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Birute Galdikas with an orangutan.
What did her education consist of?
The first time Galdikas started gaining interest in orangutans was in high school, when she and her family moved to Canada. Then, her family moved to the United States and she went to college at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) for her basic degree. Following that degree, she studied anthropology in graduate school, and got her master’s degree, too.
What was her personal life like?
Birute Galdikas was born May 10th, 1946 in Wiesbaden, Germany (a year after her parents’ marriage). She had two younger brothers, and one younger sister. Rod Brindamour was a Canadian who had attended UCLA with her. They married in 1969, and then had a kid in 1976: Binti Paul. Then they divorced, and Brindamour took him. Birute then married Pak Bohap in 1981, and then she had two more children, Jane and Frederick.
Wiesbaden, Germany. Where Birute Galdikas was born.
What was her contribution to the world?
“I was born to study orangutans”. –Birute Galdikas
Birute Galdikas was the first (and only) woman to start the longest continuous study of a wild mammal by a single person ever. She has preserved orangutan habitats by adopting national parks. Galdikas has also adopted orphaned orangutans to prepare them to send them back into the wild. In September, 1971 Galdikas reached Indonesia with Rod Brindamour (husband). They studied in Tanjung Puting, a forest reserve in Borneo. Spent four years there, taking note of 58 orangutans for 6804 hours! She has put the most effort into taking care of the orangutan species. 80 orangutans were rescued by Birute and returned to the wild. She now has her own foundation, Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) which is a fundraiser started in 1986. This gives money to the orangutans that live in Indonesia or Borneo. (About 10,000 to 20,000).
Galdikas with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, they were three researchers of large apes. They have their own book: “Primates” a book about three women, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas and their study with the great apes. Galdikas also has her own book: “Reflections of Eden: my years with the orangutans of Borneo”. Published in 1995
What is a primatologist?
Primatology is the study of primates. A primatologist is one who studies primates (mammals that closely resemble
). It is a specific branch of zoology, dealing with more specific species. How can one identify a primatologist? When someone says they study apes, or other certain species of mammals. Refer to diagram of orangutan.
Diagram of Orangutan species with facts.
Brubaker B. “MISSION ORANGUTAN.”
. Smithsonian, December 2010. Web. September 18, 2013.
National Geographic. “Orangutan”
. National Geographic, 1996. Web. 9/19/13.
Schlager, Neil. Science and its Times. Volume 7. Farmington Hills: The Gale Group, 2000, Print.
Yount, Lisa. A to Z of Women in Science. New York: Facts on File, 1999. Print.
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