Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 3707

Eclectica Archive
Edgar Rice Burroughs

ECLECTICA v.2012.09

Eclectica Archive

Invitation from George T. McWhorter

University of Louisville - Ekstrom Library - ERB Memorial Collection

"Special Collections will celebrate Tarzan’s birthday on Sunday, October 28 at 3:30 pm in the Chao Auditorium. President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Jim Sullos and authors of two new books on Tarzan: Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: the Centennial Celebration) and Robin Maxwell (Jane: the Woman who loved Tarzan) will join our own George T. McWhorter for a program. We hope you and all friends of Tarzan and Jane will join us – and stay for birthday cake."
Also appearing will be Denny Miller, Burroughs Family members - John R. Burroughs and many more.
Visit our Dum-Dum dossier page for updates
Meet George T. McWhorter

Robin Maxwell @ Book Soup Bookstore on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood

Robin Maxwell @ Book Soup Bookstore on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood

Jan Austin of the "Take me back to Barsoom!
I want John Carter to have a sequel!" on FaceBook reports:
Our screening room for John Carter at the Aero Theater -- 425 Seats!
Built by the Donald Douglas Company in 1939, the Aero Theatre was originally opened as a continuous 24-hour movie theatre for aircraft workers who worked in shifts around the clock. It later became a beloved neighborhood theatre and has anchored the now posh Montana Avenue section of Santa Monica.
Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinemas project was slated to take over the Aero Theatre, but pulled out after the bankruptcy of General Cinemas and its subsequent sale to AMC and it closed in 2003. The Aero Theatre was the boyhood cinema of the famous actor/director.
In January 2005, the Aero Theatre was reopened by the American Cinematheque after a $1 million dollar restoration including a new screen, sound and projection equipment, a new concession stand and reduced seating, from nearly 600 to 425. The screen is 38 feet wide and 18 feet high. The American Cinematheque also operates the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Aero Theatre ~ Santa Monica, CA

The Sun Runner Magazine's 6th Annual Desert Writers Issue
features author Robin Maxwell and her latest book,
JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan,
as well as fiction, essays, and poetry by desert writers,
and reviews by Literary Editor Delphine Lucas of desert-related books.



Ken Jones - Producer of the Jungle Deep Podcast
has been featuring many ERB/Tarzan-related interviews.
We've had an enjoyable one-hour chat with Ken
which he plans to feature in future editions of Jungle Deep.
100 Years  since the release of the first Tarzan book by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The character has been hugely popular, but does Tarzan deserve any attention from serious-minded conservationists?  Has Tarzan delivered an environmental message?  Can he help save the rain forests now, 100 years later?  Jungle Deep will be exploring these and other questions during this centennial year.

Dave Karlen has created a
Daily Tarzan Image Blog



Visit the subscription page for All New Tarzan Comics.
Visit weekly as we will be submiting new work periodically.

ARTIST Tom Grindberg
Tom Grindberg started off his artistic career at the young age of 18 years old from the suburbs of Washington DC in Chevy Chase. Tom's first published work was illustrating political cartoons. Once published, this set his wheels in motion as well his desire to pursue the field of art and publishing. As luck would would have it, it wasn't too long before he landed his first freelance work for both Marvel and DC Comics back in 1981. While during this time he also started working in advertising, working with some of the industries best illustrators and graphic artists.

After leaving advertising, Tom began to devote his full attention to the craft of storytelling and comic book publishing. Tom's credits are varied and numerous. His DC work includes work on Action Comics, Batman, Detective comics, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow to Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Secret Origins, Teen Titans . His Marvel Comics work includes the Avengers, Daredevil, Marvel Team-up, Punisher, Savage Sword of Conan, Silver Surfer, Spider-man, Thor and X-Factor. His cover work includes many British comics sensations like Judge Dredd to classic pulp fiction characters being revived today like Airboy and the Black Bat (a precursor of sorts to Batman) and Phantom Stranger for Moonstone Publishing.

Tom has also gone on to illustrate for Newsday a long Island newspaper (which won him an award from Associated Press in graphics journalism). Tom has also done an extensive amount of behind the scene work illustrating character design and licensing for both Marvel and DC Comics to his independent publishers to computer game designs to commercial interior designing for leading manufacturing companies and even motion film work which he has credit in too. The list still grows today along side with his newborn daughter Katie which both he and his wife Mari are raising.

