Monthly Archives February 2020

These Asian monkeys can’t taste the sweetness of natural sugars

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Asian leaf-eating monkeys cannot taste natural sugars and show no preference for foods flavored with sugars, a new study has found.While these monkeys have the sweet-taste receptor genes needed to taste natural sugars, when the researchers expressed these genes in single cells, the cells did not show any response to maltose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose or sorbitol.The researchers also conducted a behavior test using sugar-flavored and non-sugar-flavored jellies, and found that colobine monkeys like the silvery lutung and the hanuman langur ate all of the jellies without preferring one over the other. On the other hand, Japanese macaques preferred sucrose and maltose-flavored jellies over bland ones.This lack of preference for sugary foods, along with a previously known inability to taste bitterness, means these monkeys are less likely to face competition from other species for food sources. Not all monkeys have a sweet tooth. Some, like the Asian colobine monkeys, whose members live on a diet comprised mainly of leaves, cannot taste natural sugars and show no preference for foods flavored with sugars, a new study has found.Take the Javan lutung, or Javan langur (Trachypithecus auratus), a colobine monkey found in Indonesia, for example. It mostly eats leaves and unripe fruits — foods that humans typically don’t find very palatable. To find out why the lutung chooses these unsweet foods, a team of researchers from the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in Japan looked into the monkey’s genes.In general, humans and other mammals are able to taste the sweetness of natural sugars because of the sweet-taste receptor genes TAS1R2/TAS1R3 and their associated taste buds on the tongue. The Javan lutung has these receptor genes. But when the researchers expressed these genes in single cells, the cells did not show any response to natural sugars like maltose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose and sorbitol.The researchers speculate that while the sweet-taste receptors do exist in the Javan lutung, these could have undergone some mutation and stopped functioning. The receptors could also be helping them taste other sweet compounds such as sweet amino acids, said Hiroo Imai, a professor at the Primate Research Institute and co-author of the study published in Primates. “We have not tried to test sweet proteins yet, only some natural sugars,” he said.Javan lutung feeding on leaves. Image by Yamato Tsuji.The researchers also looked at how two other Asian colobine monkeys responded to sugars via a behavior test. They exposed two silvery lutungs (Trachypithecus cristatus) and one Hanuman langur (Semnopithecus entellus) to two baskets: one containing sugar-flavored jellies, and the other with non-sugar-flavored jellies. Then they compared their jelly intake with those of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) or snow monkeys, previously shown to have a sweet tooth.They found that while the colobines (the silvery lutung and the hanuman langur) ate all of the jellies without preferring one over the other, the macaques preferred sucrose- and maltose-flavored jellies over bland ones.In a previous study, the researchers had shown that colobine monkeys are also unable to taste bitterness. This inability to taste either sweet or bitter foods creates a niche for the colobines to exploit, the researchers say.“If the monkeys can taste sweet and bitter compounds, they will chose sweet foods and avoid bitter foods, similar to human and other mammals,” Imai told Mongabay. “If the monkeys cannot [taste both], they will not choose sweet foods and don’t avoid bitter foods, which is like leaves and unripe fruits. They are niche for the colobines and will not be disrupted by other animals.”The inability of the colobines’ sweet-taste receptors to detect natural sugars could be related to their easily digestible leafy diets. The monkeys’ guts are better adapted to digesting cellulose and hemicellulose contained in leaves through bacterial fermentation, the researchers say, than sweet-tasting, energy-rich fruits or starch-rich leaves. In fact, these monkeys are known to suffer from diarrhea and other digestive problems if they eat too much carbohydrates and sugars.“The consumption of too many ripe fruits might contribute to rapid overfermentation and the overproduction of volatile fatty acids, leading to an increase in acid levels in animals’ body,” lead researcher Emiko Nishi said in a statement. “Some mammals with specialized feeding habits and less exposure to specific tastes lose sensitivity to particular tastes, as has happened in panda and members of the cat family.”Silvery lutungs. Image by Peter Gronemann via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)Javan lutung or langur. Image CC0.Citation:Nishi, E., Suzuki-Hashido, N., Hayakawa, T., Tsuji, Y., Suryobroto, B., & Imai, H. (2018). Functional decline of sweet taste sensitivity of colobine monkeys. Primates, 1-8. Animal Behavior, Animals, Biodiversity, Environment, Forests, Mammals, Research, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Int’l protections not stopping pangolin overexploitation in Cameroon

