Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Orang utan head count

A survey to find out the number of orang utans in Sarawak is under way, writes HILARY CHIEW.

MENTION Batang Ai, Sarawak, and chances are people will visualise a certain five-star resort and hydroelectric dam. Few would know that the forested area is the last stronghold of the endangered orang utan in Sarawak.

Batang Ai National Park (24,040ha) and the adjacent Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (168,758ha) constitute 98% of the Sarawak range of Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus, one of three sub-species found in Borneo.

Last surveyed in 1992 by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the then Sarawak Forestry Department, the Batang Ai park is estimated to host between 62 and 824 orang utans.

Together with the Bentuang-Karimun Nature Reserve across the border in Kalimantan, Indonesia, the forest complex in the south-west corner of Sarawak forms the largest protected area where the orang utan is found, and is recognised as a key area for survival of the species.

Continue reading (incl. photo) at: Orang utan head count

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