orangutans

Five Recently Released Orangutans Thriving in the BBBR National Park

Our Post Release Monitoring (PRM) team in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya (BBBR) National Park in Central Kalimantan has the huge responsibility of conducting daily observations on the 10 orangutans that were released last month. The team patrolling and tracking the area set out to locate orangutans based on records documenting their last-known whereabouts, and through radio signals. Once an orangutan is located, the team observes and records their behaviour and movements (Read the complete story of the 13th Nyaru Menteng orangutan release here: First Orangutan Release to the BBBR National Park).

Data collected from observation missions is regularly analysed to determine how each individual is adapting to life in the wild. The following is a summary we recently received from the PRM team after observations were carried out on some of the orangutans released in August.

Kameloh’s Encounter with Rambo and Mima

Kameloh was released along the Denny transect on August 14, and has since been actively exploring his new surroundings. This strong male is adapting well, and has been observed consuming forest fruits and rattan shoots. On one of his adventures, Kameloh bumped into another male, Rambo, and shortly after met a female named Mima.

Kameloh

On the day our PRM team observed him, Kameloh was found resting on a tree branch enjoying some fruit. The team saw Rambo approach Kameloh, who swiftly showed his displeasure at this stranger’s presence: He got up from his resting position to break some branches and let out a long call, as if to mark his territory. The smaller Rambo quickly changed his mind about meeting Kameloh and backed away.

After succeeding in getting rid of Rambo, Kameloh then constructed a nest in a sangkuang tree and took a nap there.

Rambo

Whilst observing Kameloh at rest, the team saw Mima come by. Without realizing Kameloh’s presence in the area, Mima approached the very tree in which Kameloh was taking a nap. Sensing some movements, Kameloh got up from his resting place; his hair stood up on end in a clear display of displeasure at this uninvited visitor. In an act of aggression, Kameloh rushed in on Mima, but quickly realized his new visitor was a female.

Kameloh and Mima

Kameloh promptly changed his response and instead showed an interest in Mima, but she headed away. Kameloh, not keen to let her go so easily, followed Mima for around two hours with the team in hot pursuit.

Mima finally had a change of heart and Kameloh’s efforts paid off with the two copulating. They became a pair – exploring, foraging, and spending time together in the forest.

Doren and Daichi

After her release on August 11, Doren, with little Daichi dangling from her belly, has been tirelessly exploring her new home in the BBBR National Park. Doren seems to be enjoying the journey, and our PRM team have had to work hard to keep up with her and her baby.

One morning, Doren and Daichi were observed sitting on the branch of a sangkuang tree, not far from a newly built nest. Both appeared in good shape, with Doren eating plenty of sangkuang fruit while Daichi played at getting his mother’s attention.

After finishing her meal, Doren took Daichi to explore the surrounding area for about two hours and then returned to the morning nest to nap together. After his mother had fallen asleep, Daichi snuck away to play in a nearby liana tree where he dangled confidently from the branches. The team were surprised to see that Daichi, while still under 12 months old, is already able to identify natural forest food! He happily snacked on young leaves in the tree while his mother dozed.

Doren falls asleep after a full day of activity

Daichi plays alone while his mother sleeps

We are very happy to see that Kameloh, Rambo, Mima, Doren and Daichi – who were released to the BBBR National Park in August – are all healthy, active, and adapting well to their new natural home!

Text by: Hermansyah, Communication and Education Staff of BOSF Nyaru Menteng

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

New Hope for Land Destroyed by Failed Rice Project

Fire, encroachment, and the clearing of land for agricultural use are the biggest threats to Borneo’s forests and the wildlife that inhabits them. The irreversible damage to the land from the failed Mega Rice Project of the mid ’90s in Central Kalimantan is evidence of the long-term effects of forest clearing on the environment, the local community and wildlife.

Presidential Decree number 82 of 1995 stated that the 1-million hectare Mega Rice Project was to convert peat-swamp forest areas into rice fields to support the government’s food self-sufficiency program. However, a lack of detailed planning and sudden economic downfall saw the project halted. The rice fields never eventuated and vast areas of cleared peat-swamp forest became dried up from the construction of a large canal system.

