Norway pension fund has disinvested from a British firm Jardines of destructive plans for the Tapanuli orangutan habitat

Tapanuli Orangutan

With an estimated historical habitat of this species 95% destroyed already, only leaving a small patch of rainforest with an estimated 800 Tapanuli orangutan, it would seem obvious that this small patch of rainforest should be protected, no matter what. however this opinion is not shared by everyone.

Having said this, thankfully, it is shared by an increasing number of organisations, and at current count, a total of 29 financiers have excluded Jardines and all subsidies from financing (according to the Financial Exclusions Tracker).

What is worse, is that the Martabe mining concession lies in a portion of the orangutan habitat called the Batang Toru forest, which has the largest orangutan population, and not only is this the area that has the highest chance of survival, but without this block of orangutan population, the future of the whole species is put at risk.

While this is a great move, one does wonder why it took 7 years to come to this decision. We have known about the Tapanuli Orangutan since 2017, and how precarious its survival is.

At the current time, there is an effort to expand the mine. While owners of the mine have said initially, this would just mean boreholes which do not disturb to too great a degree, recent studies have shown a correlation between this type of drilling and a reduction in Orangutan density, which proves these former assumptions to be incorrect.

It seems obvious that this area needs protecting, but perhaps for some people the earning potential is too great.

Red Colobus Group

The Red colobus group (genus Piliocolobus)

The red colobus group is one which has had a surprising number of new species discovered in recent decades. Being primates, they are usually fascinating and you can sit and watch them for lots of time. There are many groups that have been isolated in small fragments of forest, which makes conservation hard.

Little clear information is there on many of these species, perhaps unsurprisingly, given how long they managed to stay under the radar. I have attempted to include a video with each. Some are short clips of the animal, one is the search for a close to extinction (miss waldrons) and several is simple some information over images.

As with similar groups of animals, as the links for each of these species start arriving, they will be given an entire page of their own. Help this be required as soon as possible.

Bouviers red colobus monkey: 

Not having been seen for 4 decades until 2015, they are restricted to 3 small areas (this map is the DRC) in purple highlighted. First described in 1887 it was considered a subspecies of Pennants colobus, but was reassessed as separate species in 2007.

In 2008 and 2016 it was assessed as critically endangered, and none have been seen in the wild since 1970. A few possible sightings in the 2000 were further south than previously known.

In 2019 the IUCN reclassified it as endangered because of “known populations in norther DRC”. It is still rarely sighted despite many surveys

Ugandan red colobus monkey: 

Also known as the ashy red colobus, it was recognized as a separate species (up from being a subspecies of the western red colobus monkey) in 2001, though there are still plenty of experts who disagree with this change. It is found in 1 regions of Uganda (17,000 alone) and 4 regions of Tanzania.  Possible it may be found in Rwanda, Burundi and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Males weigh around 10kg, with the females weighing 7kg.

As you will see, it is one of the possible subspecies of the Central Africa red colobus. Time will tell.


There are thought to be around 20,000 left in the wild, and are classed as endangered, though it is listed as having declined my 89% (presumably since 2001 when it was declared a separate species.

Central African red colobus monkey:  

This species does not appear to be an individual species, rather a general name that many of the above species have at one time been grouped with. These include

  • Foa’s red colobus 
  • Lang’s red colobus 
  • Oustalet’s red colobus 
  • Lomami red colobus 
  • Tana River red colobus 
  • Semliki red colobus 
  • Ugandan red colobus 
Due to these species being listed here, they will not be covered separately (unless their status changes).

Niger Delta red Colobus monkey: Found in Southern Nigeria, it was originally considered a subspecies of the western red colobus, then considered a subspecies of Pennants red colobus. There are only thought to be 50 left. Below is a 4 minute video from its habitat which shows it in the wild – makes me want to be there.

