Report on replanting Rainforests.
You will be pleased to hear that we have planted 1,566,263 trees in Sumatra in areas where the rainforest had been destroyed. This is ongoing work and our next effort will be to chainsaw 9,000 oil palms which were illegally planted in what was virgin rainforest. We have raised just over US$5,000 of the $15,000 we need, but hope to be able to commence this work in the new year. Obviously after they have been chopped down, we will begin the process of planting thousands of new seedlings to restore the degraded forest.
Evidence from Camera Traps
In all of the areas of the Leuser Ecosystem where SOS have replanted rainforest trees, we like to install camera traps to monitor the return of wildlife to the area. Within the areas we have reforested, there has been photographic evidence of the following species:
15 Asian golden cats, 21 Asian palm civets, 18 Banded linsangs, 13 Barking deer, 1 Feral dog, 16 Forest tortoises, 7 Great argus, 10 Green pigeons, 14 Indian muntjac, 2 Jungle fowl, 19 Leopard cats, 20 Long tail macaque, 6 Monitor lizards, 5 Pig tailed macaques, 17 Porcupine, 23 Sambar deer, 12 Small Asian mongooses, 11 Sumatran elephants, 22 Sumatran orangutans, 4 Sun bears, 3 Wild pigs.
Sometimes the actual camera trap photos aren’t of the best quality, so here are some other pictures of some of the species which have been seen in the newly replanted forest.
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.
Hope for the Future
Given that these species are from only 500 hectares of forest, these sightings gives enormous hope for how quickly the rainforest habitat regenerates, and the extent to which that regenerated habitat is then used by all the interdependent species living in the Leuser ecosystem, including Sumatran Orangutans.
For those of you who are not aware November 29th is #GivingTuesday on GlobalGiving. The first US$500,000 of funds donated from midnight on November 28th EST to midnight on November 29th EST will be matched by the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation. If you are able to donate something on that day, we would receive double the amount you give.
Many thanks for keeping up to date with our work.
With best wishes,
When is the sound of chainsaws in a national park a good thing? When they are cutting down oil palms!
For just $1.67, you can cut down an oil palm that was illegally planted in the Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra - or why not take a chainsaw to ten for $16.70?
Our target is to cut down 9,000 oil palms, and then 75 hectares of land will be restored by planting thousands of rainforest tree seedlings, reclaiming vital habitat for orangutans and the countless other species that share their forest home.
All donations made to this project between now and the end of October will go towards our 'chainsaws for conservation' fund and we'll share photos and videos of the team in action in the field.
What's more, all donations made today, 21st September are elgibile to be matched by 30% as part of GlobalGiving's Bonus Day - so please help us secure this land for orangutans!
The first half of 2016 has been extremely warm in northern Sumatra, with almost no rain at all. Hence in April and May, our field teams mainly focused their efforts on maintenance of the six seedling nurseries and previously-planted trees in the restoration sites, attempting to reduce the effects of the drought.
Thanks to this daily hard work, our restoration sites present a survival rate of 80%, ensuring the return of a wide range of biodiversity in this secondary forest.
Meanwhile, our teams also worked in close cooperation with the Gunung Leuser National Park authority and a community group responsible for encroaching around 200 hectares of forest inside the National Park. After long negotiations, the community group accepted to restore these 200 hectares with our technical support and under the control of the park authority and rangers. Forest will be back in a few years from now while this group will be provided with alternative livelihoods in order to reconcile nature conservation and human sustainable development.
In June, the rainy season started, a great relief for our nurseries managers who take care of more than 65,000 seedlings! And our teams resumed restoration activities. After preparing the planting sites, they restored 18 hectares with 13,100 saplings.
Beyond planting trees, we recognise that we need to monitor the impacts of ecosystem restoration for biodiversity. That’s why we installed 11 camera traps in and around the restored forests to monitor the species returning to the new forest. We are also engaged in bird monitoring and the first results are encouraging: 28 species have been spotted in a matter of days!
Last but not least, we would like to underline the wonderful work done by Jessie Panazzolo and Todd Iancar who have been carrying out orangutan and elephant surveys for the last 5 months - we can’t wait to see the results of your research!
Thank you for supporting this incredible project - with your help, we are regenerating rainforest habitat. Orangutans and the many other species they share the forest with are free to roam, and it's fantastic to see the restoration site becoming part of their habitat once again.
The team in Sumatra have just checked the camera traps in the forest restoration site - and discovered a great video of a large wild orangutan sauntering through - you can watch via the link at the bottom of this report.
This was taken within the restored forest, with the orangutan heading towards the primary forest. Although mostly arboreal, orangutans are occasionally seen on the ground - especially big males.
We can also see that the young forest is being used by a lot of other species, including critically endangered Sumatran elephants, and some curious pig-tailed macaques, as can be seen from the photos!
In the first three months of this year, the restoration teams have nurtured almost 74,000 tree seedlings in the organic tree nurseries, and planted 34,500 - the rest will be planted in the coming weeks, bringing us a big step closer to our goal to plant 2 million trees by the end of the year.
Thank you for supporting this incredible project - with your help, we are regenerating once-barren land, and turning it back into valuable, safe wildlife habitat. Orangutans and the many other species they share the forest with need room to roam, and it's fantastic to see the restoration site becoming part of their habitat once again.
In this report, I could tell you about the 27,500 tree seedlings that have been planted on 25 hectares of degraded land at our newest restoration site in Bukit Mas. This is, undoubtedly, a fantastic achievement, and one that we couldn't have managed without your support. However, I want to look beyond the trees, and share the secret of our success. What makes the restoration projects that we and our partners manage a real win for conservation?
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 reforestation site. We must ensure that those trees, and the untouched primary forest, 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.
Despite legal protection and international recognition of its values, the Leuser Ecosystem is still sadly subject to high levels of illegal encroachment by surrounding communities, logging and wildlife poaching.
Our programme addresses this problem head on. We develop bespoke conservation action plans with communities and provide training to enable them to improve their livelihoods through the protection, rather than exploitation, of the rainforest ecosystem. We call this model 'Community Agroforestry, Reforestation and Education (CARE)', and this ‘greenprint’ for conservation is being replicated across northern Sumatra, thanks to your support.
Through successful interventions with farming communities such as training in agroforestry and organic farming techniques, farmers have increased crop yields by 25% and improved their profit, reducing their need to expand farmlands into the forest. Mixed agricultural systems are used to create buffer zones between forested areas and human developments. The diversification of agricultural lands enables them to be maintained alongside natural forests, whilst at the same time benefiting the local community through a more profitable and sustainable land use model. More than 400 farmers have participated in training in ecological agriculture to date.
Through empowering communities, these programmes equip local people with the tools and motivation for species and habitat conservation. Changes in attitude towards the sustainable use of natural resources can have a positive impact on conservation; negative results emerge when local people are excluded from conservation activities. In our programmes, communities are involved in the entire process, from planning through to implementation, and eventually independent management.
So, just as we plant and nurture trees, the team in Sumatra are also putting down deep roots in these communities, transforming them into conservation ambassadors, and guardians of the ecosystem. Planting a tree is a symbol of hope, and represents a brighter future for Sumatra's forests, orangutans, and communities.
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