Mangkatip village, in Dusun Hilir Sub-Regency of South Barito Regency in Central Kalimantan, is one of the areas impacted by the abandoned project. The remaining forest and the dry, open fields left behind are susceptible to fires almost annually, especially the areas along the banks of the Main Primary Canals (MPC).

Critical land cleared for the abandoned Mega Rice Project is located along the MPC

According to locals, this area was once a dense forest and served as an ideal habitat for wild orangutans. The land is now dry and exposed, and experiences frequent fire outbreaks due to the canal system having dried out water deposits that had previously kept the peat swamp constantly damp.

Members of the local community have found orangutans trapped in the middle of canal blocks and in the village. The orangutans were evacuated by local authorities and relocated to a forest area in Blok E; a safer chunk of land near the Mantangai River.

We need to protect and preserve Borneo’s forests both for ourselves and for orangutans. In collaboration with local communities, the team from the BOS Foundation’s Mawas Conservation Program has successfully started replanting 50 hectares of barren land left abandoned by the Mega Rice Project.

Dissemination of information on the replantation program to the public began in May 2015

Replanting activities undertaken by the Mawas Conservation Program and the surrounding local communities have been underway since November 2015, resulting in the rejuvenation of 10 hectares of land with 11,110 plants of various species: balangiranpantung and pulai trees.

Joint replanting effort with members of local communities

From our observations, 80% of the plants are successfully growing

An extension of the replantation program in another 40-hectare area is now underway with the cooperation of five local community groups. Dissemination of information has already taken place, as well as the seedling-production stage, with replantation to commence soon.

In order to be prepared for – and prevent – potential fire outbreaks, a fire-fighting team has been formed and has already dug artesian wells in the planting area.

Replantation in the areas previously damaged by the Mega Rice Project has only been achievable thanks to cooperation with local governments, our partner organization Save The Orangutan, and the active participation of members of the surrounding communities.

We hope that the replantation program in this 1-million hectare destroyed peat swamp area will provide new hope for orangutans and the local communities who are still suffering the effects of the failed government project.

 Text and photos by: Reforestation Team from the Mawas Conservation Program

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

Angely in Her Comfort Zone

On a chilly August morning in the Kehje Sewen Forest, three of our PRM team members from Camp Nles Mamse (Rizal, Yosi and Luy) set out to conduct nest-to-nest observations on Angely, a female orangutan the BOS Foundation released in May. Nest-to-nest observations involve documenting the daily activities of one orangutan for a whole day, from dawn until dusk.

After Angely had risen from her nest, she went straight to a nearby rambutan tree and spent some time eating its fruit. She then relaxed on a branch and enjoyed the cool breeze floating through the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Angely enjoys the fresh breeze in the Kehje Sewen Forest

After half an hour, Angely got up from her resting spot and moved through the trees. She finally stopped in an Artocarpus sp. tree; a species of plant related to breadfruit and jackfruit that produces one of Angely’s favourite fruits.

Angely eats Artocarpus sp.

Angely explored the area around her but stayed in close proximity to her nest, and by midday returned back to it to rest for about two hours. After her rest, she climbed down in search of shoots and fruits growing near the forest floor.

Angely eats shoots on the ground

Rain fell rather unexpectedly just as the sun was about to set and the forest began to descend into darkness. Angely didn’t seem to mind much, and continued eating. Perhaps she was filling up so she could sleep well that night. After she was satisfied, Angely climbed back up to her nest and made herself comfortable. The team walked back to Camp Lesik around 6 p.m. once Angely had settled for the night.

This is the second time our team has successfully documented nest-to-nest observations on Angely – the other time occurring just a few weeks ago. (Read the full story here: Angely Enjoys Her New Life in the Kehje Sewen Forest). From what the team could tell Angely appeared in very good condition. While she didn’t roam too far from her nest, Angely actively foraged and seemed to enjoy being in her little comfort zone.

It was a pleasure to observe you Angely, stay healthy!

Text by: Rizal, PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW 

Suci and Tumang: Pets No More!

The survival of Bornean orangutans is continually under threat due to habitat destruction and hunting for the illegal pet trade. The BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng centre recently received two more baby orangutans that had been kept illegally as pets by local villagers in Central Kalimantan.

