saving Earth’s rarest primate with artificial rope bridges

saving Earth’s rarest primate with artificial rope bridges

When studying the life sciences, there are a lot of in-depth concepts to take in. Depending on the the type of science you are studying, biology vs. evolution, for example, you may even have to learn a handful of mathematical formulas to fully appreciate the material. Here, we are just having a light-hearted overview of the life sciences, so a light serving of sativa will do just fine.

In my experience, sativa helps me to not get lost in wordy texts (reading that is not broken up by graphics/tables or formulas) and keep my mind sharp and able to take in all relevant information. Grinding about 60mg (less than 1/4 of a 1g bud) of sativa and smoking just a small pinch of that for over a 3-5hr period is perfect for maintaining a healthy attention span for learning.

Black Flower Science Co. does not claim to be a medical professional and does not offer recommendations as a substitute for medical advice. All advice and recommendations are based on personal experience of the benefits of medical marijuana. If you are experiencing severe or declining mental health symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical professional.

Featured Image Credit: Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

For the first time in history, Earth’s most critically endangered primate, the Hainan gibbon, Nomascus hainanus, was witnessed crossing humanmade rope bridges. These bridges were originally constructed with the intent to connect large swaths of forest canopy habitats. How does this help the primate?

According to the National Wildlife Federation, habitat connectivity (“the degree to which the landscape facilitates or impedes animal movement and other ecological processes”) plays a vital role in general ecosystem biodiversity, as well as individual species’ wellbeing. When individuals of a given species are able to travel between habitats safely, they can maintain healthy levels of gene flow and access safer areas in times of seasonal hardship.

With the implementation of these new rope bridges, Hainan gibbons have been given new hope for future persistence, even in light of the tremendous ecological pressures resulting from climate change and habitat degradation. Now that scientists have been able to confirm the gibbons’ use of the new bridges, conservationists can confidently rely on their beneficial presence for greater protection efforts.

New England Primate Conservancy

The Need for Rope Bridges

In the forests of Hainan Island, China – an area to which the Hainan gibbons are endemic – Bosco Pui Lok Chan and their colleagues believed that it was time for a change. Knowing that the primates must travel between forest canopies throughout their lives, the scientists knew that the existing canopy gaps needed to be rectified. If these gaps were to remain, the gibbons’ safety and species resilience would be at risk, specifically due to the following effects:

  • Sub-populations of gibbons would be restricted to specific areas.
  • Foraging would be limited, as gibbons would be unable to access new, potentially more fruitful canopies.
  • Breeding opportunities would be severely limited due to low connectivity.
  • The gibbons would be forced to travel down to the forest floor to access new habitats, making them vulnerable to predation.

To give the primates the strongest fighting chance at resisting all these immense ecological and genetic barriers, the researchers provided the artificial rope bridges, with a fervent hope that the animals would use them in such a way as North Americans, for example, hope wildlife species can utilize wildlife corridors over highways.

Zoological Society of London

Gibbons Welcome the New Bridges

Thankfully, the gibbons were pleased to welcome the bridges into their natural habitat. After 470 days of studying the animals, the researchers collected an abundance of footage showing the primates making use of the new structures. Specifically, 208 photographs and 53 videos illustrated nine groups of gibbons climbing and swinging along the ropes, with the exception of a single adult male.

Bigger juvenile primates did not appreciate the rope bridges as much as their smaller counterparts, although they did still make use of the ropes. Instead, they preferred to leap across the gap, copying the adult male’s behavior who did not want to use the new bridges. Despite some of the gibbons’ stubbornness, the footage points to an incredible development in conservation that may signify a newly strengthened future for the world’s most endangered primate.

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