Rel­a­tive dan­ger...

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Contents -

There’s some­thing so fa­mil­iar about look­ing into the eyes of any great ape, some­thing that res­onates within us when we en­gage with our an­ces­tral cousins – it’s hard not to take what’s hap­pen­ing to the Ta­pan­uli orang­utan per­son­ally. It’s been less than two years since it was recog­nised as a new species, and yet al­ready its very ex­is­tence is un­der threat from the con­struc­tion of a hy­dro­elec­tric dam. This is­sue, we visit the en­dan­gered Su­ma­tran for­est it calls home to find out what makes this species spe­cial (p56).

Of course, it’s not only great apes that tug at our heart strings. And just as we in­stinc­tively look to pro­tect our own young, so too is it dif­fi­cult to re­sist the charms of an­i­mal ba­bies. This was the sub­ject of a re­cent BBC Two se­ries, and we spoke to the pro­gramme mak­ers to find out what it was like to fol­low the pre­car­i­ous first year of life for six ten­der off­spring (p72).

Closer to home, with the evenings now drawing in, I’ve been in­spired by Tiffany Fran­cis to grab a flask of hot choco­late and head out at sun­down to en­gage with my lo­cal fauna af­ter dark (p68). And on the sub­ject of things that come out at night, we also vis­ited Skomer Is­land off the Welsh coast, home to some 350,000 breed­ing pairs of Manx shear­wa­ters. Not that you’d know they were even there dur­ing day­light hours (p42).

Happy read­ing!

Paul McGuin­ness Ed­i­tor

A ‘Manxie’ dur­ing mi­gra­tion at sea. When breed­ing on Skomer, they stay hid­den un­til sun­down.

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