Suci

Suci, a baby female orangutan estimated to be about 18 months old, was rescued on August 8 from a palm-oil company employee who had been keeping her illegally as a pet in Tumbang Samba village, Katingan Regency. The worker claimed to have come across the baby orangutan on his way to work on July 31. It was raining on that particular day, and the baby orangutan was alone and seemed to be suffering from the cold weather. Feeling sorry for the baby, the worker took her home and fed her leftover food and some fruits.

The Forestry Agency in Katingan Regency received a report that the orangutan was being kept as a pet and officers quickly confiscated her from the worker. They then handed the petit little female, whom was later named Suci, over to the BOSF Rehabilitation Centre in Nyaru Menteng.

Results from an initial examination conducted by vet Greggy indicated that Suci was in good condition and still exhibited natural, wild behaviours: she would instinctively try to bite approaching human hands. Suci is now in quarantine and being cared for by our team of dedicated babysitters while we await the results of a complete health analysis.

Tumang

One day before International Orangutan Day, which falls annually on August 19, our rescue team from Nyaru Menteng worked together with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA to rescue a young male orangutan in Bangkuang village. A local resident named Heri had been keeping the orangutan, who he had named Tumang, captive for four years. He claimed that a colleague had given him Tumang when he was about six months old.

Information about Tumang’s captivity came from a local police officer who spotted him during a local event held by workers of a palm oil plantation in Bangkuang village. The police officer, who was on duty during the event, saw Heri watching a contest with his wife and Tumang. The officer approached Heri to explain the law regarding the illegal captivity of orangutans. Heri and his wife soon moved away from the crowd and out of sight.

On that same day, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA received a tip off from the police officer and immediately organised a joint-team with staff from our Nyaru Menteng centre to be dispatched the following morning to confiscate Tumang from Heri’s residence.

Heri and wife treated Tumang like their own chils, put him clothes, brought about, fed the same food, even bathed twice a day

An initial health check by vet Fiet Hayu indicated that Tumang was in good physical health, however, the hair on his neck had been completely shaved off by his captors.

Orangutans are NOT pets

Young orangutans that have been separated from their mothers lose the opportunity to learn the vital life skills required to survive in the forest. Making people aware of the law regarding the illegal captivity of orangutans and educating the public on conservation, it seems, is a never-ending task. People think that keeping a wild animal caged equates to keeping them protected, and therefore is a form of ‘conservation’. On the contrary, forcefully extracting wild animals from their natural habitats and keeping them as pets only accelerates the process of their extinction.

Last month, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) was reclassified by the IUCN as ‘critically endangered’. It takes up to seven years of rehabilitation before we can return an orangutan to the wild; therefore, we are literally racing the clock to prevent this amazing species from extinction.

Tumang’s four years in captivity means that he has missed learning the vital life skills he needs to survive in the wild alone, so the rehabilitation process for him – and others like him – is a long road.

Our hope is that the Government of Indonesia and all relevant stakeholders will work together with us to conserve wildlife. The government must be firm and decisive in enforcing the law to reduce the illegal pet trade in Indonesia.

Human beings and orangutans share 97% of the same DNA: If you look into their eyes, you can feel the connection. Let’s work together to support conservation and save these beautiful creatures from the threat of extinction. It is our collective moral obligation to do so.

The BOS Foundation’s Communications Team in Nyaru Menteng and Headquarter

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW 

Snakes of The Kehje Sewen Forest

The Kehje Sewen Forest is incredibly rich in both flora and fauna. Various species of snake can be found in the Kehje Sewen Forest, including:

The Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus), or as the locals call it, “Ular Tambang”, is a small and rather thin snake that can grow to a length of 180 cm. This snake can be found in lowland forests up to mountain forests, and feeds on lizards and tree frogs. The Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback can be found in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, and in Indonesia can be found in Belitung, Nias, Kalimantan and Sumatra.

Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback Tree Snake or “Ular Tambang” (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus)

The Bornean Pit Viper (Trimeresurus borneensis) is endemic to Kalimantan and can be found in the swamps and bushes of lowland forests. This particular snake produces strong venom and bites with extraordinary speed, although its bite is not fatal. Its bite discomforts the recipient with a burn-like sensation and leaves the skin swollen. The Bornean Vit Viper feeds on small mammals, such as mice, and hides skilfully between the leaves, making it hard to see.

