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D E Y Á (@deyaward) Instagram Profile Photo



@orangutanalliance UK Correspendent 🌏🌱 〰️ Environmentalist, filmmaker 〰️ Speaker, Ambassador 〰️ Ice swimmer 📍Bristol/Borneo/LA

D E Y Á (@deyaward) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by D E Y Á (@deyaward)

Mount Rinjani Volcano

A little thought Maybe one of the reasons we cherish views from the top of a mountain, in the ocean, up a hill, across a lake, or along a coastline is because so often, our line of vision is stunted to a few metres by buildings, vehicles or walls. In these instances of staring out across one of these natural wonders and towards the horizon, I sometimes feel that it gives you the the sensation of physically stretching out your eyes! . 🏋️‍♀️🤸‍♂️ . I learnt when I was last in California at a raptor monitoring workshop that many raptor species like hawks and kestrels mark out their home ranges by natural boundaries such as mountain ridges. Pretty cool! Where is one of your favourite views? . . . . . .

Tengah, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia

Hang on, are orangutans our closest relatives?! • A recent study by Schwartz & Grehan has stated exactly this. That orangutans may be closest humans relatives and not chimpanzees. This controversial study focuses on physical, not genetic similarities and there are a number of traits we seem to share with our red haired relatives! The study states that humans share at least 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans, but only 2 with chimpanzees and 7 with gorillas. These traits include; thickly enabled molar teeth, increased cartilage to bone ratio in the forearm and a hair line! If this is the case, there may be a big spanner in the works in terms of what was widely acknowledged within the human migration time line as orangutans are native to South East Asia whereas humans are considered to have evolved from Africa... This study goes against a weight of evidence from countless genetic studies, but a conclusion nonetheless that deserves to be aired! Does this study that focuses on physiological traits over genetic traits deserve to be looked into more? What do you think? As Frans de Waal states “the DNA evidence is so strongly against it, it’s a leftover from the days than bones ruled”. Maybe physical similarities can be subjective, who knows if the similarities evolved independently or from a shared common ancestor? . . 📷 I took this photo when living in Central Kalimantan in 2016. The gaze of an orangutan forever remains unforgettable to me. . . . . . .


BROWN FAT + COLD SWIMMING With the international ice swimming championships at the start of next year I’ve heard two things quite frequently; one is that don’t I need to be focusing on having more fat to stay insulated and the other is how do I get used to the temperature. I read yesterday that Channel Swimmer Laurin Weisenthal Gad a very similar thing! “Getting used to the cold” is something to address mentally, but there are also physiological things that are happening with cold swimming I find fascinating. When thinking about these questions, it’s important to look at the differences between brown and white adipose tissue, for the purposes of this post I’ll refer to them here as brown and white fat: White fat functions as fat storage, whilst brown fat acts as a heat factory. The white fat is under the skin, the brown fat is around our vital organs and along our backs. Brown fat was previously considered to only be present in infants. The cells of brown fat also contain heaps of mitochondria. These brown fat cells consume calories and generate heat (ATP). • More brown fat = more heat = staying warmer in colder temperatures for longer. • The cool thing is that as well as exposing your to cold water in swimming, a quick dip (@jemmaamos123 ) or cold showers (@semisustainableman ), are also ways you can train your to cope better in these cold temperatures. By just exposing our bodies to the cold we’re preparing ourselves to cope better with the cold (a silver lining to the cold weather in the UK at the moment!). So actually, walking in shorts, turning the heating down or sitting outside in a cafe instead of inside all helps your produce more brown fat, which increases your cold tolerance! What do you think? . . 📷 @george_of_earth . . . . .

La Jolla Beach San Diego California

I’m interested to know: How would you describe a seal or sea lion in one word? You can write it below It shocked me to learn that some people describe seals as “enemies” In La Jolla, San Diego you are sure to see sea lions (in my photo here) and harbour seals. A few weeks back on a trip to La Jolla, I spoke briefly on an Instagram story about one of the beaches; The Children’s Pool. Below is a summary of it’s controversial situation: A number of years ago, this beach was developed to become a safe spot for children to swim, but in the last few years it has become the pupping spot for the resident harbour seals. As the seals lie on the beach, it is a remarkable opportunity to see these animals and their pups up close. The popularity and love for the seals (and sea lions) is widespread and you can see people of all ages joyously witnessing the behaviours of these wild animals just a number of metres away. However, a selection of people in the area want the beach to be for swimmers only. In doing so, this colony of harbour seals will face a worrying consequence - one that threatens their life all together. Toby Gad has recently filmed and produced a short documentary about this exact story. A film which has become available to watch at the most critical time of these seal’s lives: the Coast Commission Hearing is next week where the future of these seals will be decided. You can watch the film by searching “children’s pool” on Vimeo. Alternatively I will post a link in a comment below, which you can copy and paste. Please sign the petition available at the end of the film as the petition will influence what happens to these incredible, emotional, peaceful “dogs of the oceans”. . . . . . .

