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[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).

 

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