Bornean Pit Viper (Trimeresurus borneensis)

The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in the Kehje Sewen Forest. This snake can grow to six meters, and without immediate medical attention, its bite causes death. It can be found in lowland forests, agricultural areas, fields and residential areas, and its main prey include lizards and other snakes. The King Cobra can also be found in other Southeast-Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia, and in Indonesia is found in Sumatra, Belitung, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, and other islands. The King Cobra can also be found in East-Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal and China.

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

The Red-Tailed Racer snake (Gonyosoma oxycephala), or “Ular Ekor Mati/Ular Gadung Luwuk” as it is known locally, is also found in the Kehje Sewen Forest. It can be found in primary and secondary forests, mangroves, swamps, wet bushland areas, plantations and lowland forests up to 1,300 metres above sea level. The Red-Tailed Racer snake feeds on small mammals, bats, birds and eggs, and can be found in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi. This snake is diurnal; it is only active in the hottest part of the day.

The Red-Tailed Racer, or “Ular Ekor Mati/Ular Gadung Luwuk” (Gonyosoma oxycephala)

Every living creature on earth has its own significant role in the cycle of life. Snakes, for example, help keep rodent and other pest populations down. Therefore, we need to ensure snakes are protected so that forest ecosystems remain in balance.

Snakes are very good at adapting to diverse environments, even in areas where humans have taken hold. But, our fear of animals such as snakes can threaten their survival; we need to arm ourselves with knowledge and change our perception of snakes as dangerous, unsavoury characters. Let’s support RHOI and help protect the earth and all its creatures, great and small.

Text by: PRM team in Kehje Sewen Forest

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW 

 

First Orangutan Release to the BBBR National Park

In commemoration of National Natural Conservation Day, which falls on August 10 annually, the BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) this month released ten orangutans from Nyaru Menteng to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya (BBBR) National Park in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. It was the first release of rehabilitated orangutans to the BBBR National Park.

In this 13th release from Nyaru Menteng, the orangutans were transported in two separate groups. Awa, and her daughter Ewa; Doren, and her son Daichi; and Rambo, departed from Nyaru Menteng on August 10 and were released to the BBBR National Park the following day. Central Kalimantan BKSDA head Nandang Prihadi, BBBR National Park head Bambang Sukendro, and BOS Foundation CEO Jamartin Sihite participated directly in this first release batch by opening the cages.

Head of the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, Nandang Prihadi, opens Doren and Daichi’s cage. Meanwhile, the Head of the BBBR National Park, Bambang Sukendro, opens Rambo’s cage

The remaining five release candidates – Dara, Mima, Kameloh, and Winda and her son Wihim – were dispatched on August 13, following a ceremony held in the Katingan Regent’s office. The event was attended by several VIPs, including the Director-General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and his officials, and representatives from the Central Kalimantan Provincial office. Handover documents were signed by representatives from the BKSDA, the BBBR National Park and the BOS Foundation.

The signing of handover documents

Leaving Nyaru Menteng

On the day of the second group’s departure, the Orangutan Release team got preparations underway in the Nyaru Menteng 3 quarantine complex by sedating Dara, Mima, Kameloh, Winda and Wihim, and loading them in their transport cages onto transport vehicles.

Orangutans sedated by our dedicated team of vets

The convoy left Nyaru Menteng and took the same 4-hour route to Tumbang Tundu that the first group had taken three days prior. Upon arrival at Tumpang Tundu, the cages were transferred onto small boats locally called ‘ces’, and the team took a 5-hour river journey upstream along the Bemban River to reach the release camp located deep in the National Park.

The team stopped every two hours to check the orangutans

The trip from Tumbang Tundu to the release camp in the BBBR National Park took around five hours

Dara, Mima, Kameloh, Winda and Wihim are Finally Free!

The second group’s release the BBBR National Park on August 14 went down as expected, with all five orangutans climbing the nearest trees and immediately moving off to explore their new surroundings.

Nyaru Menteng Coordinator of Rescue and Release, Kisar Odom, opens a cage

This inaugural release to the BBBR National Park was only made possible through sound collaboration among all stakeholders concerned with orangutan and habitat conservation in Central Kalimantan. The release was also supported by USAID Lestari.