WRITER Roy Thomas
Roy Thomas has been an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan since, as a child, he discovered that his local Jackson, Missouri, public library had a virtually complete collection of the works of ERB-except for Tarzan of the Apes, which he had to read several years later. The first movie he recalls seeing as a child was the then-new Tarzan's Desert Myster)f-and in the late 1970s he wrote and edited Marvel's Tarzan comic. (For a number of years, he was the proud owner of ERB's personal copy of the very first Tarzan comic book, purchased from Danton Burroughs-- and of a Sunday from the celebrated "Egyptian sequence" of the Tarzan comic strip by Harold R. Foster.) The Tarzan books instilled in him a desire to see African animals in what's left of the "wild," so in !994 he spent two weeks on a photo safari in Kenya, one of his most treasured experiences.)

In 1961 Roy helped Dr. Jerry G. Bails found Alter Ego, the first real comic book fanzine, becoming its editor & publisher in 1964. From 1965-80 he wrote and edited for Stan Lee at Marvel (The X-Men, The Avengers, Sub-Mariner, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, The Invaders, Conan the Barbarian, The Savage Sword of Conan, Red Sonja, et al.), serving as the company's editor-in-chief from 1972-74. From 1977-79 he wrote and edited the Conan the Barbarian newspaper comic strip, distributed by the Register & Tribune Syndicate.

In 1976 he moved to Los Angeles, where in 1981 he married Danette Couto, now Dann Thomas. From 1980-86 he wrote and edited under contact for DC, primarily titles he co-created such as All-Star Squadron, Arak- Son of Thunder, and Infinity, Inc. Since 1986 he has been a freelance writer; he and Dann currently live in rural South Carolina, where they have a menagerie consisting of African hombills, South American capybaras, etc. In the early 1980s he co-authored two produced screenplays, including Conan the Destroyer starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a first-season episode of the TV series Xena- Warrior Princess.

In 1999 Roy revived Alter Ego as a magazine for TwoMorrows Publishing; its 100th issue will be on sale in March of2011. He has edited four volumes of The All-Star Companion and has written several mainstream hardcover books on comics and on Robert E. Howard's Conan. He attended the third San Diego Comic-Con (1972) and was a guest of honor in 1974 and 2007.

In 1999 the Comics Buyer's Guide poll of comics professionals and fans voted Roy No.5 among 20th-century favorite comic book writers, and No.4 among the century's editors. Alter Ego won the 2006 Eisner award for "best comics-related periodical," and has been nominated several other years; it has also been nominated for a Harvey award in the same category. Roy has won numerous writing and editing awards, including the Alley (fan award), Eagle (British, for writing), and Alfred (from the Angouleme, France, convention, as "best comics writer in a foreign language"). His current projects include the 12-issue series Conan: Road of Kings for Dark Horse, the 8-times-a-year Alter Ego comics-history magazine, several book projects for TwoMorrows Publishing, and, since 1999-2000, working with Stan Lee on the writing of the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip, now distributed by King Features.


Richard Powers Self-Portrait
Tarzan  Ballantine Cover Artist
From the Richard Powers Tribute Site
"Richard Powers was the most skilled and inventive artist to work in the science fiction field, ever. 

Aside from the fact that he did more paperback covers than any other illustrator in the 1950s and 1960s, dominating the entire look of paperback sf for two decades, what he did was to introduce the visual language of surrealism into sf illustration and expand its possibilities permanently. 

His technical range and skill is awe-inspiring and his visionary, suggestive images continued to evolve, even into his fifth decade as a professional in the field. 

He did more than 800 sf paintings. . . . " More>>>

ERB-dom No. 18 art and bio pages from ERBzine 2993

View all the covers in our ERB Bibliography series:


Much Tarzan Footage
John Hebert from Louisiana 
has recovered many original reels of silent film
that have been in the family for decades.
He is looking for advice on how to proceed with
restoring these valuable and somewhat dangerous nitrate films.

