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EIGHT MORE ORANGUTANS TO BE RELEASED IN BUKIT BAKA BUKIT RAYA NATIONAL PARK


Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan

In commemoration of World Nature Conservation Day, which falls annually on 28 July, eight rehabilitated orangutans will be returned to their natural habitat thanks to a collaborative effort between the BOS (Borneo Orangutan Survival) Foundation, the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA), the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) Authority, and USAID LESTARI.

The BOS Foundation continues to work closely with various stakeholders to release more orangutans from our two rehabilitation centres and into managed areas of forest. Following the release of four orangutans in East Kalimantan last week, the BOS Foundation is now working with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, TNBBBR Authority, and USAID LESTARI to release eight more orangutans from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre into the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Katingan District, Central Kalimantan. This release is the 16th to be carried out in the TNBBBR since the first release there in August 2016, and the 29th release in Central Kalimantan since 2012. This will increase the rehabilitated orangutan population in the national park to 128 individuals.

DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, MSC., BOS Foundation CEO said; «For us at the BOS Foundation, it is a race against time. The number of rehabilitated orangutans in our centres whom are ready for release continues to grow on a daily basis, obliging us to continue our regular release activities with increased urgency to ensure that even more orangutans can return to their forest homes. However, our current forest release sites are reaching their maximum capacity, and thus we need to find more suitable forest areas for the orangutans still awaiting release. We are working tirelessly to find these forests to accommodate the many orangutans whom have completed the rehabilitation process. We also continue to campaign for stricter legal action against those who exploit the environment and endanger the future of orangutans and their habitat. But we need support from all stakeholders to achieve this. Conservation is not a one-man show – it requires the cooperation of many.»

The eight orangutans to be released include three males and five females. They will be transported in two groups; the first departed two days ago on 30 July, and the second leaves today, 1 August. Unlike the previous releases, this time our team will make the long journey to the Hiran River Basin, which will take approximately 15 hours. The previous release points were located within the Bemban River Basin. We chose this release site along the Hiran River to optimize the distribution of the previously released orangutan population. Surveys of national park forests in this region showed that this new area could, in fact, could support orangutan release activities.

IR. ADIB GUNAWAN, Head of Central Kalimantan BKSDA, said; «Working together with stakeholders, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA continues to work hard to preserve our environment. Collaboration with the BOS Foundation, the TNBBBR Authority, USAID LESTARI, the private sector, and local governments, has succeeded in rehabilitating hundreds of orphaned orangutans who were victims of deforestation and releasing them, starting in 2012, to natural habitats in Central Kalimantan. After this release, the total number of orangutans reintroduced in the TNBBBR will reach 128. We are ready to help any stakeholders who are interested in replicating or further developing such efforts, for the purpose of natural environment conservation in the province that we all love: Central Kalimantan.»

AGUNG NUGROHO, S.Si., M.A., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) Authority, added; «An important step in conserving a species is to ensure that it has the opportunity to thrive in the most ideal habitat. Reintroducing orangutans to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park is an excellent manifestation of this, because the national park ticks all the boxes as a suitable location to support and safeguard a sustainable orangutan metapopulation. We at the TNBBBR Authority work together with the BOS Foundation to observe and secure all areas in the national park, for the safety and welfare of the reintroduced orangutans. Hopefully, these orangutans will thrive and create independent and sustainable wild orangutan populations.»

Several of the orangutans in this release came from the Badak Besar Island, a pre-release island located in the Salat Island Cluster of Pulang Pisau Regency. Pre-release islands are semi-wild habitats closely monitored by the BOS Foundation team that accommodate both semi-wild orangutans who were translocated from vulnerable areas and rehabilitated orangutans who have completed all stages of Forest School. On the pre-release islands, orangutans get the chance to practice and hone the skills necessary to survive in the wild. The Salat Island Cluster is a ​​2,089-hectare conservation area made possible through partnership between the BOS Foundation and PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS) Tbk.

ROSENDA CHANDRA KASIH, USAID LESTARI Central Kalimantan Landscape Coordinator, said; "USAID LESTARI believes that conservation of forest biodiversity, including orangutans and their habitats, must be conducted in an integrated manner involving all parties - because we all enjoy the benefits of a well-preserved natural environment. Therefore, USAID LESTARI is proud to involve itself in the process of releasing 128 orangutans in Central Kalimantan together with the BOS Foundation, as one of our commitments to support the Indonesian Government in safeguarding and protecting biodiversity and maintaining the ecosystem.»


To ensure a successful conservation effort involving all stakeholders, the BOS Foundation continues to work closely with the Government of Indonesia at all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, the governments of Katingan and Pulang Pisau Regencies, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Authority. 

The BOS Foundation would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the communities of Katingan and Pulang Pisau Regencies, our official Global Partner Organisations (BOS Australia, BOS Germany, BOS Switzerland, BOS UK, and Save the Orangutan), private-sector donors like PT. SSMS, individual supporters from around the world, and institutions that assist and contribute to the conservation effort in Indonesia such as USAID LESTARI. 

Editors Note :

Paulina Laurensia
Communications Specialist 
Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id
 
Hermansyah
Communication Staff in Nyaru Menteng
Email: herman@orangutan.or.id

Images and video documentation are available on this following Dropbox link.

The Press release is available on the following link:



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