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Great Apes
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Activities Ape Info Survival Issues Resources Student Work Facts

GENERAL
STUDENTS PRESENT AT iEARN CONFERENCE IN NETHERLANDS... read more
WELCOME TO NEW CONTRIBUTORS IN THE PROJECT...read more
STUDENT ATTEND THE GrASP GREAT APES TOUR CONFERENCE...read more
PRESS ARTICLES
APES "EXTINCT IN A GENERATION" By Richard Black BBC News. ...read more
DAVID SUZIKI ARTICLE- Impact of hunting and disease. ...read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDENTS PRESENT AT iEARN CONFERENCE IN NETHERLANDS

Two students (Sarah and Paige) from the Great Apes Project are travelling to the 2006 iEARN World Conference in Enschede to give a presentation on the project. They have been preparing for weeks and hope to enjoy the experience and find new friends to support the project.
The students are part of a group of 12 students from all over Australia who will attend the conference and will be participating in the Youth Summit.

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WELCOME TO NEW CONTRIBUTORS IN THE PROJECT

There have been many new contributions to the project over recent times

We would like to thank:

Students from Silverlake Elementary, Delaware, USA

ULugbek Yuldashev from Uzbekistan

Students from Damascus indonesian School, Syria

Students from Chile

We really appreciate all your writings, images and forum contributions and look forward to more contact with you all.

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STUDENT ATTEND THE GrASP GREAT APES TOUR CONFERENCE

On Tuesday March 15 th a group of students from the Great Ape project visited Melbourne to attend a conference, organised by GRASP Australia . The presentation was hosted by 3 guest speakers, Ian Redmond, chief consultant with the UN Great Apes Survival Project, Birute Galdikas, from the United Nations Great Ape Survival Project, Birute Galdikas runs the Leaky Centre, which rescues orphaned young orang-utans, and Leif Cocks who is the president of the Australian Orang-utan Project and a curator at the Perth Zoo.

Birute Galdikas presented an interesting and motivating speech about ways orang-utans are being helped such as an orang-utan orphanage, medications for sick and abused orang-utans, re-introduction of orang-utans to their natural habitat, she discussed the threats and the ways in which her organisation and other individuals/groups are trying to get rights for the apes and the rate of their decline.

Ian Redmond delivered an inspiring speech about how there are many organisation s working together, and how the challenge is for everybody to work together for the common good, the apes and the people who live and work with them.

Leif Cocks presented a thought provoking speech about how we need to question what we think is important and the ethics that are involved, surrounding the survival of the apes.

It was a great night, a well attended presentation the likes of which were presented around Australia through the GRASP network.

Check out the GRASP website for more information.

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David Suzuki
Our closest living relatives are in big trouble. Hunting and a particularly nasty virus are killing off the great apes in alarming numbers.

But beyond the ethical issues of allowing such close kin to die out and the ecological consequences of their demise, the plight of the great apes is a dramatic example of how we have to protect nature to protect ourselves.

Earth's great apes  gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans  share more than 95 percent of their genes with humans. In fact, a recent study implies that chimpanzees really are human. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the most functional DNA in humans and chimpanzees and concluded that 99.4 percent of it is identical. This suggests that chimps belong in the genus Homo with the rest of us Homo sapiens .

Naturally, that close relationship raises ethical questions about how we treat chimpanzees and other great apes in captivity and for experimentation. But the biggest threat facing the great apes is in the wild.

According to reports recently published in the journal Nature , a combination of hunting and the Ebola virus is killing great apes in alarming numbers. In Gabon and the Congo , home to 80 percent of Africa 's remaining great apes, researchers estimate that populations have actually plunged by more than half in the past two decades.

In areas near urban centers, the greatest threat comes from commercial hunters who kill great apes to sell for food as part of the thriving bushmeat trade. Logging has opened up roads into the jungle, giving ideal access to hunters who have killed 99 percent of apes in some areas.

In more isolated regions, the Ebola virus has also taken a huge toll, killing up to 90 percent of some populations. Experts say that human activities may have triggered the Ebola outbreak through habitat destruction, by pushing the virus and apes closer together. The twin threats of Ebola and hunting are expected to reduce chimp and gorilla numbers to a few, isolated pockets in 10 to 20 years.

To lose our closest relatives would be an enormous tragedy.

By David Suzuki

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