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, China wildlife trade, Cites, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Gfrn, Hunting, Mammals, Over-hunting, Pangolins, Poaching, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Saving Species From Extinction, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking center_img A recent report indicates that the 2016 listing of pangolins under CITES Appendix I, outlawing their international trade, is not translating into protections for the anteater-like animal at the local level in Central Africa.The study used data gathered from an investigation in Cameroon.Pangolins are considered the world’s “most illegally traded wild mammal” by the IUCN, and scientific research in 2017 found that between 420,000 and 2.71 million pangolins are hunted from Central African forests each year. Pangolins living in Central Africa aren’t feeling the effects of a landmark decision in 2016 to protect them from a ravenous international trade, a report published in July has found.The decision to protect the eight pangolin species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I in 2016, outlawing their international trade, was seen as a win for the scaly anteater-like animals, considered to be the “most illegally traded wild mammal” by the IUCN’s pangolin specialist group. Pangolins have long been a favorite target of bushmeat hunters across Africa, but surging demand from Asia for the animals’ scales, which are used in traditional medicines, have driven up hunting pressure on African pangolins.A tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) caught by a farmer in the Republic of Congo. Image by Lucie Escouflaire/Wildlife Conservation Society.Until now, however, it has been unclear whether the pronouncements at the 2016 CITES conference have actually made an impact at the level of the countries that are home to pangolins. So researcher Marius Talla and his colleagues at Action for Environmental Governance, an NGO based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, decided to investigate the effects of pangolin protections. With data from Cameroon as a case study, they hoped to get a read on how pangolins are faring across six Central African countries: Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo.As hunters of Asia’s native species, all four of which are either endangered or critically endangered according to the IUCN, have depleted pangolin populations there, hunting in Africa has risen by at least 145 percent since 1972, according to a study published in 2017 in the journal Conservation Letters. The authors of that study calculated that hunters take between 420,000 and 2.71 million pangolins from Central African forests each year. The IUCN lists the four species of pangolin found in Africa as vulnerable.Just like in other Central African countries, bushmeat hunters in Cameroon go after pangolins for meat, as they have for a long time, Talla said in an email to Mongabay.“Pangolin consumption is part of the local culture,” he said. “It is a popular meal (like most bushmeat) especially in forest areas where communities do not have the financial means to substitute bushmeat for other types of meat such as beef.”Video courtesy of Action for Environmental Governance.But the push for scales to slake demand in Asia has changed the economics of pangolin hunting, Talla said.“Because of this, the pangolin is a very profitable animal because nothing is lost,” he said. “Its flesh is consumed or sold and its scales are certainly selling.”Pangolin prices across the region in 2014 were up to nearly six times what they were in 1972, the authors of the Conservation Letters study reported.The intention of the CITES regulations was to curb the rampant harvest of pangolins. And in the wake of the announcement, government agencies and local and international NGOs in Cameroon have rolled out awareness campaigns aimed at imparting the importance of protecting pangolins. The Cameroonian government also took a step toward codifying those protections into its own laws at the urging of the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife in 2017.But the team’s investigations revealed that pangolin meat is still readily available throughout Cameroon.A long-tailed pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) taken for meat in the Central African Republic. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.“Traders know that pangolin trading is banned and hide it to serve only trusted customers,” Talla said. However, he added, “we easily found pangolins in markets and restaurants in Yaoundé and Ebolowa.” Yaoundé is the country’s political capital, and Ebolowa is a large agricultural center in Cameroon’s South region.The reason for this continuing exploitation despite the legal safeguards is multifaceted. Talla said the cultural attachment to eating pangolin meat wasn’t confined to farmers living near the forest.“[The] magistrates, most of whom are themselves consumers of bushmeat, do not easily understand that someone has to be put in jail just for that,” Talla said. The 2017 law that confers the country’s highest protections on pangolins authorizes a penalty of 3 million to 10 million CFA francs ($5,300 to $17,500), or up to three years in prison for having, killing, capturing or trading pangolins.Talla also said the judicial system in Cameroon was prone to lengthy slowdowns, and judges often didn’t know the full suite of wildlife laws. Further complicating the court process is the disconnect between the forests and wildlife ministry and the prosecutors charged with bringing cases to trial.A long-tailed pangolin. Image courtesy of the Sangha Lodge Pangolin Conservation Project/WCS.Another factor is the lack of resources available to wildlife enforcement agencies. For example, the “anti-poaching brigade” of each of Cameroon’s 10 regions has a budget of just 500,000 CFA francs ($880).Talla and his colleagues now plan to delve deeper into what’s necessary in wildlife enforcement to protect endangered species. They hope such an investigation will help them understand whether strengthening enforcement will help benefit species in the long run.Talla also pointed out that shadowing all levels of government is the specter of corruption, and if pangolins — and other wildlife — are going to benefit from sweeping international protections, that pervasive issue must be addressed.As the team references in the report, the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, carried out by Transparency International, put Cameroon 153rd out of 180 countries. (New Zealand, perceived to be the world’s least corrupt country, ranks first.) In the late 1990s, Transparency International pegged Cameroon as the most corrupt country on Earth, Talla said.“The fight for the conservation of wildlife endangered species cannot succeed if it is not associated with a strong anti-corruption program,” he said. “Corruption in Cameroon is a challenge for the authorities and unfortunately this does not spare the forest and wildlife sector.”Banner image of a long-tailed pangolin courtesy of the Sangha Lodge Pangolin Conservation Project/WCS.John Cannon is a Mongabay staff writer based in the Middle East. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitationIngram, D. J., Coad, L., Abernethy, K. A., Maisels, F., Stokes, E. J., Bobo, K. S., … & Holmern, T. (2018). Assessing Africa‐Wide Pangolin Exploitation by Scaling Local Data. Conservation Letters, 11(2), e12389.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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