Included in the collection are Tarzan reels:
Adventures of Tarzan   1921   (6 reels)
Adventures of Tarzan   (The Flames of Hate)
Adventures of Tarzan   (When Dawn Breaks)
Adventures of Tarzan   (The Sun Death)
Return of Tarzan  (2 reels)

He has 16 more reels to look through, there may be more Tarzan Films.
There are also 44 reels of westerns dating back to 1915.
We invite all those interested or have leads 
as to how to proceed with this collection to

In Amsterdam, the renowned American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller 
met Miss Meany, Olympic diving champion and 
both swimmers were engaged in America and will get married soon. 
She is not stated as Johnny's first wife.
Submitted by Ron de Laat

Coming Soon


JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell
Broken Teepee ~ October 2, 2012
About the Book:
Cambridge, England, 1905. Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time. The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat dissecting corpses than she is in a corset and gown sipping afternoon tea. A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.

When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father to join an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck. Africa is every bit as exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined, but Jane quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets—and so is Ral Conrath. When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man: Tarzan of the Apes. Jane is the first version of the Tarzan story written by a woman and authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Its publication marks the centennial of the original Tarzan of the Apes.

About the Author:
ROBIN MAXWELL is the national bestselling author of eight historical fiction novels featuring powerful women, including Signora da Vinci and the award-winning Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, now in its twenty-fourth printing. She lives in the high desert of California with her husband, yogi Max Thomas.

My Opinion:
Do not start this book right before bed. I did and found myself still reading at 2:30AM. The story of Tarzan's Jane told by Robin Maxwell was in its beginning chapters very enthralling. I love anthropology so the inclusion of the early studies of fossils and the debates on Darwin's theories were fascinating to me. Ms. Maxwell has that magic with words that draws you into time and place and time flies as you read Jane's tale of meeting Tarzan and her telling the story to a young Edgar Rice Burroughs - a delightful conceit to get the story rolling.

Jane Porter is a very self possessed woman, brought up by a liberal father in straight laced Victorian Times. He has encouraged her study of science despite her mother's objections. Upon meeting a slick explorer who knows exactly how to sell himself and how to appeal to the desires of Jane's father a trip is planned to find Darwin's missing link; but Ral Conrath has his own agenda and is not what he purports to be. Jane has her reservations but her father tells her to leave it to the men - a surprising response from such a forward thinking type.

As all who know the story realize, Jane finds herself in the jungle, rescued by an ape-man. But this Tarzan is not like any other. In fact he is a bit too much of a 90's man - 1990s. He is a bit in touch with his feelings for a soul raised by an ape like tribe in the jungle but the story rolls along. I found the second half to be not quite as compelling as the first - it seemed to drag a bit as Jane sorted through Tarzan's backstory and Tarzan taught Jane the ways of the Jungle. I got a bit bored but it picked right back up when Jane and Tarzan teamed up to defeat the evil Mr. Conrath.

The ending was an unexpected jolt and makes me wonder if there are going to be further adventures for Jane and Tarzan. There are questions left unanswered and I would love to know how Jane came to be telling her story as she was. This was, overall, an exciting and truly different book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Jane is certainly a character to be applauded and she deserved a book of her own. Ms. Maxwell had the vision and the talent to bring her to vivid life.

Tarzan the Jungle Warrior
By Andy Briggs
The world's greatest eco-warrior is back for another white-knuckle adventure!  |

When a baby gorilla is snatched from its family by the world's most infamous hunter, Tarzan will stop at nothing to track him down - crossing the wild jungle and hostile African savannah to bring him to justice. Meanwhile, Jane is trying to learn more about Tarzan's past, and must decide whether reuniting him with his lost Greystoke family is the right thing to do. But Robbie has ideas of his own. He has formed a plan that will get rid of Tarzan for good, and keep the secrets of his own past safe. "Tarzan, The Jungle Warrior" is a lion-roaring read that brings the classic story bang into the 21st century, and will publish at the start of the Tarzan centenary year.
Paperback: 240 pages ~ Publisher: Faber And Faber Ltd.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 057127353X ~ ISBN-13: 978-0571273539

About the Author
Andy Briggs began his writing career working on Hollywood movie projects, such as Freddy Vs Jason and Foreverman for Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and legendary producer Robert Evans. He has written several graphic novels, including the horror-thriller Ritual and Kong King of Skull Island. His first children's books were the eight part and series for Oxford University Press. He's currently working on several exciting TV and feature projects in between his books. Tarzan has been a passion from childhood and he's thrilled to now be writing and updating the legendary hero.

Andy Briggs Swings into UK Schools

Latest author to add to the legendary character’s story 
to visit locals schools as part of Appledore Book Festival.

Andy Briggs is the author and official spokesman of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate in the UK and his new novel Tarzan: Jungle Warrior brings the tale into the 21st century. 

