Dr. Marc van Roosmalen, a renowned primatologist and one of Time magazines "Heroes for the Planet" for his conservation work has been released from Brazilian prison while he appeals his sentence.
According to the Associated Press:
Marc Van Roosmalen was convicted on June 15 of trying to illegally auction off the names of monkey species, keeping rare monkeys at his house without authorization and selling a scaffolding donated to the National Institute for Amazon Research where he worked.
He was sentenced to 15 years and nine months in a prison in the Amazon city of Manaus, where he lives.
Roosmalen, a Dutch expatriate and naturalized Brazilian citizen, has told the press that he was framed by Amazonian ranchers and logging interests who are attempting to sabotage his conservation work.
In 2002 Roosmalen was accused of violating Brazilian wildlife laws when he rescued rare monkeys from backwoodsmen who, Roosmalen said, were planning to eat them. The local government claimed he was involved in animal trafficking, confiscated the 27 orphaned monkeys and fined Roosmalen $1,667.
Roosmalen has discovered at least 12 new species and has been celebrated for his pioneering conservation work.
A fund to help Dr. Roosmalen has been set up and donations can be provided at the link below.
The Foundation to Help Marc van Roosmalen
For further commentary see my post The Downstream Effects of Biopiracy.