Pennants colobus monkey: 

Preuss red colobus monkey: 

Tholon (or Tshuapa) red colobus monkey: 

Western red colobus monkey: 

Zanzibar red colobus monkey: Found on the southern half of the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago (Unguja), it is also known as the Kirk redo colobus, after the discoverer. Classified as endangered in the mid 1990s, its population is still decreasing. It is believed to have been isolated when sea levels rose after the last ice age – however, as with other species trapped like this, they can evolve fast. Genetic analysis suggests a split 600,000 years ago.

The local word for it means poison monkey, due to its bad smell, this has lead to some targeting. 1600-3000 survive, with about half in protected areas.

Udzungwa red colobus monkey: (other names include the Uzungwa red colobus or Iringa red colobus) It is endemic to riverine and montane forest in the Udzungwa Mountains in Kilolo District of Iringa Region in Tanzania. It is threatened by habitat loss, though most of the land it is found on is protected (90% falls within the Udzungwa national park, I have seen one while visiting). Of course the problem with this, is that its range is not large, so it can never have a large population. 

The current population is roughly 15,400. The IUCN ranks this species as endangered

Miss Waldrons red colobus monkey: Native to west Africa, it was previously considered a subspecies of the wester red colobus monkey. It has not been officially sighted since 1978 and was considered extinct in 2000, however, new evidence suggests that a very small number of these monkeys may be living in the southeast corner of Côte d’Ivoire. The IUCN Red List notes Miss Waldron’s red colobus as critically endangered.

High-canopy forests (rainforests) in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire serve as the exclusive habitat of Miss Waldron’s red colobus. The monkey usually formed large family groups of 20 or more. It is a social and highly vocal animal, frequently communicating with others using loud calls, shrieks and chattering. It eats fruit seeds and canopy leaves, and is eaten in turn, by western chimpanzee leopard and python.

It was the first primate classed as extinct in the 21st century. However, evidence collected are highly compelling.

However, primatologist W. Scott McGraw from Ohio State University has been collecting evidence of the monkey’s continued existence during his expeditions to Côte d’Ivoire over the past several years:

  • In 2000, McGraw was given a black monkey tail which DNA tests proved to be from a red colobus. The hunter who gave McGraw the tail claimed he had shot the monkey the previous year.
  • In 2001, an Ivorian hunter gave McGraw a piece of reddish monkey skin also believed to have come from Miss Waldron’s red colobus.
  • Also in 2001, McGraw received  a photograph of what appeared to be an adult Miss Waldron’s red colobus which had been killed. Experts who have examined the photograph attest to its likely authenticity. 

Presumably, a relict population of the monkey still is found in the Ehy Forest (also Ehi or Tanoé Forest) near the mouth of the Tano River into Ehy Lagoon, at the border between Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Re:wild’s “Search for Lost Species” initiative. 

Whether a surviving population will be found, or if there are just a handful left, we will have to wait and see. The Below video is from this area, while it is in Hindi, it is worth watching with the subtitles on.

Pangolin Family – Manoidea

Pangolins or the family Manidae

Pangolins are a strange group of animals. There is little other animals that look like them. Oddly, they are in the same supergroup as Bears dogs cats and other carnivores, though given that they eat insects they are carnivores. Indeed, in the past there was an order Insectivora, however this order has been abandoned, as it turns out some insect-eaters are not closely related (indeed, while often looking similar it appears that this is generally a case of convergent evolution – i.e. similar habits and similar requirements requiring the same body parts, so you end up with a similar animal.

Anyway, in this instance, it is not surprising, as all of the pangolins are part of the same tribe – sister genera essentially. There are quite a few ” cousins” species at one point but all these have gone. I would hope, that at some point people would stop believing that Keratin (a pangolin scales is made of the same substance as human nails, yet while chewing your own nails is seen as bad manners, for some reason pangolin scales, like items like rhino horn, are claimed to be able to cure everything from headache to erectile difficulties. Of course, there is no scientific case for this belief, but that has not stopped the price of these scales has reached $3000 dollars per kg, with an animal holding about half a kg (the most scaly is the Philippines pangolin, which holds almost a kg – this is the equivalent of almost a year of a local salary, unfortunately making it well worth it, to spend months looking for this rare animal)

The Manidae (in ancient roman religions this was meaning spirits- chthonic deities of deceased loved ones )  includes 3 genera.