“Tarzan has more perils to face now - warring rebels, poaching of endangered animals, illegal logging and the decline of the environment are all issues that resonate with younger audiences,” he said. “He combines untamed savagery and power with a deep morality and love for the environment which genuinely speaks to them, as does the perennial love story of Tarzan and Jane, although Jane now carries an iPod.”

Volume 3: Coming Next Year

The Unoficial and Unauthorised Guide
to 100 Years of Tarzan by Sean Egan,
Telos, p/b, £15.99,
Reviewed by David Brzeski
The first thing that struck me on opening this book was the total lack of photographs or illustrations. This is very unusual for a non-fiction work about books, comics and especially movies.

Thankfully, it reads well enough that it doesn’t suffer too much, in fact it was refreshing not to have to keep stopping to refer to assorted illustrated examples.

The major bugbear with this sort of work is, of course, accuracy. The problem for this reviewer was my personal lack of in-depth knowledge about the subject at hand, and so I cheated. I googled for other reviews, to see if the author’s accuracy had been brought to task by people more knowledgeable than I. It’s a new book, so there weren’t many reviews around, but I did find one who complained that much of the movie related information is inaccurate and that the author relied too much on anecdotal information from people who were around at the time. Sadly, the reviewer neglected to cite any examples, so I can’t agree, or disagree with that view. I will say, however, that the way Egan intersperses his text with quoted anecdotes makes for a very readable book, and it’s interesting to read how various people remember things, even if it might not be 100% accurate,

I did, however have the chance to run the chapters concerning Philip José Farmer’s contributions to the Tarzan legacy past a couple of genuine experts and I’m pleased to say that, while they didn’t exactly love his take on it, they didn’t find any huge errors of fact, albeit they thought the claim that Farmer spent the 70s “dodging legal bullets” from the ERB estate, by avoiding using Tarzan’s name on his pastiches to be somewhat overstating the case. There is no evidence to suggest that PJF was ever under legal threat from the estate. They objected to the Dell paperback edition of The Adventures of the Peerless Peer and it was withdrawn, but that seems likely to have been down to the use of a photograph of Ron Ely as Tarzan on the cover. No action was ever taken against Farmer and other editions of the book went unhindered. The author also points out a discrepancy in when the theory as to Tarzan’s longevity was first posited, claiming that Farmer, due to ineptitude, mentions it in his Tarzan novel, The Dark Heart of Time, which takes place a decade and a half before the events of  Tarzan’s Quest, in which ERB first suggests that Tarzan doesn’t age like a normal human. He can perhaps be forgiven for not realising that PJF had theorised that Tarzan got his immortality long before that in his book Tarzan Alive, and was referencing his own earlier book in the novel.

So, it’s an enjoyable book overall, if occasionally a little smug in tone. Maybe one day there will be an illustrated edition, albeit that would likely be a lot more expensive. As an overview of the character in the media, it’s not bad at all. I liked the way it sticks mainly to a chronological listing, rather than splitting the book into separate sections for books, films, TV and comics. I actually learned some information about the history of Tarzan in British comics that has had me place some issues on my wants list, and I have a list of old Tarzan films that I quite fancy viewing again after all these years, so it was a worthwhile reading experience.

More on this book in ERBzine 3739
Joe Kubert Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs' most enduring creation, Tarzan of the Apes! Joe Kubert is one of the most acclaimed comic artists ever. His career in comics began nearly 70 years ago and continues today. Throughout all those years his hallmarks have been a mastery of sequential storytelling and exceptionally fine drawing. Highlights of his career include work on Hawkman, Enemy Ace, Tor, Sgt. Rock, and the Viking Prince. But of all these exceptional artistic achievements one stands out: his remarkable adaption of ERB's Tarzan. This Artist Edition collects six complete stories by Kubert, including the four-part classic, Tarzan of the Apes-the defining story of young Lord Greystoke being orphaned in the African jungle and adopted by the she-ape Kala, and grows to manhood to become Tarzan, lord of the jungle.
Hardcover Publisher: IDW Publishing (2012)
ISBN-10: 1613774494
ISBN-13: 978-1613774496


Appeal seeks return of Tarzan actor's tigers, leopard
Sun Sentinel ~ September 23, 2012

Former Tarzan actor Steve Sipek feeds a Siberian Bengal tiger named "Bo"
on his property in Loxahatchee. His tigers and a leopard were seized in February
over repeated wildlife law violations, according to the state wildlife commission.

