By Jacqueline. L. Sunderland-Groves - Advisor to the CEO
A huge thank you to everyone who has given so generously! We honestly couldn’t do this without you and every penny given is helping us monitor and protect orangutans and the other amazing wildlife species in the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest.
The past few months have been a busy time with the BOS Foundation team focusing on post-release monitoring of the orangutans whilst preparing for our next phase of camera trapping! Thanks to your fabulous support the new Reconyx cameras we have bought arrived in Indonesia and all broken cameras were returned to the USA for repair or replacement. Insect damage had impacted quite a few cameras, which is unsurprising in a tropical rainforest and also given the fact that this equipment has been in the field for three years! But after several months of planning, we are now ready to deploy the new and repaired cameras with our revised study design. The data we have gathered over the past years has provided us with the first systematic study of all medium-large sized mammal species, including orangutans, in Batikap and this baseline information is fundamental to monitor and predict changes in the mammal community over time. Our new study will deploy cameras in “high traffic” orangutan areas. These are areas where the post-release monitoring team regularly encounters orangutans - such as river crossing hotspots and popular feeding trees, so as to record as many orangutan images as possible. Two to three cameras will be positioned at each camera trap station to maximise the chances of obtaining clear images from different angles, which will aid the team in identifying individual orangutans. As you can see from some of the example images below, it's really challenging to try to identify individuals from pictures of an eye or nose (and sometimes even just a cheek-pad or armpit!). This new data will help us improve our chances of identification of individual orangutans and monitor their long-term success.
The team is ready to start fieldwork in July and we are thrilled to be embarking on this next phase of fieldwork. In the meantime, we are continuing to analyse data from the last three years and will report back on our findings. For now, we are excited to share some of the highlights from our camera trapping project and we look forward to bringing you new images and updates from the field! Stay tuned and thank you all again for following our progress and updates!
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