A ranger in action. Photo credit Andrew Walmsley.
We are often reminded of the importance of consistent, dedicated patrols to tackle wildlife crime. Recent news stories from Sumatra have highlighted the ongoing challenges to Sumatra's wildlife from illegal activity, and we are proud to be supporting some of the patrol teams working hard to reduce incidents like these.
On 12th December 2018, Rare Bird Alert reported the seizure of over 8,000 birds, captured from the wild in Sumatra and destined to be sold at bird markets in Java. Thanks to the efforts of local NGOs, the surviving birds were released back into forests in Sumatra, and forestry authorities are on high alert to try to prevent more birds being taken from the wild.
Then, just a couple of days later, The Jakarta Post reported on the discovery of a dead baby orangutan in a village in North Sumatra. The orangutan had been kept as a pet by a resident of the village, and authorities and NGOs (including our partner, Orangutan Information Centre) were alerted to its presence by calls from members of the public, who saw the body and knew it was important to report it. The man who had been keeping the orangutan as a pet said that it died because he couldn't afford to feed it, and he and other village residents have now given the authorities valuable information about where the orangutan was captured. This will enable wildlife crime patrol teams to keep a closer watch on the area. The case has also been reported to law enforcement agencies so that the man who kept the orangutan can be punished.
The death of any animal is always incredibly sad, and of course it's hard to focus on the positives when faced with stories like these. However, we know that even as recently as five years ago, before consistent funding started coming in for wildlife crime patrol teams, these cases could easily have gone unnoticed, meaning no further investigations and no measures being put in place to stop them happening again. Funding boots on the ground does make a vital difference. Your donations make a vital difference.
So, as 2018 draws to a close, we're asking you to consider making a recurring donation to this project. If you could commit to giving every month, the impact of your support would be heightened: if we know money is coming in, we know we can keep the wildlife crime patrols out in the forest for months and years to come.
Thank you for your support. We couldn't do this without you.
The Sumatran Orangutan Society team.
Sumatran orangutan - one species patrols protect.