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Ecologist David Bowman of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, argues that large herbivores including elephants should be introduced to Australia to bring balance to a country ravaged by uncontrolled wildfires and non-native animals that have gone feral. Fellow ecologists including George Wilson of Australian National University in Canberra and Peter O'Brien of the University of Canberra say Bowman's proposal is preposterous, given the disastrous consequences of past animal introductions in Australia. Others, however, including Josh Donlan of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Tomás Carlo-Joglar of Pennsylvania State University in University Park say Bowman may be on to something. New Scientist talked to Bowman to find out more about his controversial plans.
Thought to be extinct, the Miller's grizzled langur has been rediscovered in eastern Borneo. Photograph: Eric Fell/AP Scientists working in the jungles of Indonesia have rediscovered a large grey monkey so rare that many had believed it was extinct. The scientists were baffled to find the Miller's grizzled langur in an area well outside its previously recorded home range. A team of experts set up camera traps in the Wehea forest, on the eastern tip of Borneo island, in June, hoping to capture images of clouded leopards, orangutans and other wildlife known to congregate at several mineral salt licks. The pictures that came back caught them by surprise – groups of monkeys none had ever seen.
From the middle of October until next summer the Norwegian Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo will host the first exhibition that focuses on homosexuality in the animal kingdom. "One fundamental premise in social debates has been that homosexuality is unnatural. This premise is wrong. Homosexuality is both common and highly essential in the lives of a number of species," explains Petter Boeckman, who is the academic advisor for the "Against Nature's Order?" exhibition.