Repatriated Orangutans from Thailand Moved to Pre-Release Island

Friends and followers of the BOS Foundation’s activities may remember the mother-infant pairs Sampit-Sawadee and Warna-Malee, who were repatriated from Thailand on February 9, 2016 (Read the full story here:  [PRESS RELEASE] Puspa, Moza, Junior, and Two Mother Infant Pairs Repatriated from Thailand and Kuwait Return to Their Origins on the Islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan).

Following the release ceremony on August 13 in Kasongan, several guests – including the Director-General of KSDAE, Tachrir Fathoni; the Director of Biodiversity Conservation (KKH), Bambang Dahono Aji; and a representative of the Central Kalimantan Governor’s office – went to the pre-release island of Bangamat and helped open the cages to release these two mother-infant pairs to the island.

Director-General of KSDAE, Tachir Fathoni, opens Sampit and Sawadee’s cage

Syahrin Daulay, the Second Assistant to the Central Kalimantan Governor for Economy and Development, opens Warna and Malee’s cage

 

Text by: The BOS Foundation’s Communications Team in Nyaru Menteng and Headquarter

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW 

Observing Beautiful Bungan

A few days ago, Luy and Riki from our PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse went on an observation patrol at Pelangsiran; a small transit village located on the edge of the Kehje Sewen Forest. They picked up a strong signal from Bungan near the water springs and located her in a low tree.

Bungan seemed oblivious to her observers and was preoccupied with going about her daily activities. The team members followed her as she moved from tree to tree to forage and explored the forest floor for edible shoots.

Bungan foraging in the trees

Bungan heartily eating shoots on the ground

The afternoon brought dark rainclouds over the Kehje Sewen Forest and Luy and Riki were forced to retreat to camp to avoid a heavy downpour.

The next day, Riki and Sion continued the patrol at Pelangsiran, with high hopes of catching up with Bungan once more. After two hours trying in vain to pick up Bungan’s signal, the team realised she had long moved on and were doubtful they would see her again that day.

After her release in December 2015, Bungan has been one of the more adventurous of the released orangutans to explore the Kehje Sewen Forest. Our beautiful girl has become a true wild orangutan and is thriving in her natural habitat. We hope Bungan’s friends who are still undergoing rehabilitation at Samboja Lestari will follow in her lead and someday return to their true home in the forest.

Text by: PRM Team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary! Celebrate 25 years of ever-challenging, dedicated work in the field of orangutan conservation by showing your support and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW 

[PRESS RELEASE] Minister of Environment and Forestry, Provincial Government of Central Kalimantan and BOS Foundation Release Orangutans in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park for the First Time

Following the success of releasing 167 Central Kalimantan orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap) since 2012, now the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS Foundation) and Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) will release 10 more orangutans from Nyaru Menteng, this time to a new forest area, Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. This release which is led directly by the Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ir. Tachrir Fathoni, MSc., is the realization of our love and dedication working for the past 25 years in the field of orangutan and habitat conservation.

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, 13 August 2016. In the commemoration of National Natural Conservation which falls on August 10, in its 25th anniversary, the BOS Foundation rejoins the Central Kalimantan BKSDA to dispatch 10 individuals of orangutans from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng (Nyaru Menteng) into predetermined release points in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya (BBBR) National Park, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan.

The ten rehabilitated orangutans to be released consists of 6 females and 4 males, with 6 of them are 3 mother-infant pairs. The release team will transport these orangutans from Nyaru Menteng directly to BBBR National Park located 10 hours away via land and river transport.

This is the first release in BBBR National Park. The BOS Foundation has requested permission from the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to release rehabilitated orangutans in BBBR National Park considering that the total number released in Batikap since 2012 to date, has reached to 167 individuals. The figure is getting close to Batikap’s carrying capacity, which is 200 individuals. Whilst in Nyaru Menteng, the BOS Foundation is still rehabilitating almost 500 other orangutans. BOS Foundation needs a new forest area suitable for releasing rehabilitated orangutans in Central Kalimantan. Several requirements to fulfill are: (1) located under 900 meters above sea level; (2) filled with abundant natural food plants; (3) None or very limited wild population of orangutans in the area; and (4) secure from possibilities of future exploitations.

