Rain Forest Canopy Bridges Aid Slow Lorises, Gibbons and Other Threatened Species

Rain Forest Canopy Bridges Aid Slow Lorises, Gibbons and Other Threatened Species

As months passed, Chan noticed that constant use was causing the frond to fray and droop, threatening to bring the gibbons crashing down with it—and breaking the critically endangered species’ habitat into disparate islands. Nekaris, who studies threatened slow lorises in agricultural areas of the Indonesian province of West Java, learned this lesson firsthand. But while the slow lorises loved the rubber bridges, the farmers on whose land the animals lived “didn’t care,” Nekaris says. At the same time, Nekaris and her colleagues built up local pride and interest in slow lorises by teaching children about the animals and assigning each family an individual slow loris mascot. While aerial bridges are no replacement for protecting intact habitat, they can play an important role in helping species survive in an increasingly human-dominated landscape, Soanes says.

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