Jumat, 05 Juli 2019

Proboscis Monkey Seminar

Prof. Tim Robert - UON
However, a tour along the mangrove-bedecked waterways of the Bornean forests is almost certain to yield photos of the unique proboscis monkeys, also known as bekantan. Its prominent nose, particularly pendulous in adult males, easily identifies this species.
The bigger the nose a male bekantan has, the likelier it is that he will have a large, multi-female harem.

Their specialised digestive system allows them to feed primarily on mangrove leaves and give them a pot-bellied appearance.

Due to loss of their mangrove habitat and hunting, proboscis monkeys are listed as endangered, with fewer than 7000 left in the wild.

Visiting Borneo in 2018, my students and I spent time with a remarkable person who is raising awareness of the sorry plight of the proboscis monkey. Amalia Rezeki is a conservation biologist at the University of Lambung Mangkurat in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan who runs Sahabat Bekantan Indonesia, a non-profit that works to protect the proboscis monkeys.

Amalia has dedicated most of her life to preserving the long-nosed animal. She has built a proboscis monkey research station and a sanctuary for the rewilded animals on an island in the Barito River.
She is collaborating in a bekantan research project with Charles Lee from UON Singapore, and Matt Hayward and myself from UON.

Her tireless efforts to preserve the proboscis monkey are bearing fruit, with local people starting to take care of proboscis monkeys and their habitat, and the regional government issuing regulations for saving bekantan, including developing sustainable tourism based on bekantan as a vehicle for recreation and education.

I'm delighted to report Amalia Rezeki will visit us at UON and will present a seminar at NewSpace on June 19.
photo of proboscis monkey
Bekantan Research Station

Backup artist will be yours truly, speaking about orangutans and oil palms.
Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts is from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle.

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