carrying the seedlings to the replanting site
Caught on camera: Wild orangutans in forest restoration site
During January, over 15 hectares of degraded land was planted with at least 1,000 new seedlings. new seedlings. As usual, these were a combination of fast-growing pioneer species and fruiting trees. January was a good month for rain, with the restoration site in Halaban getting close to 140mm. This obviously helps the trees to grow fast, as long as the rain is not so heavy that it damages the new growth.
We have some lovely new footage captured by camera traps in one of the rainforest restoration sites in the Leuser Ecosystem. It shows wild orangutans making great use of the new habitat.
In one clip, a mother orangutan, with her infant clinging to her side, swings on the branch that the camera is attached to. In another, we see an orangutan getting comfortable in his nest for the night:
Please click here to see the videos: https://www.orangutans-sos.org/caught-on-camera/
Planting trees to restore rainforest undoubtedly makes an important contribution to conservation efforts in the Leuser landscape. However, we must also look beyond the trees, and consider what lies behind the success of our approach, and how we can be confident that we are making a long-term difference to the protection of Sumatran orangutans and forests.
When an area of orangutan habitat is destroyed by people or companies who want to use the land to grow crops, it’s not enough to simply plant trees and put up a signboard claiming the land back as a conservation site. We must ensure that those trees, and the untouched primary forest beyond, remain standing, becoming valuable habitat for orangutans and other species.
No matter how many trees we plant, the most essential element of our habitat restoration programme is the true, deep engagement of the communities who live next to the Leuser Ecosystem in becoming protectors of the forest, and defending its borders from future threats.
At Besitang, thanks to a group of local people, who, inspired by this project, have called themselves ‘Protectors of Leuser’, we can be confident that this area of forest will be safe and protected for a long time to come.
Following the success of the project, managed by our partners, the Orangutan Information Centre, we are expanding to reclaim and restore a further 75 hectares of orangutan habitat that was illegally converted into an oil palm plantation. We have raised enough money now to cut down 9,000 oil palms, and restore the land by planting thousands of rainforest tree seedlings. Work on this will start on February 20th
Obviously we can’t post pictures of all of these wonderful animals, but without your help, these animals would not have this new and fast-growing habitat to explore. Thank you so much.
Investigating a tree-mounted camera
Snuggling in nest for the night in front of camera