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[PRESS RELEASE] Salat Island to Carry More Pre-Release Orangutans


The BOS Foundation will today relocate six rehabilitated orangutans from its Orangutan Reintroduction Centre in Nyaru Menteng to the pre-release habitat of Salat Island in Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan. The BOS Foundation manages the Salat pre-release island located in the delta of Kahayan river with support from PT.SSMS Tbk.

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Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, May 28, 2017In cooperation with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng will be moving six orangutans from the Nyaru Menteng Forest School to Salat Island for the final stage of their rehabilitation. The monitored and safe forest environment of Salat Island gives rehabilitated orangutans the chance to prove they can live independently prior to their final release to a wild habitat. The BOS Foundation - with help from PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS) Tbk. - is responsible for managing the island, which is located in the Kahayan River delta.

Young orangutans that come into our care at Nyaru Menteng must undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process; beginning in the Nursery Group, then moving through several stages of Forest School where they learn and develop all the vital skills necessary for survival in the wild. After successfully passing all the stages of Forest School, orangutans will move to a pre-release island, which provides a protected forest-like environment abundant in natural foods. Orangutans are monitored on the pre-release islands; and if they pass this final stage of the rehabilitation process, will be released to a wild forest.

At the BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng centre, around 450 orangutans are currently undergoing rehabilitation in a complex that was designed to only carry 300 individuals. With an urgent need to accelerate the rehabilitation cycle, the BOS Foundation is aiming to move at least 100 orangutans from Nyaru Menteng to Salat Island this year alone. 

The BOS Foundation works in cooperation with PT. SSMS Tbk. to manage the 2,089-hectare forest area of Salat Island – with the BOS Foundation provides 655 hectares, and SSMS provides 1,434 hectares respectively. Surveys reveal that the area has a quality forest with year-round isolation; no wild orangutan population identified; enough space to support adaptation and socialisation; adequate natural food sources; and the capacity to carry around 200 orangutans.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO, said; “Since 2012, we have released 270 orangutans from our two rehabilitation centres. We are still rehabilitating around 450 orangutans at the moment in Nyaru Menteng alone, and we need to move fast on the rescue-rehabilitation-release cycle. One important step is to ensure that every orangutan completing Forest School goes to a pre-release island. The bigger the island, the more chance we have of releasing orangutans to a wild forest. Cooperation in the utilisation of Salat Island has been a breakthrough, involving the local government, local communities, and private sectors. I am positive this will produce a wonderful result for the orangutan and habitat conservation effort.”

Vallauthan Subraminam, President Director of PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk., added; “The cooperation achieved with a big conservation organisation like the BOS Foundation has givenus a great opportunity to show our commitment to nature conservation in Central Kalimantan. We uphold highly the principles of sustainable plantation management, and are proud to work alongside the BOS Foundation to provide habitats for rehabilitated orangutans to take their final steps before living free in a wild forest. We are excited to see progress in this area. Salat Island will not only be utilised as a pre-release site, but will also become a sanctuary for the ‘unreleasable’ orangutans,that, due to certain health conditions, may never be released to the wild. Our support also includes engagement with the community, proving that our sustainable business methods work consistently alongside conservation efforts.”

Ir. Adib Gunawan, Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), said; “Conservation is a truly long and difficult road to travel. Therefore we, the stakeholders, have to work hard together to realise it. The utilisation of Salat Island as a result of cooperation between the BOS Foundation, PT. SSMS Tbk., the local government and community of Pulang Pisau Regency is not only a praiseworthy initiative, but is also replicable by others. I strongly encourage the implementation of similar efforts, especially considering the current ‘critically endangered’ orangutan conservation status. We need to be more proactive in protecting and safeguarding this beautiful species. I hope that what we are doing here will help preservethe Bornean orangutan and its habitat, the forest.”

Thisform of cooperation among stakeholders to provide a protected orangutan habitat has received a tremendous support from the local government.

H. Edy Pratowo, S.Sos., M.M., Pulang Pisau Regentsaid; “The government of Pulang Pisau warmly welcomes the utilisation of Salat Island. This proves our commitment to habitat protection,even after part of our regionwas destroyed by the forest fire disaster two years ago. Orangutans are the pride of Central Kalimantan, and the government, as well as the people of Pulang Pisau Regency, are proud to actively participate in the orangutan and habitat conservation effort. We sincerely hope this partnership will be fruitful for everybody, and provide both environmental services and economic opportunities for people in the surrounding communities.”

The utilisation of Salat Island as an orangutan pre-release island and sanctuary is testament to the positive cooperation between the BOS Foundation and other stakeholders, namely the government of Central Kalimantan Province, the government of Pulang Pisau Regency, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, and the people of Jabiren Raya Sub-District. The BOS Foundation would also like to express gratitude for the support from PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk., and our global partners, including John Cochrane from Australia, The Constance Travis Charitable Trust, BOS Australia, BOS Germany, BOS Switzerland and World Animal Protection (WAP) for generously funding this extremely important initiative.

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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 440 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.

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