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Bruno Manser

Zoologists name new discoveries after rainforest advocate

Zoologists from Berne’s Natural History Museum have named two newly discovered animal species after Bruno Manser, a Swiss rainforest advocate who went missing in Borneo more than 14 years ago. Manser would have celebrated his 60th birthday on Monday.

The Bruno Manser Fund said that a  goblin spider collected by a Dutch-Swiss research expedition in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in the 1990s has been named Aposphragisma brunomanseri.

The scientists also dedicated the Murud black slender toad, Ansonia vidua, to Manser. Stefan Hertwig from the Natural History Museum of Bern and Bern University’s Institute for Ecology and Evolution had discovered the toad on the Gunung Murud mountain in the region where Manser went missing in 2000.

Manser was most famous for his support of the Penan people, South East Asia’s last nomadic hunter-gatherers, who live in the Malaysian rain forest. He had been fighting against the destruction of the rain forests all of his life.

Bruno Manser was born on 25 August 1954 in Basel, Switzerland. From 1984 to 1990, he lived in Sarawak with the Penan.

After returning to Switzerland, he founded the Bruno Manser Fund, a human rights and environmental organization that champions the rights of Sarawak’s indigenous peoples.

Manser has been missing since his last trip to Borneo in May 2000 and was declared dead in 2005.


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