Pondok Ambung, our research station in Tanjung Puting National Park, has been mentioned quite a bit in my blog. In the late 80's, Pondok Ambung was established as a proboscis monkey research site but by the end of 90's it had been badly damaged by illegal loggers. The Orangutan Foundation's team of volunteers repaired the site in 2001 but it remained abandoned until 2005 when the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation awarded us a grant for its complete renovation.
And this is what we did.
The station requires a new solar power set. Solar is the only source of power providing electricity for the station. A new solar set costs $600 and any donations towards this amount would be hugely appreciated. So far the running and maintenance of the station has been entirely funded by the Foundation or from fees received from researchers staying at Pondok Ambung.
Recently, Pondok Ambung was used as the base for the “Orang-utan ‘08” expedition from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. A team of four undergraduates led by Graham Banes spent eight weeks in Tanjung Puting studying the effects of disturbance, particularly forest fires, on the distribution and density of orangutans. Encouraging scientific research in Tanjung Puting National Park creates the knock on effect of increasing support for its protection.
Here are some of the incredible species that have drawn researchers to Pondok Ambung so far.
Malaysian False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii)
Tropical Pitcher Plant
And of course...Orangutans!
Thanks for your comments on my last post - I've just about recovered!