Navigation Links
Genetic study shows humans have pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction

A new study published in the open-access journal PLoS Biology shows strong genetic evidence of a catastrophic collapse in orangutan populations living in the fragmented forests of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia. Benoit Goossens, Lounès Chikhi,

Michael Bruford, and their colleagues report that the collapse occurred within the past hundred years, and most likely within the past decades--coinciding with massive deforestation, which began in the region in the 1890s and accelerated in the 1950s and 1970s.

"This is the first time that a recent and alarming decline of a great ape population--brought about by man--has been demonstrated, dated, and quantified using genetic information," says Goossens, a wildlife geneticist at Cardiff University who conducted the genetic study. "Developing effective conservation and recovery programs depends on determining when the decline of a population began, its trajectory, and the original population size."

For their study, the researchers collected hair from tree nests and feces found under nests or near orangutans encountered along the Kinabatangan River. Two hundred orangutans were identified using genetic markers called microsatellites. "We used the DNA information to simulate population history and detect evidence of a population decline," Goossens explains.

"The genetic study shows that there is a high risk of extinction of the orangutan in Sabah in the near future if this decline goes on unabated," says Marc Ancrenaz, who also participated in the study. "The major threat to the long-term survival of orangutans in Sabah is linked with oil palm plantation development and forest destruction. Illegal killing also contributes to this decline."

Sixty percent of orangutans found in Sabah are living outside the network of protected areas. "The largest population of the East Bornean orangutan subspecies existing on Earth occurs in the forests of the Sabah Foundation con cession, with a population of about 5,000 individuals," says Laurentius Ambu, Sabah Wildlife Department's Deputy Director. Most of these forests are exploited for timber under natural forest management, but orangutans cannot survive in industrial tree plantations.

"This population will disappear forever if these forests are converted to oil-palm agriculture," Ambu says. "The results of our genetic study underscore the need to act now to protect the long-term survival of the species. The animals still show enough genetic diversity to stabilize, if immediate steps are taken to reconnect remnant forest patches and halt further deforestation."


'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Related biology news :

1. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
2. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
3. Ants Genetic Engineering Leads To Species Interdependency
4. Genetic Variation Visualization - From EMBL
5. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
6. Infants With Rare Genetic Disease Saved by Cord Blood Stem Cells
7. Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells
8. Genetic defects give the immune system the green light to attack the pancreas
9. Maine Researchers Find Exceptions to Old Rules of Genetic Inheritance
10. Genetic therapy reverses nervous system damage in animal model of inherited human disease
11. Infants with Rare Genetic Disease Saved By Cord Blood Stem Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 The ... 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) ... guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance ... consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to ... 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern ...
Breaking Biology Technology: