Research & Conservation -
Orangutan, Gibbons & Other Primates
in Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Research studies underway, completed or planned for Tabin primates include the following. Results will be incorporated in future editions of the present guide.

  • A study of the ecology of Hose's Langur, Presbytis hosei, in mixed logged and unlogged dipterocarp forest by Arthur Mitchell, Department of Anthropology and Department of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, from 1989-1991. Findings were published as a Yale University Ph.D. thesis in May, 1994.

  • Starting in 1996 Dr. Annelisa Kilbourn studied Borneo orangutans . She assisted ranger teams that relocated more than 140 wild orangutans from dangerous areas to protected reserves. She developed methods for routine collection and analysis of blood, hair and faecies. Her team also studied primate parasites, and undertook malaria diagnosis and treatment. She also introduced tattooing and microchip implantation ,She developed means for following orangutans released to the wild, and she used helicopter observation to study and monitor orangutan nest and population densities.

  • Social behaviour of long-tailed macaques has recently been studied by Danish researchers.

  • UMS plans an examination of the dispersal, survival and integration into the existing population of orangutans released into the western portion of Tabin reserve since June, 1993.

  • Nathan Wolfe et al (1998) report on important work that has been undertaken partly in Tabin where Nathan (from Harvard school of public health) ascended into the canopy to collect samples on several occasions. The basic thesis being explored by this work has been: “Wild primate populations… may hold valuable clues to the origins and evolution of some important pathogens. Primates can act as reservoirs for human pathogens. As members of biologically diverse habitats, they serve as sentinels for surveillance of emerging pathogens and provide models for basic research on natural transmission dynamics.” Dr. Kilbourn also participated in this project.