Six months after a former Tarzan actor's two tigers and leopard were seized in western Palm Beach County, a court fight has broken out over the return of the big cats. Melanie Boynes, who lives on the five-acre Loxahatchee property with former actor Steve Sipek, has gone to court in hopes of reclaiming the animals seized Feb. 27 by officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She is appealing the commission's denial last month of a permit to own big cats for the non-profit Tarzan's Big Cat Sanctuary, which she and Sipek set up immediately after the raid.

The commission cited a history of inadequate care, poor food and lax security in denying the permit. But the lawyer for Boynes and Sipek, Rob Melchiorre of West Palm Beach, said the charges are false. One cat is blind and another suffers from benign tumors. "They care about the safety and well-being of the animals," he said. "They're not doing this to make a buck or anything. The thing my clients care the most about is the health of their cats." Sipek, a body builder who won the Mr. Canada body-building championship, starred in a 1970 Spanish remake of the Tarzan story.

According to the sanctuary's web site - which attributes the decision to cast him as the jungle hero to his "good looks and chiseled frame" - his love of big cats arose during production of a second Tarzan film, when a fire scene went awry and a lion trained to save him in the film did so in real life. Since then, according to the web site, he dedicated his life to taking care of mistreated big cats. But there have been mishaps, most spectacularly the 2004 escape of the 600-pound Bengal tiger Bobo, which was shot to death by a wildlife officer after roaming the neighborhood for 26 hours. In 1996, a cougar escaped by leaping a fence.

In their February raid, wildlife commission agents seized the tigers Bo and Lepa, and the leopard Oko from Sipek's property on the 3300 block of C Road, saying Sipek had a long history of failure to comply with the laws protecting wildlife and public safety. He was jailed and released that day on misdemeanor wildlife charges.

The commission cited numerous incidents in its Aug. 10 license denial: A leopard bit a visitor on the head in 2010; large, decaying holes in the roof and rusted caging created the risk of escapes; water dishes contained yellow and brown slime; multiple piles of old feces stood in enclosures; and the cats were being fed turkey legs rather than red meat, creating the risk that sharp bones could tear their insides. A tiger on the property had previously died from sharp bones tearing the intestines.

"The FWC removed Mr. Sipek's animals based on his facility's repeated failure to correct violations and follow current regulations," said spokesperson Carli Segelson. "Ms. Melanie Boynes applied for an FWC permit to establish the facility as a wildlife sanctuary. This request was denied due to past caging violations, failure to maintain control of the animals, incorrect dietary practices and the lack of required commercial activity with the tigers and leopard."

Boynes referred questions to her lawyer. But in her appeal, filed with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, she says the commission's accusations are untrue. The leopard bite did not happen. The cats' diet includes red meat, and none of them ever died from an improper diet. The caging was always adequate, and since the raid they have installed three brand-new cages. There are no sanitation problems. "The bottom line is the FWC has it in for Steve Sipek," Melchiorre said. "The same day that they seized the cats was the same day they gave them the notice that their license had been revoked. They handled it in the worst possible way. Now they're wasting taxpayers' money seizing the cats, arresting a man with no criminal record of any kind and giving him criminal charges."

The case against Sipek is set for a hearing in Palm Beach County Court Oct. 11.

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tarzan actor Steve Sipek heads to court to get his big cats back
Steve Sipek vowed to take care of big cats after he said a lion saved him
from an on-set fire during his second Spanish Tarzan film.

CBS ~ September 24, 2012 ~  LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - An actor who starred as Tarzan in a Spanish film version of the classic story is fighting in court to get his exotic big cats back. Steve Sipek and Melanie Boynes, who live together on a five-acre property called Tarzan's Big Cat Sanctuary about 17 miles from West Palm Beach, are appealing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's decision to seize their animals, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Sipek starred in Spanish film "Tarzan in the Golden Grotto."

Their lawyer, Rob Melchiorre, told the paper that the charges that they were not taking proper care of the big cats are untrue. "They care about the safety and well-being of the animals," he said. "They're not doing this to make a buck or anything. The thing my clients care the most about is the health of their cats."

