GAP Spain names legendary Biruté Mary Galdikas as president of honor

Posted in 18/08/2018

Galdikas (PGS)

The Great Ape Project Spain named, after her consent, Birute Mary Galdikas as president of honor of the organization. Galdikas is one of the three women who the anthropologist Louis Leakey chose for the field study of the great apes and today is the only one who remains in the field in defense of the orangutans on the island of Borneo (Indonesia).

The work of Galdikas is essential to protect orangutans, which consist of three different species, the last one called Tapanuli, newly described and found in Sumatra with a population of less than 800 individuals. This species is also threatened and the construction of a hydroelectric plant in the locality means that 30% of the forest in which these orangutans were found will disappear, leading to a serious loss of individuals.

On June 5, World Environment Day, the GAP granted Galdikas an “Equality Advocate” diploma. For GAP,  she is an example of struggle and love for great primates. Despite the age, she still rescues orangutans from the certain death and, after a period of residence in a rescue center, they are reintroduced, giving a new breath of life to the species extremely threatened, among other reasons, by the monoculture aiming the extraction of palm oil.

“For us it is a great honor that Biruté Galdikas has accepted to be our President of Honor due to her great career in defense of the great primates and especially of the orangutans. Like Dian Fossey, with the gorillas, she led “in situ” conservation studies of its habitat. Fossey had her life brutally ended due to her work on the mountain gorillas’ defense and Galdikas remains in the field, in the jungle, helping with her work the orangutans, whose populations continue to decline, “ said Pedro Pozas Terrados, Executive Director of the GAP Spain.