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Where the wild things go… when there's nowhere else
Date:2/28/2013

p forests might be seriously overlooked, Nowak found. About 55 percent of Old World monkeys primates such as baboons and macaques that are native to Africa and Asia take to the swamps either regularly, seasonally or as needed. In 2008, the Wildlife Conservation Society reported that the inaccessible Lake Tl swamp forest in the Republic of the Congo was home to 125,000 lowland gorillas more than were thought to exist in the wild. Among big cats, the Bengal tiger, for instance, holds its sole ground in Bangladesh in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest.

Life in the swamps can still be harsh for some animals. Species such as the crab-eating macaque and fishing cat can adapt somewhat readily to a life of swimming and foraging for crustaceans. Meanwhile, Zanzibar's red colobus monkey driven to coastal mangroves by deforestation can struggle to find the freshwater it needs, as Nowak reported in the American Journal of Primatology in 2008. Such a trend could result in local extinction of the red colobus nonetheless, she said.

Nowak concludes that swamp forests beg further exploration as places where endangered species such as lowland gorillas and flat-headed cats have preserved their numbers and where humans could potentially preserve them into the future.


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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mgnkelly@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
Source:Eurekalert  

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