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.»