Los Angeles, California

This world environment day I want to share with you the opportunity to support a fantastic charity - @orangutanssos (the Sumatran Orangutan society). A few months ago when I was preparing for the London Marathon I sent @toritsui_ a photo I had taken of Mumui, an infant orangutan Rescued by the Orangutan Foundation International I got to know during my time in Borneo. Tori has painted this exceptional portrait of Mumui in the hope that she can help raise money for a charity striving to save these species. And so, if you would like to support the cause you can enter a raffle to win this painting of Mumui! Simply head to to enter (link also in the description). Tori is also giving all the money raised to SOS. TO ENTER: 🌏 Each ticket costs £1 so the more entries the better your chance of winning! 🌏 All you need to do is donate and leave your name and email. 🌏 All names will be entered into a random draw in five days time! (10/06/19). 🌏 ALL proceeds from the raffle will go to SOS. . 📷 @dansoneill . . . . . . . . .

Studio City, California

A photo back before the two hummingbirds had hatched! It’s been 4 weeks now of daily observations and I have learnt so much. Those first few days the nestlings were cold blooded - they required the mother’s warmth to live and grow and she was on the nest almost non-stop. Then, once their pin feathers broke open and the insulating coat of true feathers started developing, the metabolism of these two young hummingbirds switched to being warm blooded (homeothermic). At this time, the mother barely came back! Not even at night! She comes for all of 10 seconds to feed the young on insects and nectar then goes again. Not only does she not fit any longer on the nest with the nestlings having grown at such a fast speed, but her absence on and by the nest prevents predators from being attracted to the nest. Yesterday the story of the trio of hummingbirds took another turn - I worried for the worst, and will explain it on my story later today so take a look! In around 1 week, these young hummingbirds will fly with their mother and never return to the nest. I hope I will be able to capture this on film and in my eyes before I leave LA on Friday! . . . . . .

Beverly Hills, California

Over the last two weeks I have created a poem. Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of Borneo. Some believe Kalimantan means ‘the land of many rivers’. My poem is set here. If you have time, you can hear this poem by clicking the link in my bio [click on my bio then click ‘Poem | ANGIN KALIMANTAN’]. I’ve not really written poems before, so I’d be very grateful to know your thoughts. Feel free to comment what you think/feel below 🌏 . . @maatracy top via @depop — moonstone labradorite small necklace @mad.bliss — photo by @bryanneville — . . . .

Tengah, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia

In the interior of Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, we’d hiked to the top of this mountain [top tip - don’t be at the back of the group as you’ll be the one the leeches target, in their dozens.]. We arrived at the summit, the view was spectacular over the primary forest below, the morning mist hung softly. Then as I sat down, to my horror, the clouds shifted and the full view was revealed. One that showed the truth, stretching as far as you could see were rows and rows of endless palm oil plantations right to the horizon. We’d walked past towering trees with buttressed trunks, these giants support countless lianas, creepers, and epiphytic orchids. There were gibbons, an array of insects, birds, and to think that these were the remainders, in this last fraction of forest. It was heartbreaking. Palm oil is a commercially valuable product, but at what cost? This view summed it up well; what we eat, rub into our hair or fill europeans cars up with costs the ecosystems that form the fabric of our life support system. It doesn’t just impact one of our closest relatives, it impacts us and life as a whole. From fast fashion to palm oil, the pressure we are demanding for transparency as a consumer is increasing and rightly so. Does palm oil have to be clearly labelled? ✖️in food yes, but shampoo, cosmetics etc no. It can be labelled over 1000 different names. Does RSPO certified sustainable palm oil, mean the companies trade only on oil not from deforestation? ✖️ no. They are failing. @greenpeace revealed catastrophic rainforest destruction by palm oil companies as subsidies for RSPO certified companies. Are the policies created by companies for the 2020 zero deforestation agreement actually being put in place? ✖️no. Good news: there’s an online report (a quick @ecosia search away!) which annually ranks the 500 major companies in their policies for deforestation and to what extent they are reaching them. It holds these suppliers accountable for their impacts on tropical forests and you can see exactly how brands you use are listed. I’ll be talking more about this in the video that will be accessible this weekend. I look forward to sharing things we can do.

