OBSERVING WORLD POPULATION DAY, BOS FOUNDATION RELEASES 13 MORE ORANGUTANS IN CENTRAL KALIMANTAN
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan
This is the 10th orangutan release conducted in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (Taman Nasional Bukit Baka Bukit Raya; TNBBBR), conducted by the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in cooperation with the TNBBBR authority, USAID LESTARI, and the BOS Foundation – winner of the 2017 Animalis Edition World Branding Award. This release will increase the total rehabilitated orangutan population in the TNBBBR to 92.
Thirteen orangutans, all of whom have completed a lengthy rehabilitation process at BOSF BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, will today be released to the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) in Katingan Regency. This release also marks World Population Day, which falls annually on July 11.
The thirteen orangutans – consisting of four males and nine females, with two mother-infant pairs - will be dispatched from Nyaru Menteng on two separate dates: July 12 and 14. The journey will take about 10-12 hours by road and boat, to reach the predetermined release points in the forest.
DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, BOS Foundation CEO, said; “We have taken in four rescued baby orangutans at Nyaru Menteng this year alone. This might seem like a small number, yet it adds to the more than 400 other orangutans currently in our care in our largest centre. This means that in addition to continuing with routine releases, we also need to accelerate the whole process. Thanks to the great work and dedication of our field staff, we are able to release more than ten orangutans today. As this particular release is being conducted around the time of World Population Day, it might be a good time for us to reflect on the remaining populations of protected and endangered animals, such as orangutans. What do we need to do for them, and are we doing enough to halt their decline?
Deforestation and other human activities are the major factors driving wildlife to the brink of extinction. Excessive consumption of resources to fulfil our greedy desires are the main cause. We, therefore, bear full responsibility, not only to protect the remaining forests, but to rectify this situation. Together, let’s preserve Bornean orangutans and do our utmost to help them grow in numbers. Orangutans, as our closest living relatives, play a significant role in forest regeneration. Sustainable forests are key to improving the quality of life for every person on this planet. This is precisely why we need orangutans living in the forest. By saving them, we are also saving ourselves.»
IR. ADIB GUNAWAN, Head of Central Kalimantan BKSDA, said; “Once again, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA has worked in cooperation with the TNBBBR authority, USAID LESTARI, and the BOS Foundation to release orangutans from Nyaru Menteng to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Katingan Regency. This is the third such event for this year, and the tenth in total in the national park since 2016. Together with the BOS Foundation, we will strive to increase the wild orangutan population and ensure that this species thrives in its natural habitat.
The protection of wild orangutan populations and their habitats is of great importance in our lives, yet it often goes ignored. We still fail to understand that nature conservation is our responsibility. There are wild species living in fragmented and threatened forest areas; what we should be doing is protecting them, instead of hunting them down to fulfil our own greed. Let’s work together to protect and conserve our forests and the biodiversity found within them. This way, we can fulfil the orangutan conservation strategy and action plan for Central Kalimantan, which asserts to ‘ensure the sustainability of the orangutan population and its habitat through partnership of all stakeholders’.»
IR. HERU RAHARJO, M.P., Head of TNBBBR Authority, added; «Safeguarding protected wildlife species, like the orangutan, is imperative. As the National Park Manager, I feel a great deal of responsibility to protect all wildlife here - and even more so with the recurring cases of poaching in Kalimantan.
In order to help preserve our protected forest areas and wildlife – in particular, orangutans – we must increase the rate at which rehabilitated orangutans are being released into protected habitats, like the TNBBBR. As well as ensuring that orangutan are released to the wild as fast as possible, we must all continue the important work of monitoring these populations so we can evaluate the success of these orangutan reintroduction programs according to international and national best practice guidelines. With this release, 92 orangutans will have been brought back to a natural habitat, and hopefully they will be able to form an entirely new wild population in Central Kalimantan.»
MATTHEW BURTON, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Indonesia Environment Office Director, noted; «This release demonstrates concrete cooperation in Central Kalimantan to save orangutans, a key species in this ecosystem. The U.S. Government, through USAID, is committed to supporting orangutan release programs in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Between 2016 and 2018, USAID LESTARI’s support has ensured the release of 79 orangutans, and this release will bring that number to 92. We strongly support this improved forest and land management effort.»
To ensure a successful conservation effort involving all stakeholders, the BOS Foundation continues to work closely with the Government of Indonesia at all levels: the Ministry of Environment and Forestry; the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government; Katingan Regency Government; the Central Kalimantan BKSDA; and the Bukit Baka Bukit National Park Authority.
The BOS Foundation would like to express appreciation for the support and contributions made from a number of partners, including the Katingan District community, USAID LESTARI, Save the Orangutan (STO), BOS Deutschland e.V, our other Global Partners, private sector donors, and other institutions that assist with the conservation effort in Indonesia.