The Unit for Primate Studies Borneo, or referred only to as UPS-Borneo for short, is a research unit devoted to primatological research in Sabah. It is part of the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
Background on the establishment of the UPS-Borneo
Non-human primate species are facing various threats worldwide and Borneo is no exception. There are 13 species of non-human primates on Borneo Island, of which 10 species are found in the Malaysian state of Sabah in the north of Borneo. Based on the IUCN’s criteria for globally threatened species, three (3) of the non-human primates in Sabah are regarded as “Endangered” (Orang utan, Pongo pygmaeus; Proboscis monkey, Nasalis larvatus; Bornean gibbon, Hylobates muelleri), four (4) as “Vulnerable” (Slow loris, Nycticebus caucang; Western tarsier, Tarsius bancanus; Hose’s langur or grey leaf monkey, Presbytis hosei; Pig-tailed macaque, Macaca nemestrina) and one (1) “Near Threatened” (Silver langur, Trachypithecus cristatus). Although the remaining two (2) species are regarded as “Least Concern” (Maroon langur or Red leaf monkey, Presbytis rubicunda; Long-tailed macaque, Macaca fascicularis), the global trends of population size of these species are declining. In order to facilitate and progress the conservation management of populations of all non-human primate species in Sabah, there is an urgent need for information such as population size and distribution, basic biology and ecology, population genetics, as well as information on the natural ecosystems and human-non-human primates interactions. With the final aim to promote the conservation of all non-human primate species in the wild in Sabah and to provide useful data for the conservation management of these animals, the Unit for Primate Studies-Borneo has been established on 1st June 2007.