ketambe Research Center and is the dean of the biology faculty at Universitas Nasional; and Dr. Carel P. van Schaik, a Dutch primatologist who is a professor and director of the Anthropological Institute and Museum at the University of Zrich, Switzerland all have extensive backgrounds tracking and studying wild orangutans.

For this book, they brought together more than 70 of the world's leading orangutan experts to rigorously synthesize and compare the data, quantify the similarities and differences, and seek to explain them.

"Instead of just getting r
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Contact: Al Setka
asetka@greatapetrust.org
515-243-3580
Great Ape Trust of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

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