Monday, April 12, 2010

Hope for isolated orang-utan population within the Kinabatangan

KINABATANGAN: The orang-utan bridge project to reconnect isolated orang-utan populations within the Kinabatangan has obtained conclusive proof of success recently via photographic evidence.

“Over the years we have received numerous local eye witness reports of the orang-utans using these rope bridges but this is the first time we have received photographic evidence which clearly shows a young male orang-utan using the first rope bridge we constructed in 2003 to cross over Resang river, a small tributary of Kinabatangan ,” stated primatologist, Dr. Isabelle Lackman, Co-Director of the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project (KOCP) in a press statement.

The statement was jointly released by the Sabah Wildlife Department and French non-governmental organisation HUTAN yesterday.

The photographs were obtained from a member of the local community, Ajirun Osman @ Aji who took the pictures February this year. According to Ajirun, the young male orang-utan spent about 20 minutes at the rope bridge tree before actually crossing over.

“It seemed like once he decided to cross, he did so very fast going over in about three minutes from the Pangi Forest Reserve into Lot 1 of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary,” shared Ajirun.

Dr. Lackman explained that in the past orang-utans would have used tall old growth forest as “natural bridges” over small rivers. However at present, the orang-utan’s no longer have this luxury since most trees have been logged.

“Today the orang-utan is facing more human made obstacle’s such as illegal planting for oil palm all the way down to the river bank leaving no riparian reserve which are actually required by law under the Environment Protection Enactment of 2002 as well as the Water Resources Enactment of 1998,” said Dr. Lackman.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Hope for isolated orang-utan population within the Kinabatangan

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