In this event, the Director-General of KSDAE, Dr. Ir. Tachrir Fathoni, MSc., will attend and participate in the process of orangutan release from the BOS Foundation Rehabilitation Process in Nyaru Menteng to their natural habitat in BBBR National Park.

Director–General of KSDAE, Dr. Ir. Tachrir Fathoni, fully supports the release and says, “as a currently critically endangered primate species, orangutans need our hard work to conserve them. Their habitat was drastically diminishing due to land-use change and humans irresponsible actions of capturing, domesticating or conflicting with this species. The orangutan release into specifically protected forests is what we need to do in order to preserve this umbrella species that benefits the forest and its biodiversity. There are still plenty orangutans in the rehabilitation centers in Sumatra and Kalimantan we need to return back to the wild whenever they are ready. Meanwhile, we have to minimize and reduce the numbers of orangutans affected by land-use change and we will coordinate this with all related parties. We need to put deeper attention towards forests in particular, and environment in general. We owe a well-preserved environment and forests to future generations.”

H. Ahmad Yantenglie, S.E., Regent of Katingan whose office manages the Bukit Baka-Bukit Raya part of the National Park, expresses similarly huge support by saying, “Bukit Raya Nature Preservation which lies in Katingan Regency as part of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, is the conservation site located in the heart of Kalimantan. The National Park was stated as one of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. This is an immensely important recognition on the richness of this particular forest area, and we must sustain this condition. Along with my staff, I am very proud to have this opportunity to support the conservation of such unique and unmatched habitat and biodiversity. Orangutan release into our regency is an extraordinary achievement in preserving the nature of Katingan Regency. It is our honor to help sustain the effort.”

Ir. Jamartin Sihite, CEO BOS Foundation says, “BOS Foundation will again release 10 orangutans. Since 2012, we have been releasing 212 orangutan. But we still have 700 orangutans in our two rehabilitation centers, and since last year, due to the forest and land fires, we have received 19 new orangutans. We must seek for as many suitable, good and safe release locations as possible. The Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park is one of them. We at BOS Foundation strongly expect a sustainable support from the government to help provide orangutan habitat conservation area and to strengthen law enforcement on actions that destroy the habitat. Orangutan Action Plan actually expects us to release all rehabilitated orangutans to the wild in 2015. This condition has brought the government and society to put much more attention on orangutan conservation and protect them from the threat of extinction.”

BOS Foundation realizes that orangutan and habitat conservation effort would only be accomplished through good collaboration with and support from all parties, including the government, society and private sector. Therefore the BOS Foundation always tries to establish cooperation with the Indonesian government at all levels, with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Central Kalimantan BKSDA, Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Office, Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, and Katingan Regency Office to run the orangutan and its habitat conservation effort.

This release is also supported by USAID LESTARI in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the people of Katingan Regency, as well as individual donors and conservation organizations around the world with an interest in Indonesia’s orangutan conservation. The BOS Foundation would like to thank PT Kayu Waja for its support. The BOS Foundation would also like to request participation from other members of the business community to help support the future of nature conservation.

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Contact:

Paulina Laurensia

Communications Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng

Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT THE BOS FOUNDATION

Founded In 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their natural habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

The BOS Foundation currently has more than 700 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 400 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.

 

ABOUT USAID LESTARI

USAID LESTARI is a collaborative project between the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia. USAID LESTARI fully supports the efforts made by the Indonesian government to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase conservation of the biodiversity of forests and mangrove ecosystems rich in carbon storage.

USAID LESTARI focuses on areas that all have similarly unscathed primary forest areas, high carbon deposits and a rich biodiversity. These regions include Aceh (the Leuser landscape), Central Kalimantan (the Katingan-Kahayan landscape), and Papua (the Lorentz Lowlands, Mappi-Bouven Digoel, Sarmi and Cyclops landscapes).

 

NYARU MENTENG 13th ORANGUTAN RELEASE CANDIDATE PROFILES

Following the success of releasing 167 Central Kalimantan orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap) since 2012, now the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS Foundation) and Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) will release 10 more orangutans from Nyaru Menteng, this time to a new forest area, Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Katingan Regency, Central KalimantanHere are the release candidates’ profiles

SEMI-WILD

Semi-wild orangutans are those who, at the time of rescue, have previously encountered humans yet have retained sufficient natural behaviours and vital skills to survive alone in the wild.