Studio City, California

There is a hummingbird nest (about the length of a toothpick) ~30cm from the studio window and every time I look out I feel I’ve become tiny and sitting on a nearby leaf watching the young hummingbirds grow. It seems that today they are opening their eyes for the first time, occasionally just a few millimetres. A few days ago both nestlings would stay completely hidden at the bottom of the nest - a part which is skilfully built to be elastic and spongy to protect them and before they’d hatched, but recently they have been coming to the top. I remember thinking in this moment when I took the photo that their heads popping out reminded me of narwhals emerging from the water! From observing from a cera eye piece with a long lens I often have to remind myself how small these subjects are; no way bigger than the top digit of your little finger I’d say. The eggs were the size of a coffee bean or tic tac! In about 2 weeks when they are around 21 days old, these two will begin to fly. . . . . . .

Tengah, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia

Which photo do you prefer, 1st or 2nd? Dayaks are the native people of Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. In the past, many believed orangutans could talk, but that they chose not to out of fear of being enslaved or put to work. Dayak ancient stories also said that God’s first attempt to breathe life into humans gave birth to orangutans. The second attempt then created humans. Following the discovery of Ramapithecus, other fossil records and years of archeological research, these Dayak myths parallel our modern knowledge and understanding of evolution. That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Dayak people have an unimaginable level of wisdom and understanding of the forest, it’s ecology and the ethology of it’s inhabitants. Prehumans were evolutionary latecomers even in our cosmic blink of an eye of existence we have impacted so much. In the next few days I’m going to be filming a short video which will address a specific area of palm oil that I feel is so important to share particularly in light of a number of company’s zero deforestation agreement for 2020. ⏰ These images are screenshots from my footage from this time last year. This is Zatarra - rehabilitated and released back into the wild by @orangutanfoundationintl . Being a snapshot from film it is not the clearest, but I feel Zatarra does highlight clear as day the 97% of DNA we share with him. . . . . .

University of Bristol Botanic Garden

Do you hear the ground sing? It’s becoming increasingly common to spot gardens with manicured looking grass greener than apple Hubba Bubba chewing gum, and as Margaret Renkl describes in @nytimes ; lawns that are aching to be neglected. Lawns are shifting into biodiversity deserts, often limited to just a few species of grass. With insect populations vanishing at an alarming rate this has huge negative knock on effects. It’s not too late, lying in a meadow or garden doesn’t have to become silent and devoid of life. I want to share some things I know, and things I’ve learnt: Grass - whether mowed or not - still contain underneath all the necessary things to thrive with diverse life. Take weeds for example; with their hardy traits and repetitive blooming they are rich in nectar, pollen and are fantastic sources of food for insects. Below the grass, wildflower seeds are there already, waiting for their moment to burst, there is often moss too - a essential part to many nests. If you have a garden, know a park nearby, or know someone that you could pass this information on to, the simplest route to preserving the biodiversity below our feet (if there’s mowing to be done), is learning how to change the blade so it cuts the grass 10cm or higher. Even a section of grass cut this way will allow the wildflowers to adapt under the blades. Alternatively there are some amazing wildflower seeds on @etsyuk including 60 colourful seed bombs for under £20, beautiful writing cards that you plant and are embedded with wildflower seeds from @zephyrecomarket and of course for information and all round showcasing the beauty of flowers @sarahravenperchhill is a true inspiration 🌻 And in return, the grass will sing with the buzz of bees, the hum of hover flies, the creek of beetles, and the layers of birdsong as you sip your first Pimms of summer!

Malibu Creek State Park

It’s funny to think that in a city bustling with traffic, conversations, and people all around, I never really alone, but on mountains, by a stre, or in a forest I often alone, but never have I felt lonely. . ~A thought from yesterday~ . . . . .

