The lively morning calls of a rare species of gibbon has led to the discovery of the only known “viable” community of the talkative primates in remote Vietnamese forests, conservationists said yesterday.
A “substantial” population of 455 critically endangered northern white-cheeked crested gibbons were found living at high altitudes and far from human settlements on the border with Laos, Conservation International said.
Researchers, who had previously found sparse groups in other areas, used the animals’ “loud, elaborate and prolonged” calls to locate the creatures in Pu Mat National Park in Nghe An Province, northern Vietnam.
The community represents two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam and the “only confirmed viable population” of the variety worldwide.
Gibbons, which are threatened across the world, are considered the “most romantic” of primates as they mate for life and serenade their partners with song.
Habitat loss and hunting for the pet trade and the “assumed medicinal value of primate body parts” are among the major threats to the creatures in Vietnam, the group’s statement said.
White-cheeked gibbon numbers are thought to have declined by as much as 80 percent in the past 45 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
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Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent