Exciting start to the New Year!

Sheila gave birth to her third offspring on the 15th of December 2014. We don’t yet know if it’s male or female. Her nurturing instinct is obvious from just looking at the photos.

This birth is a testament to the ideal habitat she lives in, and to the conservation work that protects this area; the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. The Foundation has always said, “If you protect the habitat, you protect the wildlife” – please read more by clicking here.

This offspring is a very good start to 2015, and two more are on the way ! f Sheila beDSC_1733 f Sheila eDSC_1948 f Sheila third offspring eDSC_1844 fb Sheila DSC_1973

 

 

Now it’s New Year, we look back with confidence, knowing that we have made a difference…

The Foundation works in three areas of critical orangutan habitat. We extend the scope of our achievements by patrolling an area almost as large as the land area of Singapore. Our strategically located guard posts are therefore vital. We have been able to rescue more and more orangutans whose lives were in imminent danger. 75% of all orangutans live outside protected areas, so with our partners, we launched a campaign to collaborate with 18 oil palm companies for the protection of orangutans within the forests of their companies concessions and surrounding areas.A new born infant rides on their mother’s back.

  • In 2014, the Foundation translocated 17 orangutans into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.
  • Torup and Kotim were rescued from community land and both are now in the ‘Soft Release’ programme, learning skills for an independent life in the wild.
  • 2014 saw the birth of two infants, and two more orangutans are due to give birth in mid 2015.
  • An exciting new initiative was the installation of camera traps in Pondok Ambung, Tanjung Puting National Park and Belantikan Arut. Without these camera traps, we would of never have had sightings of clouded leopards, one of the most elusive species of the tropical forest.

Camera trap captures a clouded leopard.

  • The Volunteer Programme once again proved its worth, by renovating a Guard Post on a vulnerable river in the south of Tanjung Puting National Park.
  • An important research project is the Population and distribution of the endangered banteng (wild ox), found in the Belantikan region. This is critical to the banteng’s future status.

Our teams bravely fight fires, the blaze reoccurring every dry season.

  •  Thanks to the diligence of the Foundation staff, forest fires (an annual problem) were quickly identified and isolated, which prevented further areas of the forest from being burnt.

Thank you to all – your support really does make a difference and the orangutan foundation could not have achieved any the above without your help. A very happy New Year.

The Foundation out and about…

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The class made leaves and a ‘forest’ for their classroom

In October this year, the Foundation staff visited a school in west London, one of several schools we’ve enjoyed visiting in 2014. Our UK school visits go hand in hand with our Education Programme in Indonesia, read more here. 

This class had been studying rainforests across the globe, learning how habitat destruction effects the endangered orangutan and other wildlife. With the presentation and activities led by Foundation staff, the visit further encouraged the class to raise environmental awareness. Children particularly enjoyed listening to an orangutan long call and trying to make the distinctive call themselves.

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The children’s research

The Foundation thanks the class and teaching staff for their generous contribution.

To learn more about orangutans, with downloadable resources, please visit our website (click here). See our wide range of work in Indonesia by clicking here. 

Thank you to everyone who supported Orangutan Awareness Week and The Big Give this year.

 

A welcome end to the dry season…

Foundation staff have welcomed the end to the prolonged dry season, more than three months. During this time, it was very difficult to reach Camps and Guard Posts with food and logistics. In spite of the low rivers and logs blocking access, staff were still able to get supplies to the camps and guard posts, even if it sometimes took them 6 – 7 hours, rather than the normal 2 – 3. Even under these difficult conditions, the staff carried out their work with dedication and good humor.

The dry season is also the reason behind the fires that occur annually – this year they were especially severe. For the future, the Foundation staff need to be prepared by creating more bore holes and providing extra fire fighting equipment. It is only through these measures that we are able to control the fires and to prevent any further destruction to the forest and threats to the wildlife.

Thank you to all our dedicated staff in the field.

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Fire fighting team in action

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Fire damage, needing years to regenerate.

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Equipment and training is important to fight the fires effectively.

 

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The effort needed to get supplies to camp

moving logs - dry season

Removing logs from the low-level river

 

Nick on his Travels! : Climate Change March on the 21st of September 2014

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Nick in the capital!

Nick was out and about again on Sunday the 21st of September – a date that will go down in history as one of the biggest marches globally, with 40,000 people attending in London and 400,000 in New York City

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Nick joins all biodiversity threatened by Climate Change!

Altogether there were over 2,500 events in 166 countries – and Nick took part in London!

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Nick climbs to get a better view – and gets noticed!

Campaigners were marching for global action on climate change, in one of thousands of events worldwide ahead of a UN climate summit (23 September, 2014, New York).

Nick has had many travels – which you can see here – but never has he had so much company!

Please click here for more information about the march.

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Learning to be free!

