Saving Species - Series 3 - 21. Bonobos and Dragon Trees
Presented by Brett Westwood. Featuring a report from the Congo basin on the plight of bonobos and a look at dragon trees on the island of Madeira.
Bonobos are a great ape, related to chimpanzees, and are found in the forest of the Congo Basin of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bonobos found within Salonga National Park are under threat from an increase in hunting for the bushmeat trade. While local villagers historically have hunted and eaten many animals found living in the forests, their impact on the bonobos is not significant. But with the bonobos being targetted by organised hunters from outside the Park, the meat is being sold at markets well beyond the forest and is being seen as a "luxury consumption" item, fetching a high price. Saving Species has spent time amongst the bonobos, the villagers and the biologists to find out what can be done to try and protect them from the increasing threats. The dragon tree obtained its name due to the red resin it produces which is called "dragon's blood" and has been used over the centuries to dye clothes and stain wood - including violins. The tree is a native species of Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. There are only one or two native wild dragon trees left on Madeira and Michael Scott finds out from local conservationists what is being done to increase the number of trees in the wild from original seed. Also in the programme - news from around the world with our regular news reporter, Kelvin Boot, plus details on how you can contibute and use the Open University's iSpot facility. Presenter: Brett Westwood Producer: Sheena Duncan Editor: Julian Hector.