Sunday, May 10, 2020

One Minute Read

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Javan slow lorises are primates that can't jump and are slow, usually keeping three limbs in contact with the surface they are moving on. Most of them live in habitat that is fragmented, isolating them on islands. If they want to feed on another patch of suitable habitat, ground crossing leaves them vulnerable to predation.

So what to do?  Build a bridge.

Anna Nekaris (Oxford Butler University, UK) and her colleagues built some bridges made of waterline or rubber pipes to see whether the lorises would use them.  They are very cautious animals but eventually they did. It took slow lorises, on average, 13 days to try them and once they did they were using them nightly. Other animals native to the area also used them.

The bridges made of water pipes had an added advantage. They "supplied irrigation to farmers' crops providing additional benefits for local communities.

See the report on the research here. Slow lorises score high on the cuteness index. Unfortunately, photographs of the bridges, if any, are not available to me. Here is the abstract to the paper. Access to the full paper is protected by a firewall.

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