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Glendon psychologist shares her research with The New York Times


Aside from a population of orangutans at a research centre inside Kutai National Park, the number of great apes in Indonesia – estimated at 600 – has sharply decreased in recent years because of two fires and human encroachment, wrote The New York Times June 14 and the Montreal Gazette June 15, citing researchers and forestry officials.

Widespread illegal logging and deforestation have reduced Indonesia’s overall orangutan population to about 60,000, an estimated 80 per cent reduction in the past decade, said Anne Russon, an orangutan expert in the Department of Psychology at York’s Glendon campus, who has done extensive research on the apes in Indonesia for the past 14 years, including in this park.

“The problem of incursions into national parks is very common in Indonesia,” said Russon, the orangutan expert. “Some are illegal. Others, like the case of Kutai National Park, are sanctioned by local governments.”

From the June 16th edition of Y File

Published on June 16, 2009