Ivan who hold wood stairs DSC_3117 You may wonder about the ladder in this photo… In this case, it’s because Ivan and Yuli are reluctant to come back down from the tree, the staff – using the ladder – can reach them high in the tree, and bring them back to their cage for safety.

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Staff getting Ivan down from the branches

After one year in soft release (and using the ladder!), Ivan has now graduated to spending all his time in the forest, with no need to come back to the cage at night! As always, he still travels with Yuli (see some of their story - click here).

 

They are great companions; the same age, both developing through their soft release at the same time. After one year, they were both
released together – a great release to witness! We are hopeful Ivan will become a mature, confident male in the future…

Direct quote from our Vet… “Don’t know if someday Ivan will become mature male, we hope so, or even dominant and then what happen? are they still together?. Together or not, we are all happy to know that they were survive in the forest.”

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Little MC – perhaps playing hide and seek – the daughter of Mantra, a successfully released orangutan

The Foundation’s relationship with individual orangutans will ideally be short, as we can translocate fit and healthy individuals straight away. Sometimes the process of soft release can take some time, but whatever care the orangutans need, the Camp staff and Foundation vet are ready and waiting to improve the lives of those rescued. To find out more about the Foundation’s Translocation and Release Programme, please click here. You can make a donation to this life saving work here.

…With a lot of help from our friends…

More can be achieved by working together…
Collaboration and partnerships are how we extend the reach of the foundation. Working with groups who have similar aims, we raise funds to support our team on the ground, funding research and education. The training courses we administer enable local people to continue to live sustainably within forest environments.538839_10150788342383993_1920120953_n

GRASP - The Great Ape Survival Partnership, working with its partners UNEP and UNESCO – comprises of the great ape range states that work together to lift the threat of imminent extinction facing apes in Africa and Southeast Asia. The Orangutan Foundation is on the GRASP Executive Committee.

4apesThe Ape Alliance is an international coalition of organisations and individuals working for the conservation and welfare of apes. The Foundation is a founding member of the Alliance.
Here Sir David Attenborough, Dr Jane Goodall and other speak in a panel discussion with Ape Alliance Chair and Foundation Trustee, Ian Redmond OBE at Ape Alliance’s ‘Hope for Apes’ evening in 2010 at the Lyceum Theatre

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Both these groups provide a forum for discussion, campaign for public awareness and help information exchange between groups, including the coordination of events. The Orangutan Foundation works with these groups to ensure our experience of working for forest protection over 24 years has the maximum effect across the globe.

Yayorin - Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Indonesian Orangutan Foundation) — is our partner organisation. Our work with Yayorin contributes on their  Education and Awareness Programme, supporting and promoting their projects. This has included helping with Kampung Konservasi, the conservation village that provides a learning centre for the local community, teaching sustainable agricultural techniques.

We also collaborate with Yaryorin on research in Belantikan (click here to learn more) — a remote forest that is home to the world’s largest population of orangutans in an unprotected area. We’ve mentioned the work of the Mobile Education and Library unit previously (click here) – another project Yayorin run with our support.

The Foundation and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry work together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This is vitally important for our ongoing work in Indonesia and all our efforts in collaboration with the Ministry, which now spans over ten years.

k Alex DSC_3834These relationships allow development and new achievements. Together, we can plan for the future and take our own roles in leading proactive work plans, safeguarding wild habitat and promoting the protection of the great apes. We thank all our friends and partners who work with us. Achievements so far have made a big difference, so these groups are have laid good foundations to continue with fantastic projects for great ape conservation. To keep up to date with our work and our friends – sign up to our Email Updates by clicking here!

Wild cats and more! at the Pondok Ambung Research Site

This year the Foundation received a grant from the Rufford Foundation for a Camera Trap Programme at Pondok Ambung. This is an important development, as this research site is within the Tanjung Puting National Park (protected since 1982). Foundation staff have helped protect the park and the site since 1998. With this duration of protection, the park and its biodiversity has remained mostly undisturbed – a pristine forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

The Foundation has hosted many students at Pondok Ambung – a chance for Indonesian students to conduct biodiversity research. Now with these cameras, we can catch a glimpse into more elusive wildlife…

Earlier this year, 10 camera traps were installed within the research site. The Foundation ensured there was no human activity in the study area for two months before the camera traps were installed. This lack of disturbance encourages more animals to travel past the camera traps. Foundation staff carefully selected the positions for the traps, and our hard work paid off!

Just one month after the camera traps were set up, we are excited to see the first collection of photos…  as well as those shown below, we also have seen crestless fireback (Lophura erythrophthalma), lesser mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus), Bornean red muntjac (Muntiacus muntjac), pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and the Malayan porcupine (Hystrix brachyura)!

