Friday, July 29, 2016

All orangutan habitats in Sarawak are Totally Protected Areas

KUCHING: All orangutan habitats in Sarawak – Batang Ai National Park, Ulu Sebuyau National Park, Sedilu National Park and Lanjak Entimau Wild Life Sanctuary are Totally Protected Areas (TPAs).

Around 1,600 orangutans roam freely in the contiguous TPAs of Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak Entimau Wild Life Sanctuary.

In the effort to enhance management and protection of orangutans, the state government collaborated with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) last year to draw up ‘An Orangutan Strategic Action Plan’ that will provide a holistic approach to the management and protection of these animals.

This plan includes expanding the boundary of Batang Ai National Park to include the area around Ulu Sungai Menyang, where surveys estimated there are some 200 orangutans.

A Conservation Centre of Excellence (CCOE) for orangutan research has also been established in Batang Ai National Park.

Research data and results would be used to draw up a comprehensive management plan for orangutans in Sarawak.

Last year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem launched the Rimba Sarawak project (Research for Intensified Management of Bio-Rich Areas of Sarawak), allowing international researchers into the state’s forest estates, especially TPAs.

It aims to provide a platform for international collaborative research in developing intensive, practical conservation management procedures for bio-rich areas including the conservation of orangutans in Sarawak.

WCS Malaysia programme director Dr Melvin Gumal said then there is no other country that he is aware of that has set that kind of focus.