Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia

by Sumatran Orangutan Society
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Bagong poses for the camera!
Bagong poses for the camera!

One of the best ways to see the real impact of our project to plant trees for orangutans and other wildlife is to use camera traps to see animals returning to the restoration site. These nifty bits of kit are set up in the new forest and in the nearby primary forest, and take a snap every time an animal walks in front of them. 

We always love checking the cameras to see who's been roaming past, and we got a treat recently when one camera captured a photo of a very special orangutan.

Bagong - a 30 year old flanged male orangutan - looks like he's posing for our camera trap. Two years ago our rescue team relocated him from farmland, where he was threatened with being shot for crop raiding, He now looks to be enjoying life in the Gunung Leuser National Park! Bagong is a bit of a local celebrity, as his longcall can be heard booming through the forest for miles around!

Bagong, and all orangutans, need trees! Please consider setting up a regular monthly gift to support this project, and help us restore more critical forest for orangutans and the many other species they share their habitat with.

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Orangutan caught on camera
Orangutan caught on camera

The Leuser Ecosystem is threatened with development under a regional plan which could wipe out millions of acres of prime rainforest. This is the only place on earth where critically endangered orangutans live alongside rhinos, elephants and tigers. SOS and its partner the Orangutan Information Centre are now part of a consortium which aims to prevent the devastation.

The regional plan would enable mining, road building and oil palm plantations to deforest the ecosystem on a massive scale.   The Consortium has two main aims: to stop, with legal challenges if necessary, the plan going ahead; to establish ways of protecting key areas.  These include setting up patrols to enforce protection and stop poaching, and promoting a spatial plan of its own which has protection of the ecosystem and its rare biodiversity at its heart. Your donations are helping all this go ahead.

There is also the practical work on the ground which is making such a big difference. Your donations have helped us see rare species return to our restoration site. Excitingly these camera trap images, taken in June, show the potential of forest restoration for attracting back orangutans and elephants. We now have eight organic tree nurseries established, providing jobs and training for the local community, and have planted well over a million trees. On July 16 it’s Bonus Day on Global Giving so your donations are worth 40% with match funding.  Please support us by donating through the website between 9am and 11.59pm EDT. Your help will make a really big difference. Thank you.

Elephant parade
Elephant parade
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Orangutan spotted this morning!
Orangutan spotted this morning!

We have been fortunate to work with several experts in forest regeneration, who spend time with the restoration team in Sumatra, helping them develop and try out new techniques to make the project even more successful. One such expert is Paul Daley from Australia, who is spending 12 months in Besitang, supporting the tree nursery and planting work, and documenting the impact that the project is having for wildlife.

We were delighted when, this morning, Paul sent us a photo from the field - of a young male orangutan in the trees right next to the restoration cabin! This was a wonderful moment for the whole team. They have seen wild orangutans and their nests in the area before, regularly hear their booming long calls in the adjacent forest, and one of the camera traps even captured an image of a big male cheekpadder walking on the ground a few weeks ago - but this curious young male was an exciting close encounter!

It's sightings like this that make all the hard work worthwhile - to know that the trees we are planting are genuinely creating vital habitat for orangutans and other wildlife. And as we always say, it's the support of the local community that make this project such a success, as they are so deeply committed to ensuring that this corner of the park is safe from destruction.

Thank you for your gift to this project - forest and wildlife are returning to a once-barren landscape, and it's wonderful.

For an exclusive opportunity to visit the restoration team, spending two days at the replanting site leanring about this project, you can join a special trip to Sumatra in September, also including jungle trekking and the chance to see orangutans in the wild. See http://orangutans-sos.org/visit_sumatra for more details.

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Orangutan nests in Besitang
Orangutan nests in Besitang

An exciting update from the field - the team have been doing orangutan nest surveys in the restoration site - check out these photos, showing that our favourite red apes have been making themselves at home!

The camera traps have also yielded some exciting new images and footage, such as a Sunbear mother and cub at the Besitang forest restoration site! This image shows the cub, and the link below shows footage of both mother and cub together!

And, saving the best for last...A big male orangutan has been captured on camera trap, walking on the ground at the Besitang restoration site. The staff have seen orangutans and their nests at the site, but this is the first time one has been photographed by our camera traps. 

These images and footage show clear evidence that the restored forests are providing crucial new habitat for not only orangutans, but other species too - a huge thank you for supporting this work, these fantastic results are only possible thanks to our donors.

Sun bear cub
Sun bear cub
Big male orangutan caught on camera trap
Big male orangutan caught on camera trap

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A herd of Sumatran elephants visited the site
A herd of Sumatran elephants visited the site

Our camera traps have caught images and footage of wildlife returning to the forest restoration site in Besitang, including a herd of critically endangered Sumatran elephants - see the images below! We have also been lucky enough to capture footage of the spectacular mating display of the Great Argus pheasant.

Orangutans and many other species, especially elephants and birds, are sometimes referred to as 'Gardeners of the Forest' because they actually help with the natural regeneration of the forest through the seeds that they 'plant' in their dung. It's really encouraging to see a wide variety of species using the restored habitat.

Thank you for helping us protect and restore Sumatra's rainforests, for all the wildlife that depends on them. Please share our project with your friends, family and networks, and help us restore even more crucial habitat.

A macaque monkey
A macaque monkey
A Great Argus pheasant
A Great Argus pheasant

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Organization Information

Sumatran Orangutan Society

Location: Abingdon, Oxon - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @orangutansSOS
Project Leader:

UK Director
Abingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom
$130,801 raised of $150,000 goal
 
2,171 donations
$19,199 to go
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