Macan dahan (Neofelis diardi)

Clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Babi hutan (Sus barbatus)

Bearded pig (Sus barbatus)

gBinturong-(Artictis binturong)

Binturong (Artictis binturong)

Kucing kuwuk (Prionaliourus bengalensis)

Leopard cat (Prionaliourus bengalensis)

Musang (Viverra tangalunga)

Malay civets (Viverra tangalunga)

Sempidan biru (Lophura ignita)

Crested fireback (Lophura ignita)

To get a snap shot into the lives of these rare and endangered species is truly special and important. Many of these creatures may be more endangered than currently listed (on IUCN Redlist – click here), so knowing where different species roam, and estimates of population size, are crucial.

It’s fantastic to see this much biodiversity within 30 days. In this location, there is much potential for further scientific analysis. We look forward to future results – who knows what else we will see! To support the Foundation’s scientific research and the protection of orangutan habitat, please donate here or get in touch!

Great times ahead: this November be #OuAware14

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Dear all,

Exciting times are coming up!
Although November seems far away, time goes quickly… So when is Orangutan Awareness Week 2014?!

This year’s Orangutan Awareness Week will be held 10th-16th of November, with ORANGE DAY on the 12th (the Wednesday – as always).

We are already sending schools materials and the orange costumes are getting an Autumn clean. Our ambassadors are putting up posters and we really can’t wait to see everyone’s efforts in 2014 to help save orangutans.

It is important to dedicate a week to raising awareness and raising funds. It is a time where all and any communities can come together and do small and big things to support the safeguarding of Indonesian Bornean habitat. All funds raised will go towards the conservation of orangutans in critical orangutan habitat. Our work prioritises conservation of standing forests and local capacity building to ensure orangutans and amazingly diverse habitat are protected into the future. See some ideas and stories of our Awareness Weeks here!

We’ll be collecting all the photos of YOU, fun-loving public having a good time for orangutans, so please stay in touch – see all the fun on facebook too!

Be orange, be daring, have fun, and swing towards helping…

A Future for Orangutans, Forests and People

Camera trapping to save species

The Orangutan Foundation are proud to be partners of a groundbreaking Camera Trapping Project with Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Yayorin) and The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) – allowing us to document animals that have never been seen before in the remote and highly diverse area of Belantikan Hulu. Here, Susan Cheyne, co-coordinator of the project, tells us about the initial results…

Check out the stunning footage we got; sun bears here, an orangutan here and a pangolin here.

“July 2014 sees the end of 2 years of camera trapping in 6 forests across Kalimantan. 160 camera traps were set out covering at total of almost 700km2 of rainforest. The final forest to be surveyed was started in February 2014 in collaboration with Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Yayorin) and the Orangutan Foundation UK (OFUK).

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Orangutan on the ground with offspring

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Confirmed sightings of Clouded Leopards

The Belantikan-Arut area in Central Kalimantan, whose core area is Belantikan Hulu, is a spectacular landscape spanning 5,000km2 hectares across Central and West Kalimantan, is known to contain the largest single population of orangutans outside of protected areas.

The results of this work are very exciting. Not only were Sunda clouded leopards confirmed in this forest but also the elusive banteng. The banteng is a large and rare wild cattle species and is endemic to Borneo but is not widespread across the island.

Banteng Belantikan  (21)

Banteng – ungulate of the forest

Sambar deer Belantikan (26)

Sambar deer – another ungulate of the forest

Of course orang-utans featured on the camera traps, adding to the recent information that the man of the forest in fact spends a lot of time on the ground. Not only were large males caught on camera but juveniles and mothers and infants travelling on the ground.

Of great interest is the number of deer and bearded pigs especially the majestic Sambar deer, largest of the 5 species on Borneo. Good eating for a clouded leopard!

Red langur Belantikan (1)

Red langur

The white-fronted langur (see closely related species – the red langur – pictured above) is normally swinging up in the canopy, but like many primates, also comes to the ground. This species has a very patchy distribution across western Borneo and confirmation of the presence in Belantikan is important new information.

Sun bear Belantikan (1)

Sun bears picnic?

Sun bears are the smallest of all the world’s bears and have the longest tongue of any bear! Females generally have 1-2 cubs each year. We were fortunate to have surveyed during the time of year when cubs are venturing out and about with their mother and captured some wonderful photos and videos of their interactions.

Yellow-throated marten Belantikan (3)

Yellow-throated marten running speedily!

The little yellow-throated marten is apparently widely distributed throughout Borneo but not much is known about these animals. Living alone or in pairs, they are active at both day and night. Although listed as IUCN Red List Least Concern, nothing is known about the population numbers on Borneo.

Pangolin Belantikan

The illusive and truly amazing Pangolin

Camera traps provide an amazing and unique view into the wildlife of the forests we are working to protect. Almost each photo provides new information about behaviour, distribution or activity of these animals.”

Check out our recent blog for more amazing photos, or get in touch about any of our projects!