1. KAMELOH

Kameloh merupakan orangutan jantan yang diselamatkan oleh Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA) Kalimantan Tengah dari seorang warga di Kelurahan Kameloh Baru, Palangka Raya. Ia tiba di Nyaru Menteng dalam keadaan sehat pada 18 Januari 2007 saat usianya 2 tahun dengan berat badan 8 kilogram, dan masih menunjukkan perilaku liar.

Setelah melewati masa karantina, Kameloh ditempatkan di Nyaru Menteng 2 dan kemudian dipindahkan ke Pulau Kaja pada 20 November 2014 untuk mengikuti proses pra-pelepasliaran. Kameloh yang memiliki rambut tebal dengan warna coklat kehitaman ini dikenal sebagai orangutan yang senang menyendiri. Kameloh mudah dikenali karena memiliki badan yang tinggi dan wajahnya sudah mulai tumbuh bantalan pipi atau cheekpad. Di Pulau Kaja Kameloh selalu menunjukkan sifat agresif ketika ada manusia di dekatnya.

Kini Kameloh  berusia 11 tahun dengan berat badan 66,6 kilogram. Kameloh yang suka menjelajah dan pandai mendapatkan pakan alaminya telah siap untuk menjelajah rumah barunya di rimbanya di Taman Nasional Bukit Baka Bukit Raya.

2. MIMA

Mima was being held captive by a local resident of Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan, at her time of rescue on October 16, 2003. Mima was three years old and weighed six kilograms when she came to Nyaru Menteng, and she was visibly distressed by human contact.

Mima grew into an extraordinary individual during her time in the Forest School and took the last step in the rehabilitation process when she was moved to Kaja Pre-release Island on November 19, 2014. Her bulky figure and short reddish-brown hair – complete with fringe – makes Mima one fine looking lady. Like most wild orangutans, Mima prefers to forage and explore on her own.

Now at 15 years of age and weighing in at 43.9 kilograms, Mima is ready to live in the wilds of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

3. RAMBO

Rambo was two years old and exhibited wild behaviour when he was rescued in Parenggean on June 19, 2006. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng weighing seven kilograms and had a wounded left arm.

Rambo was placed on Kaja Island to undergo the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on November 20, 2014. Curious-natured Rambo is not usually aggressive, but will defend himself when he feels threatened and shies away from humans. While he is not considered a dominant figure, Rambo is still quite skilled at foraging and is a good explorer.

Rambo has a slight lump on his forehead and a fringed hairline with a thin orange beard. His cheekpads have started to develop and he is now 12 years old weighing 45.5 kg. Very soon, Rambo will become a new inhabitant of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

4. DARA

Dara arrived at Nyaru Menteng when she was three years old, after being rescued from an oil palm plantation concession area in Satuan Pemukiman 3, Padas village, Parenggean, Central Kalimantan, on December 31, 2005. She was in good health, weighed 7.5 kilograms, and displayed wild behaviour. She would become aggressive whenever a human approached.

After completing quarantine, Dara was placed in Nyaru Menteng’s Socialization Complex, and on November 19, 2014, she entered the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island.

Now at 14 years of age and weighing 42.5 kilograms, reddish-brown and thick-haired Dara has grown into a beautiful and independent orangutan. After twelve years of rehabilitation, ever-alert Dara will soon embark on the final journey to freedom when she is released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Forest.

REHABILITANT

Rehabilitant orangutans are those rescued at a young age and/or confiscated from people who have kept them in captivity. These orangutans have limited knowledge and skills required to live independently in the forest, and therefore need to undergo a lengthy period of rehabilitation.

5. AWA AND EWA

Awa was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA on February 29, 2000, from a villager in Mangkatip, South Barito, Central Kalimantan, who had been holding her captive. She was 18 months old and weighed five kilograms when she first arrived at Nyaru Menteng.

Awa started living on Kaja Island right after she finished her training at the Forest School. The reddish-brown, shorthaired Awa has been very active and independent on the pre-release island. On February 13, 2008, Awa gave birth to a healthy baby. The female infant, whom we named Ewa, has thick hair similarly coloured to Awa’s and behaves like a true, wild orangutan. She visibly dislikes human presence and is quick to find comfort in her attentive mother’s arms whenever she feels alarmed.

