Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Eastern Javan Langur at Howletts

Photograph Details: Nikon D40 Focal length 300mm ISO-400 exp: 640 f5.6

For those of you who know me will be aware of my love of animals and nature. You will probably also be aware of my terrible bank balance and the fact I never have any money! As much as I would love to travel around the world to visit all the wonderful animals featured in this blog, the sad truth is that I simply cannot afford it...
So what do I do? Probably the same as most of the people in this world - I visit zoos and I love it! Whatever your views or animals kept in captivity, you can't hide from the fact that they do bring exotic animals to the masses. If the zoo can do something worthwhile in the process then that's such an added bonus.
One zoo which claims to do this (and from what I can tell certainly does) is Howletts and it's sister zoo Port Lympne. On a recent job advertisement on their website they say:
Howletts is a world class wildlife park run by the international conservation charity
The Aspinall Foundation, and works to support a number of overseas conservation
projects including the Java Primate Project in Indonesia. We are home to a collection
of around 160 rare and endangered primates, including Javan gibbons, Dusky langurs,
Sulawesi macaques, Pied tamarins and Gelada baboons to name a few. 

We have recently built a rescue and rehabilitation centre in Java where rare
Indonesian primates can be confiscated and taken care of; with a view to either
returning them back to the wild or providing them with a better quality of life.
Ultimately, captive bred animals may also relocate to the centre, providing offspring
that could boost the wild population when reintroduction conditions are right.  

Owned by the Aspinall Foundation, Howletts and Port Lympne also have a rather excellent proven track record of helping Apes in Africa. The Aspinall Foundation is a registered charity that is actively involved with several projects that incorporate a diverse range of conservation activities both at their Kent based Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, in addition to well-established overseas projects in the Republic of Congo and Gabon and more recent developing projects in Indonesia and Madagascar. Our main spheres of conservation-based activity include captive breeding, education, ecosystem management, local community education projects, capacity building, habitat surveys and the rehabilitation of confiscated wild animals.(source)

Here is what they have to say about the Eastern Javan Langur

The Javan Langur, also known as the lutung, is a popular member of our collection at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks. Highly active and social, we have around 50 of these primates across our two parks, and their complimentary colour forms of orange or black make them a visually striking attraction.
HABITAT: Javan langurs are found across the rainforest habitats of Indonesia on the islands of Java, Bali and Lombok. There are two species of Javan langur (Eastern and Western) that are geographically isolated within this broader habitat range.
CHARACTERISTICS: The most notable feature of this species is the variant colour forms that exist within groups, and animals may have a coat that is either black or an orange/brown shade. At birth, all infants will have a bright apricot coloured coat, which will gradually darken to one or the other colour form at around three to five months old. As with all langurs, this species has a remarkably long tail – which may reach nearly one meter in length!
BIOLOGY: A tree-dwelling species that is active during the day, Javan langurs feed primarily on leaves, flowers and fruit. As with many leaf-eating primates, it has developed a specialized digestive system to help it cope with the high cellulose and sometimes toxic content of this leafy diet, and also has enlarged salivary glands that help in breaking down food more readily. Living in small groups that normally number less than ten, they can breed all year round and females will share in the care of group offspring.
CONSERVATION STATUS: A Vulnerable species, Javan langurs are facing the same threats as other primate in Asia; including the loss of habitat and hunting. The clearing of forest habitat by burning has had disastrous consequences for many populations.
BREEDING AT THE PARKS: Javan Langurs are not particularly common in zoos and Howletts and Port Lympne have the largest captive collection of Javan langurs in the world! Our parks have a long and successful history with the captive breeding of this species; since the early 1980’s we have had over 100 births, and some of our residents are third-generation captive-born animals.

Useful Links:
Aspinall Foundation Homepage
Howletts and Port Lympne on Twitter
All my posts marked as Zoos
All my posts marked as Howletts
All my posts marked as Port Lympne

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