Orangutan News: Sumatran Road Plan Could Spell a Dark Chapter for Ecosystem

photo courtesy of Terry Sunderland CIFOR

photo courtesy of Terry Sunderland CIFOR

By  for Forests News Cifor

Bogor, Indonesia – In at least one way, it’s a place right out of a storybook.

A patch of Indonesian forest is the last ecosystem on Earth where nearly every iconic animal from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” still co-exists.

Unfortunately, there is no storybook ending in sight for the Leuser Ecosystem in steamy, mountainous northern Sumatra.

The current Aceh Spatial Plan—an expansion of the former Ladia Galaska road construction scheme—is slated to slice through highly sensitive areas of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra’s Aceh and Northern Sumatra provinces.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Forests News and can be read in its entirety here.

 

posted by: Tom

 

OC Announces Dates for 7th Annual Orangutan Veterinarian Workshop

 

OC OVAG 2015 LOGO 

The Orangutan Conservancy is thrilled to announce the dates and location for our 7th annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop.

The important gathering of Indonesian vets will take place from August 2-6 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia and this year OC will chronicle the five-day event with extensive video coverage.

Collectively, the veterinarians and healthcare staff at rehabilitation centers in Borneo and Sumatra care for the largest captive population of orangutans in the world. Yet they face nearly impossible odds, and often find themselves short of medicine, equipment, money, space, support staff and time.

OC is thankful to be able to bring these frontline heroes together each year to share their knowledge and expertise with each other. You, our supporters, help make that happen.

Read more about the OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshops here.

Please visit our donate now page if you’d like to help support this year’s workshop.

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: “The Last Orangutan Eden” to Air on PBS

In a photo from an another project, Dr. Ian Singleton and his team deliver an orangutan to a better life. Photo courtesy of SOCP

In a photo from another release, Dr. Ian Singleton and his team deliver an orangutan to a better life. photo courtesy of SOCP

Ecologist Chris Morgan (Bears of the Last Frontier) travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans. Asia’s most intelligent ape once roamed across the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, but today, fewer than 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. The film cites rapid deforestation — clearing the land for vast palm oil plantations — as the chief reason for the species’ declining population.

But as Morgan shows, conservationists are trying to reverse that trend by teaching orphaned orangutans the survival skills they’ll need for release back into the jungle. He also accompanies researchers deep into a remote and protected peat swamp forest to study wild orangutans up close to learn about their culture and behavior.

The program follows Morgan as he visits a quarantine center that is a temporary home to around 48 orangutans who have either been rescued from logged land or confiscated from the pet trade. More than half are under five years old and would still be nursing in the wild, so the staff act as surrogate mothers.

In order to understand what survival skills need to be taught to the orphans, Morgan accompanies University of Zurich researcher Caroline Schuppli on one of her frequent but difficult treks to study the habits of a family of wild orangutans.

The program concludes with Morgan joining conservationist Dr. Ian Singleton, director of the orphan center, as his team relocates recent graduate Udin to a reserve on the northern tip of Sumatra. Its inaccessibility makes it the perfect place for orangutans to thrive. Udin will join other orphans already released here, familiar faces from the orphanage. They are all pilgrims, the founding fathers and mothers of a new orangutan Eden, the hope for the future of the species.

This excerpt from a news article is courtesy of BWW TV World and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom

 

Conservation News: 4 Ways Animals Adapt to Humans

A female orangutan carrying a baby walks down a newly built logging road in East Kalimantan, Borneo. Photo by  Brent Loken

A female orangutan carrying a baby walks down a newly built logging road in East Kalimantan, Borneo. Photo by Brent Loken

by Jason Bittel

for National Geographic

Their habitat is disappearing due to widespread logging, but orangutans seem to have found at least one tiny silver lining: traveling on timber roads instead of the more challenging tree canopies.

Recently, ecologist Brent Loken set up 41 camera-trap stations in the Wehea Forest on the Indonesian island of Borneo (map). The traps were spread out across three blocks of the forest, each representing different levels of logging impact.

In all three blocks, the cameras captured images of orangutans walking. This in itself was unusual, as it was previously thought the critically endangered animals kept to the canopy whenever possible. (Watch: “Kalimantan’s Orangutans.”)

But most interesting was the fact that the great apes appeared to show a preference for walking along roads built by the timber industry, according to the study, published in the January issue of Oryx.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of National Geographic and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom