Technology

What role can technology play in conservation?

We at the Foundation love harnessing new technology to give us a better understanding of the current state of the rainforest habitat we work to protect. Our latest project involves integrating drone technology into our habitat assessments, as well as into our orangutan rescues. Drones are remotely controlled cameras which can be flown over rainforest areas and used to take aerial photos or video of the surrounding landscape. We have now been using drones over the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve for a couple of months, and with impressive results! For example, these images (below) were taken in order to assess the scale of the damage in the reserve caused by the forest fires late last year. camp buluh from drone2

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By viewing aerial footage of the damage, we can best place our efforts to protect remaining forest with the introduction of strategically positioned guard posts and forest restoration projects.

In using these drones during our orangutan rescues, we are also better equipped to assess the surrounding area and determine how the orangutan became displaced. The striking image below gave us a clear and devastating indication of how orangutan habitat had been so greatly fragmented due to the expansion of oil-palm plantations in the area of Sampit (Central Kalimantan).

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We are gaining a great deal of insight from the use of new technology such as this, and we couldn’t be doing so without the backing of our generous supporters. In being able to share these discoveries and insights with you, we feel you are able to better understand our work and the challenges we continue to face.

We love to explore the internet in new ways to gain support and raise awareness of the work we do. Social media is another amazing tool to promote knowledge and effectively ‘spread the word’ about the beauty and wonder of orangutans and their rainforest home, as well as highlighting why we desperately need to protect it. We connect with supporters on Twitter and post announcements on Facebook, whilst using this blog to help individuals to gain a deeper and more personal understanding of what we do in the field.

In light of this acknowledgement, we are excited to announce the launch of the Orangutan Foundation’s Instagram account in honour of Rainforest: Live! Follow our Instagram (orangutan_foundation) to see new images and clips from our Indonesian staff as they experience the true wonders of the Indonesian rainforest!

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RAINFOREST: LIVE! Conservation Meets the Technological Era

The growing relationship between technology and conservation is one that seems to play an increasingly important role. The ease with which we can have instant contact with our staff in the field enables us to have up-to-the-minute knowledge of our work on the ground like never before. The ability to connect with one’s supporters directly, wherever they live around the world, is also an incredible luxury. It allows conservation organisations to see first-hand how much support they have and to thank their dedicated ambassadors every step of the way. Moreover, the unbridled nature of social media helps us all to extend awareness for important issues and campaigns far beyond our usual reach. Here in the UK office, receiving news from our field sites in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and Tanjung Puting National Park (both in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia), is often the best part of our day. To see photographs of rescued orangutans receiving the veterinary care they need provides unparalleled motivation to raise funds for such programmes. Being able to watch a video of an orangutan released back into the wild serves as great inspiration for us to continue working with the Indonesian government to protect large areas of critical habitat. When we see our Indonesian staff going to great lengths to take extraordinary photographs for the pure pleasure of it, it lets us know that we’re helping to engage the local communities with the wildlife around them.

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With the use of GPS and satellite mapping, the Foundation can constantly monitor areas affected by increases in deforestation, as well as map out protected borders. This also means that when our staff rescues an orangutan, we can see immediately where they were found, as well as what region is most suitable for their release.

Thanks to advances in technology, we needn't be detached from the work we do halfway across the world; and thanks to social media, the public can always be as engaged with our conservation work as we are.

That’s why the Orangutan Foundation is thoroughly excited to be able to share these moments with you, the public, LIVE on June 19th during an annual global project called Rainforest: Live! Throughout the day the Foundation, alongside several other prominent conservation NGOs, will be posting live reports, photos, and videos directly from our Indonesian field sites all over Facebook and Twitter. This will also be a unique opportunity for you to interact and engage with the Foundation directly, asking questions, sharing posts and showing how much you care about the world’s rainforests.

Last year, OuTrop (Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project) alone saw the hash tag #rainforestlive 120,000 times. Let’s try to top that this year, spreading our love of rainforests and the life that inhabits them as far across the globe as possible!