Two tigers and one leopard were taken animals were taken on Feb. 27, 2012 after Sipek's USDA permit to keep the animals was revoked, according to the Palm Beach Post. He was arrested and faced misdemeanor charges of possession of a Class 1 animal without a USDA permit and possession of a Class 1 animal as a pet. Major Curtis Brown, leader of the FWC's Captive Wildlife and Investigations Section, added to the Palm Beach Post that both Sipek and Boynes were violating state and federal laws and the animals were removed because of a public safety threat.

Although Sipek has owned big cats for many years, the official organization, Tarzan's Big Cat Sanctuary, was only set up after the arrest, the Sun-Sentinel reported. According to the official website, Sipek dedicated his efforts to taking care of abused lions and tigers after a lion pulled him out of an on-set fire during the filming of the second Tarzan film he was starring in. But, several incidents including the escape of his 600-pound tiger named Bobo in 2004, have made authorities wary, according to CBS station WFOR in Miami. The tiger was shot after a 26-hour manhunt. The Sun-Sentinel added that authorities stated that a leopard bit a visitor in 2010, and cages were not kept up to standards. Water contained yellow and brown slime and the animals were not being fed the proper food, leading to the revocation of the facilities' license.

"The FWC removed Mr. Sipek's animals based on his facility's repeated failure to correct violations and follow current regulations," spokesperson Carli Segelson told the Sun-Sentinel. "Ms. Melanie Boynes applied for an FWC permit to establish the facility as a wildlife sanctuary. This request was denied due to past caging violations, failure to maintain control of the animals, incorrect dietary practices and the lack of required commercial activity with the tigers and leopard." Melchiorre claimed that the big cats' living quarters were always appropriate, and they were always fed the right food. He claimed the authorities are wasting taxpayer dollars by arresting Sipek, who had no prior criminal record. A hearing for the case was set on Oct. 11.

Great ape habitat in Africa has dramatically declined
Bonobos Bonobos have less far territory to roam
 By Matt Walker Editor, BBC Nature
Eastern gorilla (Arup Shah / NPL)Great apes, such as gorillas, chimps and bonobos, are running out of places to live, say scientists. They have recorded a dramatic decline in the amount of habitat suitable for great apes, according to the first such survey across the African continent. Eastern gorillas, the largest living primate, have lost more than half their habitat since the early 1990s. Cross River gorillas, chimps and bonobos have also suffered significant losses, according to the study. Details are published in the journal Diversity and Distributions.

"Several studies either on a site or country level indicated already that African ape populations are under enormous pressure and in decline," said Hjalmar Kuehl, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who helped organise the research. But a wider perspective was missing; so various organisations and scientists joined to conduct the first continent-wide survey of suitable great ape habitat. "Many of the authors have spent years to collect the data used in this study under extremely difficult conditions with a lot of personal commitment," Dr Kuehl told BBC Nature. "Nothing comparable exists."

The scientists conducted the survey in two stages. First, they determined the exact location of more than 15,000 sites where the various species and subspecies of African great ape have been confirmed living during the past twenty years. "We then evaluated the environmental conditions at these locations and at all other locations across tropical Africa where great ape presence was not confirmed. This assessment included for instance percentage forest cover, human population density or climatic conditions," said Dr Kuehl.

From that the researchers could calculate the environmental conditions required for great apes to live. Then, using a statistical model, they predicted the amount of such habitat surviving across Africa, first for the 1990s, then the 2000s. The situation is very dramatic, many of the ape populations we still find today will disappear in the near future” The results are grim reading for conservationists. Gorillas have been significantly affected. Cross River gorillas have seen 59% of their habitat disappear over the past two decades. Eastern gorillas, the largest gorilla and largest surviving primate, have lost 52% of their habitat, while western gorillas have lost 31%. The various species and subspecies of chimp have also suffered.

Bonobos, once known as pygmy chimpanzees, have lost 29% of their habitat. Of the different subspecies of common chimpanzee, those living in central Africa have lost 17% and those in western Africa 11% of their habitat respectively. "From several site and country level studies we knew that pressure on great apes is increasing enormously. But despite these expectations it is outrageous to see how our closest living relatives and their habitats are disappearing," said Dr Kuehl. The pressures on the great apes vary significantly depending on region. For example, in western Africa, the loss of suitable habitat is being driven by forest clearance and hunting. . . . "Without a fundamental change in perception of how precious apes and their habitats are the current situation will not improve." More>>>


Provide your own caption. . .

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
 ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2012 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.