Monday, October 18, 2010

Bridging the orang utan gap in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: A new orang utan rope bridge has been created in the Lower Kinabatangan wildlife sanctuary to allow the primates living within the fragmented forests to reconnect with each other.

The 40m-long rope bridge, made of fire hoses, was set up across Sungai Takala, a tributary of Sungai Kinabatangan in another effort by local and international conservationists to ensure that orang utans in trapped fragmented forests do not become extinct.

The teams involved took three days to complete the project.

The project, which was undertaken by the Sabah Wildlife Department, the HUTAN non-governmental organisation and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), was funded by Borneo Conservation Trust Japan and expertise was provide by Ropeskills Rigging Sdn Bhd.

“Genetic studies, which were carried out in the Lower Kinabatangan forest fragments, showed that orang utans are estimated to go extinct within our lifetime if they are not reconnected through schemes like the rope bridges,” Sabah Wildlife department director Dr Laurentius Ambu said.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goosens said the rope bridges were important in efforts to stop in-breeding among orang utans within the fragmented forests.

The project was initiated by the Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Project seven years ago,

Continue reading at: Bridging the orang utan gap in Sabah

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