The Precarious Night Life Of An Ancient Primate In A Modern City – September 2015 Café

Portrait of a Slender Loris

Portrait of a Slender Loris, © Kalyan Varma.

Welcome back to another year of science conversations as the Central Valley Café Scientifique opens its 9th season on Monday, September 14th, at Peeve’s Pub.

This month, we will travel to the city of Bangalore in India, with one of our own founding members, Dr. Kaberi Kar Gupta, who has recently launched a new project to study one of that city’s tiny nocturnal denizens, the Slender Loris (pictured above). Dr. Kar Gupta studied this species in the wilds of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in southern India for her Ph.D. (in Anthropology from Arizona State University), documenting its social behavior and mating system for the first time. A sabbatical stint in Bangalore several years ago helped her discover that the species also occurs in urban forests! That unlikely realization led her to launch a new participatory research and conservation project involving a range of citizen scientists and stakeholders with an interest in the history of biodiversity in Bangalore’s past, and a commitment to making the “Garden City” re-earn and maintain that title in the future.

Dr. Kar Gupta will talk about how she came to study this unlikely little primate that continues to cling to the dwindling urban forest in Bangalore, and how citizen engagement with nature is crucial to conserving biodiversity. You can learn more about this work on the Urban Slender Loris Project website, read an interview with Dr. Kar Gupta in a recent Guardian article, and hear her discuss the project with Dr. Kelly Hills on Blog Talk Radio:

http://player.cinchcast.com/?platformId=1&assetType=single&assetId=7722649

Check Out Science Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Virtually Speaking Science on BlogTalkRadio

You can also hear her talk about urban ecology in Fresno and Chicago (and Kolkata and Bangalore) on the June podcast of our own radio show, Science: A Candle In The Dark, episode 5.

The Urban Slender Loris Project, as you will hear at the Café next week, is a research and conservation project that depends on public participation. You too might get an opportunity to participate—even from faraway Fresno—soon by contributing to a crowdfunding campaign Dr. Kar Gupta plans to launch in the near future. In the meantime, you can follow the project on tumblr, twitter, and Facebook for updates.

When: Monday, 14 September 2015, 7:00 PM

Where: Peeve’s Public House
, 1243 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA 93721

Contact: 559-278-2460 (cafe inquiries) / 559-573-5735 (Pub’s number)

Here’s the full poster for this event – please feel free to download, print, and share with your friends and family:

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