After 16 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Awa is now 18 years old and weighs 42.95 kilograms. Her daughter Ewa, who is aged eight years, weighs 25.90 kilograms. Soon, both Awa and Ewa will be living as true, wild orangutans in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

6. DOREN AND DAICHI

Doren was confiscated from a villager in Tanjung Jurung, Parenggean sub-regency, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan, on February 10, 2003. Upon arrival at Nyaru Menteng, Doren was estimated to be one year old and she weighed 2.2 kilograms. She was in good health and exhibited wild behaviour.

By December 24, 2012, Doren had completed her Forest School training and continued to the final pre-release stage on Bangamat Island. Doren, who is a skilled forager and explorer, once went missing for almost two months. She was eventually found in good health along the banks of the Rungan River near Kanarakan village, 30 kilometres from her last known location on the island. Doren was moved to Kaja Island on November 16, 2014, to undertake the final pre-release stage.

On March 17, 2015, Doren gave birth to her first baby – a male whom we named Daichi. Thick, reddish-brown-haired Doren is now 12 years old and weighs 60 kilograms. She will continue to raise 1-year-old Daichi as a true, wild orangutan when the two are released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

7. WINDA AND WIHIM

Winda was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from an oil palm plantation worker in East Kotawaringin regency, Central Kalimantan. She was five years old when she came to Nyaru Menteng in poor condition on January 22, 2007, weighing 9.5 kilograms. She suffered from malnutrition and had several wounds. She exhibited wild behaviour and refused human contact.

Thanks to the dedication and care of the team from Nyaru Menteng, Winda recovered and started the long rehabilitation process. On July 8, 2014, Winda gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy, whom we named Wihim. On November 20, 2014, the mother-son pair entered the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island.

Winda, now a 14-year-old weighing 37.4 kilograms, clearly loves her 2-year-old son and will soon be moving with him to live free in the wilds of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

 

Orangutan Friendships: The Power of Numbers

The orangutans from our last release group (Nyaru Menteng 12th Orangutan Release) have settled in at Batikap, and are beginning to go their separate ways. The excitement of freedom has worn off, and most of the orangutans seem to be branching off alone rather than spending time together. But, not all.

Both Gina and Sofi have been observed spending time with some of our longer-released orangutans. Gina has found companionship and playmates in the mother-infant pair of Jambi and Jamartin. Sofi, meanwhile, has been socialising a lot with Compost and stays close to her, as though she is a security blanket.

Sofi and Compost

Shortly after her release, Sofi stayed close by Olbert and Nobri, who were released at the same time. Sofi seemed happy and comfortable in her new home, spending her days indulging in all of the various fruits on offer. However, once her release mates moved off on their own, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team noticed a changed in her demeanour. Sofi suddenly became very defensive when she realised she was being observed by our PRM team, and kiss-squeaked angrily while breaking branches off over the heads of her observers. Clearly, Sofi did not want to be disturbed any longer. Imagine our surprise, then, when one month later our team stumbled upon a calm and reserved Sofi, one who barely took notice that she was being watched.  She hardly seemed like the same orangutan.

What seems to have triggered this change in Sofi is her relationship with Compost. Sofi has been observed following Compost’s lead, feeding when she feeds and making her nest when Compost makes hers. On one particular evening, Sofi spent more than 40 minutes building and perfecting her night nest while Compost ate nearby, only to abandon it the minute Compost left that tree. Sofi is behaving like a love-smitten teenager!

Not only has Sofi been watching and learning the ways of the forest from Compost, but she also seems to be learning how to behave around humans. Sofi is beginning to take less notice of the silent observers below her and is starting to feed lower and lower in the trees. She has yet to join Compost in searching for termites on the ground while the PRM team is around, however, but her marked change is still amazing.

It seems Sofi is not that different to Compost when she was newly released. Back in 2015, we spent days chasing Compost in the forest, only to catch a few glimpses of her before she would disappear again behind the vines and rattan. Compost, too, was shy and alarmed by human presence and was more confident when she had a pal around. Just as humans might be more comfortable in a new place accompanied by friends, so too do orangutans find strength in numbers.

Text and Photos by: Coral, PRM Team volunteer in Batikap Conservation Forest

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