11 December 2016 | Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation News Release
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, December 6, 2016: The BOS Foundation is working hard to reach its target of 250 orangutans released to the wild by the end of this year, and together with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA will soon release 11 more orangutans from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program Nyaru Menteng (Nyaru Menteng) to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan.
The BOS release team will travel with the 11 release candidates – seven (7) females and four (4) males – from Nyaru Menteng directly to the TNBBBR, which is located 10 hours away by road and river. The departure will see two groups dispatched on separate dates, on December 6 and 8, respectively.
Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said; “We are racing against time. The BOS Foundation received 27 orangutans at our Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centre this year alone, while the number we released during the same period was 41. If things don’t change, how can we possibly save orangutans and their habitats? This is a battle we cannot afford to lose! We can’t stand by and allow orangutans to become extinct. We have to win, and the only way to save orangutans and their habitats is through team work with all stakeholders, on all fronts.”
Ahmad Yantenglie, S.E., Katingan Regent, whose office manages part of the National Park with a environmental campaign, “Katingan Conservation for Borneo”, expressed huge support by saying; “Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Central Kalimantan region of Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park is a vast, rich forest area we are responsible for maintaining. Today, we launch the Katingan Botanical Garden to illustrate Katingan Regency’s support for habitat conservation. At the same time, we are delighted to help release rehabilitated orangutans from BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng for the third time in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Katingan Regency is on the right path to help boost orangutan and habitat conservation in Central Kalimantan. We will work hard to ensure sustainability.”
Dr. Nandang Prihadi, S.Hut., M.Sc., Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), supported the effort by saying; “We greatly appreciate the series of orangutan release events the BOS Foundation has carried out this year. We shouldn’t have had to wait for the conservation status of Bornean orangutans to become “critically endangered” before actively tackling the issue. However, the current condition is critical, and we must collectively ensure that all orangutans waiting in rehabilitation centres get the opportunity to return to their natural homes, while protecting the wild population and forest biodiversity that still exists. The responsibility rests on all our shoulders – the government, community, private sector, and NGOs.”
This orangutan release coincides with the Katingan Botanical Garden launch, which will be inaugurated by the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Mrs. Siti Nurbaya Bakar.
TNBBBR is the second location in Central Kalimantan to accommodate the release of rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng – the other location being the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap). TNBBBR and in particular the Bukit Raya Nature Reserve, which is located in the Katingan watershed, is deemed a suitable location for releasing rehabilitated orangutans because: (1) the topography is below 900 meters above sea level; (2) it has an abundance of natural orangutan foods; (3) has no wild orangutan population; and (4) is safeguarded from future exploitation. There are two blocks we will utilise in TNBBR – the Sei Bimban and Sei Mahalut blocks, with a total area of 27,000 hectares and a capacity to sustain around 318 orangutans.
Ir. Bambang Sukendro, M.M., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan Regions, fully supports this effort, and said; “The work done by the BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan BKSDA in releasing rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng to the TNBBBR, to preserve Bornean orangutans and their habitats, is an effort which we should greatly appreciate and support together. We have, so far, monitored the progress of the 18 orangutans from the previous two releases, and we hope that this additional 11 will help increase the population in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.”
The BOS Foundation acknowledges that conservation efforts are only sustainable through good collaboration, and therefore cooperates with the government on all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park office, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, and the Katingan Regency Office.
This orangutan release is also supported by USAID LESTARI, which has pledged to help promote orangutan release events in TNBBBR until 2018.
Rosenda Chandra Kasih, Landscape Coordinator Central Kalimantan USAID LESTARI said; “The partnership between the BOS Foundation, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and the TNBBBR managing office is a good example of collaboration between the government and community in preserving this key species in Central Kalimantan. USAID LESTARI supports initiatives from the public, the government, and private sector that work to save, preserve, and provide suitable habitats for animals like orangutans. We are convinced that, with improved land and forest governance, that dream will come true.”
The BOS Foundation also collaborates with other stakeholders, including PT Kayu Waja, the people of Katingan Regency ad individual donors and conservation organizations arounf the world, including including Zoos Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Environment and Energy.
The BOS Foundation would like to thank all stakeholders for their support and contribution to ensuring nature conservation.
Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng
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