Borneo: Large unknown population of Orangutans found in East Kalimantan

In December 2008, we found a significant population of  Bornean
orangutans. This is some welcome news on a generally gloomy
conservation agenda. Orangutans are among the rarest primates on
Earth. Populations are plummeting under the various pressures on their
forest habitats.

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So, we all got pretty excited when our field team came back from a
survey in a really inaccessible part of Borneo with photos and videos
of orangutans. They had traveled to the heart of a 2-million-acre
forest area situated in the rugged Sangkulirang limestone mountains in
East Kalimantan Province.

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But we didn’t expect any significant orangutan populations further east. Our recent preliminary survey seems to have proven us wrong. Along some six miles of forest transect we found 219 orangutan nests.

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A rapid botanical analysis showed the presence of several orangutan food trees. And because we know that there are very few people in this area and that the forest remains largely untouched, it is quite likely that this area has a population of several hundred orangutans, possibly more than a thousand.

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Comments (3)

Bob LalaszMarch 31st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Forest Policy Research Editor’s Note: To address concerns of the original producer of the text in this post (see below) I have removed half of the text originally posted. If you want to see the rest of the material you’ll have to go to their website, which is of course a Nature Con website. Nature Con is not into eco-issues for just education and preservation advocacy reasons. Rather, Nature Con is closely aligned with the very industry that is making Orangutans extinct.

Nature Con almost always argues that the only way to save a forest is to log it. And as such, Nature Con is the first organization in this Blog’s 1,500 posts to claim that this blog is engaging in ‘illegal’ activities! What’s more the only other copyright complaint this blog has ever had other than this one was a post that portrayed the new head of Nature Con as the timber industry taking over.

See all the posts and decide for yourself what’s wrong with Nature Con:


Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it’s illegal to simply copy and paste large parts of our blog post without attribution to the author or to our blog. A linkback really isn’t sufficient–we own all rights to our post, and you need to secure permission to republish large chunks of the blog from us. We appreciate the effort you put into this post, but it would have been helpful to give us proper attribution.

Bob Lalasz
Managing Editor, Cool Green Science

Kimberly SaiaApril 5th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

I don’t know what to say. I had donated valuable time and effort to Nature Conservancy in the not too distant past. I had also made plans to help them much more. I wanted so much to have faith in them. Like I told you in Facebook, I’ll be researching this further. I can’t tell people to blindly support ppl, and not be willing to do the same myself. I’ll remove links and support to them until I figure this out.

Nishioka (Director of HUTAN Group)September 13th, 2009 at 5:55 am

We resarched the smmuggling timber’s trade from E Kalimantan to Sabah, the many timber’s companies in Tawau, Sabah closed nothing logs from E Kalamantan. For example, Kalabakan Plywood Sdn same the closed since Dec. 2008, so many timber companies, Shingyan (No.1 Sarawak timber company) and Sumitomo Forestry(No1 Japanese timber company) considered to change or not from Kalabakan Plywood.
But I got the other news the area of Karayan Mentarang National Park was cut by illegal activities by S’ timber and other. Another place, the nothen Samalinda was cut by illegal logging though their activities are decrease now by the Indonesian NGOs.
The BOS caring in the area of Mawas was appealled the Victory by the illegal logging.
The area of Tanjung Puting was still stopped the illegal logging by the local NGO and international campaign since 2006, so 6 all timber companies closed to operate among 2007. Freinds of National Parks Foundation and Yayorin were planted the native species of timber in National park and make the action from combatting illegal logging and Police have patorol inside in National park.
In West Kalimantan area still export timbers to Sarawak but this volumes is few now by conecting KAIL, Yayasan Titian.

So 80-85% timber smuggle action stop now!

by our esearch and gaining news

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