JUNE 19TH #rainforestlive

 

 

#Rainforestlive. The Foundation join 11 conservation and ecological organisations for a biodiversity-day!

Fungi - Pondok Ambung Nov 11The Foundation are collaborating with conservationists to give a 24-hour window into wildlife of remote rainforests, using facebook and twitter!  On 2 June 2014 conservationists are coming together to share 24 hours of wildlife sightings from rainforest locations across Southeast Asia. The Foundation were asked to take part and are excited to see what we can see from so many fabulous locations across the working world of biodiversity.

'Rainforest: Live' will take advantage of social media, using the spread of technology to allow everyone to see and learn about even some of the most remote corners of the globe.Rainforest Live Large 2

Photos, videos and wildlife sightings will all be shared live. The 11 respective rainforest field sites will all use the hashtag #rainforestlive. Do ask us or any of the organisations questions using the hashtag!

Ashley Leiman, OBE, Director of the Orangutan Foundation, said “this collaboration brings home that deforestation effects not only the wildlife, but is the third largest cause of green house gas emissions and so effects everyone on the planet. Days such as this highlight how much researchers are learning, with a view to achieving more conservation successes on the ground.”

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Matt Williams, Communications Manager for OuTrop said “If people in Southeast Asia and across the world are reminded of this incredible natural gift, then we have a better chance of saving tropical rainforests everywhere. Rainforest: Live is an unprecedented event bringing live sightings straight from the jungle. Members of the public can take part by using the #rainforestlive hashtag to ask questions they’ve always wondered about to rainforest experts.”

“We’re excited to participate in this event,” says Dr. Cheryl Knott, Executive Director of the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project, “as Rainforest: Live will provide an exciting ‘virtual experience’ for the pubic – a way to simultaneously travel to rainforests throughout Southeast Asia and experience the regions’ incredible biodiversity.”

Can't wait for Monday - hope to see you online on the 2nd! 

Orangutan Tropical Pealtand Project – FacebookTwitter

Orangutan Foundation UK – FacebookTwitter

Harapan Rainforest – FacebookTwitter

Gunung Palung Orangutan Project – FacebookTwitter

Orangutan Land Trust – FacebookTwitter

HUTAN – FacebookTwitter

Selamatkan Yaki – FacebookTwitter

Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program – FacebookTwitter

Integrated Conservation – FacebookTwitter

Burung Indonesia – FacebookTwitter

RSPB – FacebookTwitter

Camera trap training workshop

Groups working together to protect and research Borneo means there can be an exchange of knowledge and techniques with others , to improve conservation - a vital part of conservation programmes and habitat protection. This week, Dr Susan Cheyne, an OuTrop Director, lead a workshop on camera trap surveying. OuTrop are a scientific research NGO based in Palangka Raya.

Susan, along with the OuTrop/WildCRU camera trapping team were in Pangkalan Bun at the Yayorin office (in the same town as the Foundation's office) to demonstrate within a training workshop. We are delighted to be collaborating with OuTrop and our partner organisation Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Yayorin) who will be placing camera traps in the Belantikan Forest in north Central Kalimantan. This group of three including the Foundation want to survey different forests with camera traps to see what biodiversity is out there!

The workshop was led by Dr Susan Cheyne and Wiwit Juwita Sastramidjaja. Present were representatives from Yayorin, Orangutan Foundation UK, local BKSDA (Indonesian Department of Nature Conservation) and Forestry. The workshop discussed the overall project and reasons for surveying different forests to determine the population distribution and density of different species as well as the practicalities of setting up camera traps in the field. Banteng (the endangered wild ox) is a particular focus of the survey, which lives in the Belantikan forest. Clouded leopards are going to be another focus of the surveying - all species seen will be documented. We are excited to see what we can find - collecting data like this provides the research which is an important tool to guide conservation management. The more the science community knows, the more can be done to protect areas and the species within them. The results with be shared with the local government to help protect Belantikan and gain new knowledge about all the wildlife in this remote ecosystem.