Manis contains all of the surviving Asian Pangolins known as the Asian Clade, though the last 3 are in Subgenus: Paramanis – southeast asian pangolins

Please note, I have not included Manis .sp which is a proposed fifth Asiatic species of this family, and this is still a long way from being confirmed.

Due to their cryptic nature, and current hunting pressures, there is little tourism around these species, and little likelihood of any in the near future. As such, while I would like to separate these species out into their own pages, it is unlikely to ever be necessary within the scopes of this website. Having said this, I am looking for partners, should anyone be working with tourism of these species, do get in touch through the link at the top of the page – we can mask the location, but are keen to help give living pangolins a worth as soon as possible.

Below is a list of each species, with a video of them. We hope to add links to go see them, and support their long-term future, we will have to see if tourism of these strange animals every takes off.

Chinese Pangolin

The Chinese pangolin is listed as critically endangered, having had an 80% decline in its population in 21 years (or 3 generations). Its threat is poaching for the illegal wildlife trade.

It is thought that at most 10,000 remain now. Given the huge number poached from elsewhere each year, it is highly unlikely that poaching for this species has stopped. They may well be hunted into extinction in the near future.

Indian (thick tailed) pangolin

The Indian pangolin (also known as >thick-tailed pangolin and scaly anteater) is a species found on the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as endangered, and CITES appendix 1

The size of the population is unclear (generally all estimates are very vague as they are usually secretive nocturnal animals rarely seen by humans

Philippine (Palawan) Pangolin

The Philippine pangolin (also known as the Palawan Pangolin) is only found in the Palawan district. Its habitat includes primary and secondary forests, as well as the grasslands that surround it.

It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, though with no idea of the former population, and no idea of the current one, it is hard to have any idea. People estimate that the population has fallen by 95% in the last 40 years.

Sunda (Malayan or Javan) Pangolin

The Sunda Pangolin (also known as Malayan & Javan pangolin) is found throughout Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and the islands of Borneo, Java, Sumatra and the Lesser Sunda-Islands. It lives in forests (including plantations) and spends much time in trees.

It is listed as critically endangered, with a  further 80% decline expected in the next 20 years unless something changes. Positive news, is that unlike elsewhere, where locals don’t see pangolins anymore (because there are so few) here they are still seen. The video is a rescued baby of this species.

In the African Clade, there are 2 subfamilies each containing 1 genus, and each containing two living members 

                 Smutsiinae (large african pangolins )                                                                                                             Phatagininae (Smalll african pangolins)                                                         Genus: Smutsia  (African ground pangolin)                                                                                                    Genus: Phataginus  (African tree pangolin) 

Giant pangolin

Found from west Africa to Uganda, it weighs 30-40kg and can grow to 1.8m long (including the tail, which is almost as long as its body). It is found in savannah, forest and rainforest, anywhere with large termite populations and a source of water.

They are threatened by foolish beliefs about the medicinal value of pangolin scales – education does help, and much work is being done to deal with the demand in Asia. Demand has dropped dramatically in China, though places like Vietnam have recently developed a desire for similar things.

The penalty needs to be huge, in order to stop the slaughter before we loose these unique species.

The giant pangolin is CITES appendix 1, meaning all trade is banned. It is thought to be extinct in Rwanda. Part of the problem with trying to conserve a species like this, is that it is so hard to see in the wild – without expertise, you could share land with large numbers of pangolins and never see one – as such estimates of the size of the population are hard to come by.

Ground (Temminck) pangolin

Found throughout Southern and Eastern Africa, the ground pangolin has a length between 56cm and 1.6m, with the tail measuring up to 70cm.

