SIX ORANGUTANS TO BE RELEASED IN BUKIT BAKA BUKIT RAYA NATIONAL PARK
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan
In their first of several releases of orangutans back to the wild this year, the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation—winner of the 2017 World Branding Award Animalis Edition—will release six orangutans to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR), in cooperation with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA), and the TNBBBR Authority.
The release of orangutans who have completed the rehabilitation process is set to commence for 2019: Six orangutans will soon be released to the TNBBBR, in the 15th orangutan release to the TNBBBR since the first release was conducted there in August 2016. This will also be the 28th release carried out by the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Central Kalimantan since 2012, and will bring the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation in the TNBBBR area of Katingan Regency to 120 individuals.
The six orangutans include three males - Rosidin (20 years old), Tristan (16), and Borneo (1) - and three females; Buntok (Borneo’s mother) (12), Paijah (15), and Danida (13). The six orangutans will travel for around 10-12 hours across both land and river to predetermined release points in the TNBBBR forest.
IR. ADIB GUNAWAN, Head of the Central Kalimantan Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said; «The Central Kalimantan BKSDA continues to cooperate closely with several parties that are actively engaged in environmental conservation efforts. The BOS Foundation is helping to rehabilitate deforestation victims, and has been regularly releasing orangutans back to natural forest habitats, as managed by our colleagues from the TNBBBR Authority. Since 2016, this collaboration has succeeded in returning hundreds of orangutans to natural habitats. Today, as a result of this extraordinary work, the total number released will reach 120. I hope this effort will be replicated or developed further by other stakeholders, for the sake of natural conservation in our beloved province of Central Kalimantan.»
AGUNG NUGROHO, S.SI., M.A., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) Authority, added; "Preserving wildlife in its natural forest habitat is a vital step in ensuring that conservation efforts are successful in the long-term. Releasing orangutans that have completed years of rehabilitation back into a national park that fulfils all the necessary requirements to support new and viable orangutan metapopulations, such as TNBBBR, is truly the embodiment of that step. We, at the TNBBBR Authority, together with the BOS Foundation are responsible for ensuring the safety and welfare of these orangutans. We all hope that the released orangutans will form a new, independent, and sustainable wild orangutan population.»
All six of the orangutan release candidates have come from Badak Besar Island—a forested island in the Salat Island Cluster in Pulang Pisau Regency—which is currently being used by the BOS Foundation as a pre-release island. The BOS Foundation uses pre-release islands for the final stage of their orangutan rehabilitation process, using them as semi-natural proving grounds for orangutans to demonstrate their ability to survive in the wild following their lessons in the ‘Forest School’ stage of rehabilitation. The Salat Island Cluster is part of a 2,089-hectare conservation area, made possible through partnership between the BOS Foundation and PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS) Tbk.
DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, MSC., BOS Foundation CEO said; «Humans benefit enormously when the natural world sustainably maintained. Therefore, we should work together to make this happen. All stakeholders must work extremely hard to prevent land clearing, hunting, and the illegal trade of wild flora and fauna. In areas where these illegal activities are happening, the culprits should face the full force of the law. We strongly believe that tougher law enforcement will support the preservation of the wild orangutan population.»
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 Katingan District community, 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.