Tengah, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia

Gendut & Zaka I feel so incredibly grateful that the photo series of Gendut has been shared by @bbcearth as well as drawing attention to the vital work by @orangutanfoundationintl . To think that many thousands of people have now been able to see both Gendut, and the breathtakingly beautiful ancient peatland swamp forests in the photos fills me with so much joy and gratitude. I have really enjoyed reading the comments on the BBC Earth post. This is because many people have tagged others, expressing how similar he looks to friends and this realisation is one of the things I’d hoped for! Humans and orangutans ARE so similar - we share almost 97% of our DNA to this fellow great ape. They desperately need our help. Let us keep the conversations flowing about this incredible species there is so much power in it, and if you want to go further; SHARE what we can do to help, SPREAD the current success of halting the Batang Toru dam in Sumatra that would risk the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan species, EXPLORE the array of zero waste palm oil free products on the market, READ AROUND the exciting research into the intricate ecosystems within this ancient and vulnerable environment and the ways we may be able to regain biodiversity on old palm oil plantations, and USE a platform such as @instagram to share all of this and your ideas this with others! Thank you @fajardewanto77 You can view my short film on this male named Gendut by following the link in my bio to “The Lost Person of the Forest”. I hope to be able to tell you more about Gendut in the months to come. . . . . .

London, United Kingdom

Minions of the iconic pink boat. We have received the news that humanity is reshaping the natural world at such scale and rapidity, an estimated 1 million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction. For a number of years biodiversity was often acknowledged as something to protect ‘for the benefit of nature’, but this recent UN report makes it clear the links stretch far far beyond this. Biodiversity and nature are fundamental to things like food security and clean water in EVERY single country across the globe. I appreciate what Robert Watson (UN Chairman) said here; “bringing our civilization’s ambitions and modes of operation into better alignment with the environment’s demands no act of altruism. It merely requires recognizing our own collective long-term self-interest, and “changing the way we grow food, produce energy, deal with climate change and dispose of waste,” on a global level, through international cooperation.” It’s not game over! There is but if momentum continues with the positive global news we are also receiving linked to actions to address climate change, this 🌏 and its intricately linked species won’t need one. What are your thoughts/feelings on this?

Mother Earth

Some call me Nature, others call me Mother Nature I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you I don’t really need people, but people need me Yes, your future depends on me When I thrive, you thrive When I falter, you falter I’ve been here for aeons I have fed species greater than you, I have starved species greater than you My oceans, my soil, my flowing stres, my forests They can all take or leave you How you choose to live each day whether you regard or disregard me doesn’t really matter to me One way or the other your actions will determine your fate, not mine I nature I will go on I prepared to evolve Are you? . . . From @conservationorg powerfully spoken by @juliaroberts

Balai Taman Nasional Tanjung Puting

This is Gendut, a Bornean orangutan who is here due to the conservation work by @orangutanfoundationintl My first encounter with him was full of adrenaline and in turn had me hooked on telling his story through film the following year. However I’ll share a different thing here: I learnt from @anniemoir that if you take 2 deep breaths in, one will have theoretically come from the ocean, and the other from forests. Now imagine if I told you that that the one inhaled from the forest has a link to orangutans? These great apes (with whom we share almost 97% of our DNA) are critically important seed dispensers. The movement of seeds through an animals gut is the essential driver for forest structure. Orangutans have the potential to provide very long distance dispersal from parent plant due to their long distances covered and large home ranges. The seeds that disperse farther from the maternal plant are more likely to survive and grow, leading to a forest with many species of trees. This is one that can thrive. Thrive and release that oxygen you just inhaled. If you want to read more about the vital and complex nature of primate seed dispersal I recommend: ‘Reflections of Eden’ by @drbirute , Chapman’s “Primate Seed Dispersal and Forest Restoration”, Jody Buck’s paper on the link between seed dispersal and primate self medication (available online). Also, less specific to seed dispersal but all round intriguing is Professor Frans de Waal’s primate research (explained excellently in his books). Photo by @fajardewanto77 . . . @bbcearth

London, United Kingdom

For the past few weeks I have been acutely aware that we are living through history in the making. After the biggest act of mass civil disobedience in British history by Extinction Rebellion, the UK government has become the first in the world to declare a climate emergency. It reaffirms that one individual, one movement, one behavioural change or one government can set the bar and instigate change on a far bigger scale. I’m no expert, but I do know that the means to learn more about this research in climate science is available at your fingertips. It is quite literally as available to you as this caption on your phone (for direction read the info in @aliceaedy recent post). Through non-violent direct action, art, education, and the multiple means of communication by @gretathunberg @extinctionrebellion @xr_youth @youthstrike4climate (+ a great deal more) this really is history in the making. More than that, there is HOPE for the future of this planet and the next steps we take not just within the UK but globally. Photo by @roxythezoologist . . .

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