Tag Archives: primate

Biodiversity challenge – Yellow-cheeked gibbon

Street sorrow

Never-to-be king of the treetop swingers,
Languishing under a plastic canopy,
Sheltering from the sweltering sun
In this urban jungle.

Yellow-cheeked gibbon by Dao Van Hoang https://www.behance.net/daovanhoang

Yellow-cheeked gibbon by Dao Van Hoang
https://www.behance.net/daovanhoang

Wrenched from the mortal
Maternal embrace of
A mum who fell to earth.
Untimely plucked
From the place of my birth
By lawless long arms.

Chained by the neck to
This concrete throne.
Exiled on main street,
A long way from home,
No escape.

Ape’s inhumanity to ape:
What right do you have to dictate
Another primate’s fate;
To ordain whether I should
Fade away, or brachiate?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Biodiversity challenge – Cat Ba langur

Bay window of opportunity

Cat Ba langur by Dao Van Hoang https://www.behance.net/daovanhoang

Fewer than five dozen
Not-so-distant cousins.
Fifty-nine steps
Down to
Golden silence.
No relief
From loggers, poachers,
Habitat encroachers.
How to keep them all at bay?
No way.
Beyond belief
To turn a primate into paste;
It boils down to a tragic waste.
They won’t be
Safe from harm
Until the long arm
Of the monkey balm brigade
Is cut off in its prime.
So where’s the punishment
To fit the crime?
Running out of time
To stop the hunters
And their punters.
How long left
Before Ha Long’s bereft?
Can Cat Ba’s
Langur
Linger
Longer?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Cat Ba langur

IUCN Red List Category: Critically Endangered

The Cat Ba or golden-headed langur is one of the world’s most endangered primates, confined to a single island in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay. This spectacular leaf-eating monkey has almost been wiped out by a combination of poaching and destruction or degradation of its forest habitat. It is hunted not for its meat, which is considered unappetising, but for use in traditional medicine, where its body is boiled down and turned into cao khi (monkey balm), which is claimed to have soothing properties. The population had crashed from several thousand to just 53 individuals before the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project began in 2000. Since then, poaching has been almost non-existent and numbers have increased to an estimated 59, but low reproductive rates and the dangers of inbreeding mean that the future of the species remains in the balance.

Biodiversity challenge – Northern brown howler

Vocal hero
kitty_howler

Northern brown howlers by Kitty Harvill http://www.natureartists.com/kitty_harvill.asp

He’s a big noise,
One of the boys,
Roaring success.
Reading aloud from
The gruff guide
To life.

There hangs by a tail
In his primate pomp,
Proudly proclaiming
A New World order.

Headline news
From the guttural press.
Pumps up the volume,
Pushes the throat out.

Staking his claim,
Fortissimo fashion,
Unleashing decibel hell
From the trees.

He’s out on a limb,
Hanging tough,
Uncowed.
No silencing him,
He’s brown
And he’s loud.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Species profile:
Northern brown howler

IUCN Red List Category:
Critically Endangered

As their name suggests, brown howler monkeys are best known for their loud territorial calls, which can be heard over distances of several kilometres. One of ten species of howler, they are confined to the Atlantic coastal forest of south-east Brazil and north-east Argentina, where they live in social groups high in the canopy. The Northern brown howler subspecies is believed to number fewer than 250 individuals, restricted to an area north of the Rio Jequitinhonha in Brazil.

Biodiversity challenge – Gelada

High society

Ethiopia,
High plateau.
Gelato cold,
Gelada utopia.
Supermonkey,
In his flowing cape,
Crimson badge ablaze.
Surveys the landscape,
Window shopping,
As the carpet cropping
Females safely graze,
Beholden to the golden saviour.
Juveniles avert their gaze,
On best behaviour.
Singles out his latest flame
Amid the troop.
He’s chosen her,
She’ll stoop to concur,
Grin and bear it.
If the cape fits,
Wear it.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Uakari

Red face test

Picture a primate, if you can,
Limbs and torso hairy and tan,
Smaller than an orang-utan;
Shrunken head of an Englishman,
Face as red as a sunburnt Ferrari,
In urgent need of a skin daktari
After that midday walking safari:
Hot-headed monkey, king crimson uakari.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Aye-aye

 Finger buffet

Behold the
Bug-eyed,
Bat-eared,
Buck-toothed
Beetle bandit.
You have to
Hand it
To a lemur
With a digit
That’s extreme
Enough to
Grab a grub
Concealed
Beneath the bark;
It’s quite a feat
To dig out dinner
From the dark
Nocturnal kernel
Of a tree
With mouth and
Middle finger.
All who agree
Say aye-aye.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Mandrill

Both ends burning
mandrill_chloe_waterfield

Mandrill by Chloe Waterfield http://www.facebook.com/canidaeart

Scarlet nose,
Vermilion bottom,
Flaming lips;
You name it,
He’s got ’em.
Deny it until
You’re blue
In the face,
But this is still
A classic case
Of burning
The mandrill
At both ends.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.