13 September 2010

Silje the slow loris seems to be settling in

UK researcher Richard Moore is working with our team in Java to study the viability of returning captive lorises to the wild.

Slow loris in habituation enclosure prior to releaseThe latest release of the female loris Silje seems to be going well so far. She has now been up the mountain for six nights and we have monitored her intensively since the release. She has not strayed away from the release area and seems to be gradually travelling further and further afield, but always returning - almost forming a range. However this is still early days, so better not be too optimistic just yet. There are definitely some good signs though...

Every night she is becoming more habituated so we can get really close to her. She is feeding constantly on Caliandra flowers, and insects, and some tree sap...  and she is always on the move. The area she is in is an area which is not flat by any means, but still accessible (even though full of thorny bushes). On the second night she fell 8m out of a tree in a fight with another loris (how on earth does she find them, when we had searched the area for so long!!), but seems to be ok and has not left the area. I guess this is normal behaviour in forming territories. Last night though I did have reports that she had been attacked by a civet - she is injured, but not too badly by the sounds of things. Hopefully she will make a full recovery and continue to do well.

Silje the loris is from this area, so it is possible she knows what is edible and what is not, and is also familiar with the environment/temperature etc in general. Fingers crossed. I am currently writing a presentation for the conference in Japan, so will not be on the mountain for the next few days. But there are now two teams alternating to ensure round the clock monitoring.

The internet here has been terrible the last few days, and only seems to work in the mornings when I have been sleeping which is really frustrating!

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