It is also known as the Temmink pangolin. They are classed as vulnerable, and prefer savannah woodland, with plenty of scrub. It is given a vulnerable rating, as it has declined by more than 10% in the last 9 years and are expected to have declined by a further 30% or so in the next 18 years – a decline of 30-40% over 3 generations is the definition.

While conservative estimates, suggest that just 10,000 are trafficked each year, a more reasonable estimate would be 250,000 ever 2 years, or more than 10 times the original estimate.

Unfortunately, being shy and nocturnal, it is rarely seen making it very hard to know how many are left in the wild. This obviously makes it hard to know which areas have healthy populations, and which have been poached out.

We need to do better. Finding more out about this fascinating animal (and assuming we can end the poaching) these weird creatures might be capable of providing large tourism income, even in relatively small reserves. Having a density (in good parts of South African lowveld) of as high as 0.12km squared (0.3 per square mile). While this is low, it does suggest that even a small reserve might have 100 of these animals.

Long-tailed (black bellied) pangolin

Also known as the black-bellied pangolin, its name comes from its appearance. It has a long tail, and black hair on its stomach.

It is usually 30-40cm long with a tail 60-70cm, and generally weights between 2 and 2.5kg. The tip of this species tail is bare, and slightly prehensile, allowing it to feel around and hold onto branches as the animal works its way around the treetops.

Interestingly, unlike other pangolin species this one is diurnal or active during the day (though this may be an adaption to not be in competition with the tree pangolin, which shares a similar range). They communicate with other individuals through scent. Found in moist, tropical riverine and swamp forest environmentsthey have been found in partially cleared forests bush, as well as farm-land, generally former lowland rain forests. They are almost exclusively found in trees, and at that, high in the forest canopy. They prefer to live deep in the interior part of the forests, avoiding areas too near the outside.. They are capable swimmers, and are usually found near water, often dropping off branches into the water below.

Their scales have become relatively good camouflage, as well as an extremely good defence mechanism (not only does a predator find it hard to get inside, once it has rolled up, but each scale can also be sharp. 

Given their ability to live in disturbed habitat, it is really only the poaching that threatens this species.

Tree (white bellied) pangolin

Also known as the white bellied pangolin, or the three-cusped pangolin, they are more common than the long-tailed pangolin. Measuring 33-43cm long, with a tail 49-62cm, they are smaller than some of the other species. There are 2 recognized subspecies, one confined to Uganda and another everywhere else.

Also relatively tolerant of changes to the environment, they can do reasonably well on plantations. It is the most common pangolin found as bushmeat, and its population is thought to have declined 20-25% between 1993 and 2008 (3 generations). As a result, its conservation status has moved from least concern in 1996 to becoming officially endangered in 2019. 

Further rare footage of a Pangolin (and an aardvark) looking for food, from the BBC documentary 7 worlds one planet. We will add links to go and see each of these as we get them. They will appear at the bottom of the page

Amazon River Dolphin

Amazon river dolphin by Oceancetaceen sometimes known as the Orinoco

Amazon Dolphin

The Amazon river dolphin, (other names include boto, bufeo or pink river dolphin), is a species of toothed whale endemic to South America and is classified in the family Iniidae. Three subspecies are currently recognized: Amazon river dolphin,, Bolivian river dolphin and the Orinoco river dolphin while position of Araguaian river dolphin  within the clade is still unclear The three subspecies are each found in a separate river basin (in order) the Amazon basin, the upper Madeira River in Bolivia, and the Orinoco basin.

The Amazon river dolphin is the largest species of river dolphin, with adult males reaching 185 kilograms (408 lb) in weight, and 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length. Adults acquire a pink colour, more prominent in males, giving it its nickname “pink river dolphin”. Sexual dimorphism is very evident, with males measuring 16% longer and weighing 55% more than females.

