Tag Archives: Animals

Marmoset’s of Sugarloaf Mountain

Common marmosets are native only to east-central Brazil. They have been introduced into other areas and live within the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, Argentina, first records for Rio de Janeiro are from 1929. The images below were taken at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. For a monkey, they are tiny, around 20 centimetres tall are weight in at a not too hefty 250 grams.

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Remarkable, the common marmoset is an abundant species, but these where the only ones we saw on the whole trip, it fact no other primates were seen, this despite spending lots of our time in-and-around the Atlantic Rainforest.

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Nevertheless its habitat had been degraded at a large rate, with around 67% of the cerrado region cleared for human use in the 1990s and around 80% cleared for cultivation more recently. In addition, marmosets are captured and traded as pets. Common marmosets have also been used for medical experiments. They are used as such in Europe more so than in the United States, and are the most common non-human primates to be experimented on!

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South American Coati

The South American coati, or ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua), is a species of coati from tropical and subtropical South America.

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The South American coati is widespread and can be found from sea level to 3,000 metres from Colombia across to The Guianas and Northern Brazil and south down to Uruguay and northern Argentina. Chile is the only South American country where the species is not found!

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If visiting Parque Nacional do Iguaçu in Brazil or the Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina you will not fail to see the coati’s foraging in the forest or even on the walkways.

Sabah, Borneo

Sabah, what a wonderful and amazing place and having a brother-in-law managing one of Asia’s top eco resorts in Sabah has some benefits.

The trouble is, Borneo’s northernmost state of Sabah is so rich in treasures that it’s hard to know where to start, and once you get stuck in there’s always just that one more thing you want to see. Although our recent visit was our third family holiday, I feel the surface has still only been scratched.

Borneo is the third largest non continental island in the world and is located east of peninsula Malaysia and Singapore. The island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north occupy about 26% of the island. The oil rich sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% and the rest belongs to Kalimantan.

Butterfly - Borneo 2013

Home to the oldest rainforests in the world, Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south.

The Borneo rainforest is 130 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest in the world. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo, with further observations of more than another 210 been sighted in Borneo.

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The island historically had extensive rainforest cover, but the area has shrunk due to heavy logging. Unbelievably, half of the annual global tropical timber acquisition comes from Borneo. Furthermore, Palm oil plantations are rapidly encroaching on the last remnants of primary rainforest, and as you can imagine thus puts a strain on the remaining endangered and non-endangered wildlife species.

The Borneo rainforest is one of the only remaining natural habitats for the endangered Bornean Orangutan, it is also refuge for a number of endemic forest mammal species, including the Asian Elephant, the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Bornean Clouded Leopard, although I have not managed to see any of these on our three visits. Maybe on the fourth visit, possibly Danum Valley and Tabin?

Orang Utan - Borneo 2013
Highly intelligent, displaying advanced tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild, Orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA with humans! The Bornean orangutan is endangered, and according to the IUCN Red List of mammals. The total number of Bornean orangutans is estimated to be less than 14% of what it was in the recent past, with the sharpest decline occuring mostly over the past few decades.

Although the “ship has steadied” over the past few years, the vast global thirst for palm oil products continues and this risk will always hang over the Bornean Orangutan.