Central Kalimantan to Establish Orangutan Conservation

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  • Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). TEMPO/Eko Siswono Toyudho

    Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). TEMPO/Eko Siswono Toyudho

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) last week obtained a permit to manage Badak Besar and Badak Kecil regions as orangutan conservation areas on Salat Nusa Island from the Pulang Pisau regency government. 

    The BOSF plans to turn the region into a forest for orangutans that have undergone rehabilitation. The regions also boast the potential to become a wildlife sanctuary for unreleasable orangutans. This kind of orangutans need a chance to live freely in a more restricted and monitored environment. 

    BOSF CEO Jamartin Sihite said around 10 percent of orangutans at the BOSF could not be released due to various conditions, such as having several high-risk diseases, disabilities, or lacking natural behaviors as they had been under the care of humans for too long before going through rehabilitation process in Nyaru Menteng.

    Jamartin said unreleasable orangutans could not just be released together with releasable orangutans as they would disrupt the balance of orangutan populatin in the wilderness. “Some unreleasable orangutans also don’t have the capability to compete in finding food and fighting against their natural enemies in the forest,” said Jamartin on Wednesday.

    In the past few years, the BOSF have been looking for lands to become sanctuary for unreleasable orangutans. “Lands in Badak Besar and Badak Kecil regions have yet to be affected with exploration and exploitation. We really hope we can use them,” said Denny Kurniawan, BOSF program manager.

    Pulang Pisau regent Eddy Pratowo has thrown his weight behind the efforts to conserve orangutans, which are rare, protected and could become part of the Central Kalimantan society. “This is the local government’s commitment that development and protection of conservation area can go together,” he said.

    Ali Dambrah, the assistant of economy and development in Pulang Pisau Regency, said the local government had formed a team to facilitate the planned conservation. “Thankfully, there has been no problem among residents,” he said.

    The BOSF and the Central Kalimantan administration have established cooperation to conserve orangutans and their habitats since December 31, 2009. There are now hundreds of orangutans at Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation center.

    “The cooperation between the BOSF, the Central Kalimantan government and the regency government aims at enabling rehabilitated orangutans to be released,” said Jamartin.

    ERWIN Z.