Like other toothed whales, they have a melon, an organ that is used for bio sonar. The dorsal fin, although short in height, is regarded as long, and the pectoral fins are also large. The fin size, unfused vertebrae, and its relative size allow for improved manoeuvrability when navigating flooded forests and capturing prey.

They have one of the widest ranging diets among toothed whales, and feed on up to 53 different species of fish, such as croakers, catfish, tetras and piranhas. They also consume other animals such as river turtles, aquatic frogs, and freshwater crabs. However, this is not particularly surprising, as there are so many forms of life in the Amazon rainforest, and plenty is likely to occasionally find themselves in the river.

In 2018, this species was classed as endangered, by the IUCN with a declining population. Threats include incidental catch in fishing lines, direct hunting for use as fish bait or predator control, damming, and pollution; as with many species, habitat loss and continued human development is becoming a greater threat.

While it is the only species of river dolphin kept in captivity, almost exclusively in Venezuela and Europe, it is difficult to train and often die very young, when kept in captivity..

Life expectancy of the Amazon river dolphin in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, the longevity of healthy individuals has been recorded at between 10 and 30 years. However, a 1986 study of the average longevity of this species in captivity in the United States is only 33 months. An individual named Baby at the  Duisburg Zoo, Germany, lived at least 46 years, spending 45 years, 9 months at the zoo.

Below you will find any news articles on Amazon dolphin (though articles with both words also get sucked in). Also  we will add any information on where you can go to see these in the wild, beneath both of these.

African Dwarf crocodile

African dwarf crocodile

The dwarf crocodile (also known as the African dwarf crocodile, broad-snouted crocodile -a name more often used for the Asian mugger crocodile) or bony crocodile), is an African crocodile that is also the smallest living species of crocodile.

Found in lowlands to mid-height areas, in small and mid-size streams (they avoid large rivers). Generally, they live in rivers that lie in rainforest, though they will venture into the open.

They are known, in places, to be found in pools deeply isolated in Savannah. In western Gabon, there are also a group which have been living long-term in caves. It is considered vulnerable by the IUCN and is Appendix i of CITES. Where they are declining, it appears largely as a result of deforestation and hunting for the bushmeat trade. As a result, while in some regions they have a healthy population, in others (like Gambia and Liberia) they are almost lost.

In zoos in the USA and Europe there are a few of this species, however, records are not good, and quite a few of them are clearly hybrids with little conservation use. I should note, a zoo I occasionally volunteer at (marwell zoo) had one of these crocodiles until last year when it went to another zoo for breeding.

We hope to be able to list places for you to visit to see this species as soon as possible. Any of these will appear below the video and the news section (this lists all the times that this species has been mentioned (if any) in this blog). Below this, we will list all the easiest places we have connections to, to see this species.


African forest Elephant

African Forest elephants

There are three species of elephant, the African savanna elephant, African forest elephant and the Asian elephant

With the African species, Forest elephants have declined 86% between 1986 and 2015, African Bush elephants declined 60% 1965 and 2015 leaving just over 400,000. African forest elephants are thought to number between 100,000 and 150,000.

Perhaps the most scary fact is that the African forest elephant was only declared as a separate species in 2021 only 2 years ago. These species are not particularly similar – indeed the Asian elephant is more genetically similar to the mammoth, than the African savannah elephant is to the African forest elephant

The African forest elephants population has declined precipitably in the last few years. Given the recognition that the forest elephant is a separate species only came 2 years ago, it is hard to get accurate historic figures. Never-the-less, the combined african elephant species population was thought to be around 26 million in 1800, and 1.34 million in 1976. The estimate is currently around 100-200,000 forest elephants. One of the problems, is that the African forest elephant is an essential part of the ecosystem. There are many trees, which rely on forest elephants to carry their seeds through the forest, so that they germinate a good distance from the original plant (more than a few of the same plant in the same area, causes the pest that feeds on the tree to multiply to the point where it can kill the tree. While it is true that other animals like gorillas and chimpanzees can do this, they do it far less. Should the forest elephant be lost, the African rainforest is likely to be far less capable of of handling the various changes, like climate change that is coming.

The last strongholds are in Gabon (a survey last year suggested Gabon has 95,000 forest elephants, rather than the 60,000 that was originally thought) and the Republic of the Congo and Democratic republic of the Cong, with smaller populations remaining in other African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea) and Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana in west Africa. There is much space for forest elephants to greatly recover, if the poaching is able to stop.

Below this, you will see a video on this species, and below this is a list of any times that the african forest elephant has been mentioned within this blog.

Below this, at the bottom of the page, we hope to list places where you can go to see this species in the wild – if you work in conservation or tourism around this species, do get in touch. we would love to list you, and it costs nothing to be listed, we merely work on commission.

Guina (also called the Kodkod)

Guina or Kodkod

The Guina is found primarily in central and Southern Chile, as well as in parts of Argentina at the same latitudes.

Guina (kodkod) taken by Mauro Tammone

Melanistic (black versions) do occur in places. It is usually found in mixed temperate rainforests of the Southern Andean chain and coastal areas such as the Valdivian and Araucaria Forests of Chile, which has bamboo in its lower levels. It prefers evergreen temperate rainforests to deciduous temerate moist forests (or scierophyllous scrub or coniferous forests). It can be found in altered forest, so does alright in areas where humans have disturbed the forest, or in the edges of settled and cultivated areas. It is found as high as 1900m (which is at the treeline) In Argentina it has been recorded in moist Montane forest, which has Valdivian temperate rainforest characteristics, including those with many layered structure with bamboo or numerous lianas and epiphytes.

They are equally happy to be active in the day or the night, though rarely venture into open spaces during the day.

The main threat to their survival is the destruction of the rainforest. Those living near human habitation have also been killed after taking chickens. They are classed as vulnerable.

Analysis has shown that its closest relation is the Geoffrey’s cat

aaa Madagascar Rainforest

Madagascar Rainforest

Madagascar contains an amazing array of fascinating wildlife. Lemurs make up much of this with 32 different species, but there is also a wide range of reptiles and birds. Over the last 2 centuries since humans settled on Madagascar 90% of the rainforest, and the rest continues to be under threat.

Tourism can help – we can show that the forest has more value standing than cut down.

aaa Victoria falls national park, part of the KAZA transfrontier park

Victoria Falls national park, Zimbabwe, Part of KAZA transfrontier park

One of natures greatest spectacles, the Victoria falls lie within the national park that takes its name, and in turn is part of the vast Kalahari Zambezi Transfrontier park. The area around the falls contains a wealth of wildlife, Covering a total area of 56 000 hectares, both parks lie on the southern bank of the Zambezi River which forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. There are a number of picnic and fishing sites available. Activities include guided tours, walks, day and sunset cruises, game drives and adventure activities.

The Rainforest – Here visitors can see unique flora and fauna. Bird species and small mammals may be spotted beneath the forest canopy whilst following the paths through the groves of Date Palm, Fig and Mahogany.

The Game Park – Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and White Rhino (the Big Five) can be seen in the park as well as herds of Eland, Sable Antelope, Zebra, Giraffe, Waterbuck and Kudu amongst other smaller species. The Zambezi River is known for its Bream and Tiger Fishing. There are two game drive routes, one accessed through the main gate and the other from just outside town on the Bulawayo road.

aaa Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Semuc Champey, Guatemala

A small reserve in Guatemala, lying deep in the forest, this place consists of a natural 300m limestone bridge. The Cahabon river passes under this bridge, whille above there are a series of stepped turquoise pools which visitors can swim in.

However, this is merely a tranquil place to pause, and lies deep in the rainforest

As this image shows the area is still largely forested, Semuc Champey lies in the middle of the screen

A variety of wildlife frequents the site and the surrounding rainforest. Varying from a wide range of bright birds such as toucans and humming birds, to howler monkeys which are often around the entrance to the site.

See Animals Wild