Archives: June 2015

Start of Ramadhan in Camp Lesik

June 23, 2015. Posted in Article

Our team in the Kehje Sewen Forest are embracing the month of Ramadhan and working hard to balance their patrolling activities duirng this special month of fasting.

This week, and after routine patrols, the team in Camp Lesik, set aside time to clean up the camp. This is common in Indonesia as part of the overall preparations to welcome the big religious holiday. Cleaning the camp also means cleaning all of the patrol equipment which is so criticial for our monitoring activities.

ribbet Kerja Bakti by Deny 2

ribbet IMG_4272 - Kerja Bakti by Rusda

ribbet Kerja Bakti by Deny 3

After several hours of hard work, the team settled down to wait for the sun to set, so they could break the fast and share a much deserved meal together.

ribbet IMG-20150622-WA0027

The peaceful surroundings in Kehje Sewen Forest and the togetherness of our team have made our Ramadhan days in Camp Lesik once again, unforgettable.

Text by PRM team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our team and its monitoring activities too. Donate now to the BOS Foundation and keep our spirits high!

Phenology in Southern Kehje Sewen

June 16, 2015. Posted in Article

Since last January 2015, the BOS Foundation has been preparing an area in Southern Kehje Sewen Forest as an orangutan release area (Read the full story here: Preparing the Orangutan Release Area in South of Kehje Sewen for New Arrivals). There were a lot we had done in preparing this new release point. In the end of last May, Guswan, Jafar, Kensing, Agus, Usup, and Rusda went for a phenology survey in the south area.

We started from Camp Lesik and off to Pelangsiran, a small transit village in the edge of Kehje Sewen Forest. At Pelangsiran, we spent a night for a gear check and preparation on necessities to bring to our phenology camp in south area.

The folowing day, the phenology team departed from Pelangsiran to the Southern Kehje Sewen Forest. Uphill and slppery track, steep cliff, carrying bags full of electronic equipments and logistics are tough challenges we were facing. Especially for the first-timer members of the team without previous experience going into southern phenology survey. But we encouraged each other, and we managed to overcome all the challenges above.

Once we arrived at the phenology camp, the team quickly set up all the gears: sleeping bags, cooking equipments, and the stuff needed for the survey itself. The team also needed to repair the flying camp’s tarp and put on extra wooden support for comfort. The team spent the first day to get some more rest while making preparations and plans for a smooth survey. Unfortunate for the team, there were bees flying around the camp they had to be very careful not to get stung.

ribbet Camp Fenologi Selatan by Rusda

The phenology team was split into two, the first one consists of Agus, Jafar, and Kensing, responsible for doing phenology survey in 2 transects. While Rusda, Usup, and Guswan stayed in the camp to look after the logistics and all the electronic equipments. The following day, the team took turns, except for Agus who still accompanied the second team to teach them how to take notes and identify species of plants they find during the survey. On the third day, the phenology survey focused on extending a-300 meter transect and inventoried the trees along the newly made transect.

In general, this phenology survey went smooth and we found out that some plants have born fruit in this area, among them are Ficus racemosa, Flacourtia sp., and Polyathia sumatrana.

ribbet Ficus racemosa by Jafar

Ficus racemosa

ribbet Flacourtia sp. by Jafar

Flacourtia sp.

ribbet Polyathia sumatrana by Jafar

Polyathia sumatrana

Heavy rain poured down occasionally within the three days of our phenology survey in Southern Kehje Sewen, making the tracks slippery and dangerous. But we overcome that all together, because that’s what teamwork is supposed to do!

Keep your heads up high, team!

 Text by PRM team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our team and its monitoring activities too. Donate now to the BOS Foundation and keep our spirits high!

Good Day to Observe Agus

June 9, 2015. Posted in Article

To see the sun shining at the beginning of the day is always good news for us. Good weather means we can continue to observe our reintroduced orangutans and on this particular occassion we had planned to focus on Agus who we had encountered the previous day. (Read full story here: Spending Time with Agus). Bad weather had hampered our observations that day, so we were looking forward to better results.

Post-release monitoring staff Deny, Awal, Bowo and Gunawan were scheduled to track and observe Agus, who we suspected to still be close to our transect on Berlian Hill. On the way to Berlian Hill, we tried to detect signals from other orangutans as well, but had no luck.

Arriving at our destination, we searched for Agus’s signal, but similar to the day before, only a very weak signal was picked up. So we pushed on and walked up Mobil Mogok transect, which is located at a slightly higher altitude, hoping for a better signal. Again, Agus’s signal still wasn’t emitting clearly, but at the end of this transect we found new and old nests, indicating presence of orangutans in the area.

Early afternoon we finally found Agus eating Syzygium sp. fruits.

ribbet Agus by Awal 4

ribbet Agus by Awal 3

We observed him for around 2 hours and he looked perfectly healthy and repeatedly kiss-squeaked showing his discomfort of our presence. He ate a whole variety of food items including different species of fruit, rattan pith and termites. Orangutans are largely frugivores or fruit-eaters, however they also consume decent amounts of vegetation particularly during periods when fruit is less available, together with insects and on occasion even bird eggs.

ribbet Agus by Awal 1

After two hours of close obeservations on Agus, rain began to fall heavily forcing us to retreat back to Camp Lesik. But we were pleased with the day’s results and very happy to spend a couple more hours with Agus. He has adapted well!

Text by PRM team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our team and its monitoring activities too. Donate now to the BOS Foundation and keep our spirits high!

Spending Time with Agus

June 2, 2015. Posted in Article

At the end of last week, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) Team was patroling along Tyo River when we detected Agus’s signal. The signal was weak due to heavy rain and probably distance, but we pushed on and continued the search for Agus anyway. Because the radio telemetry equipment isn’t waterproof we reverted to the use of traditional ways of searching for orangutans (looking for broken branches, feces, and food leftovers).

ribbet Agus by Bani 2

Over an hour later, we finally found Agus, a male orangutan who was released back in October 2013. We were delighted to see that he was healthy and had become an impressive and handsome adult.

However, as soon as Agus realized our presence, he stopped his activities and started kiss-squeaking at us. He also threw branches at the Team while quickly moving through the trees to avoid us. It was clear that Agus didn’t like seeing humans so close to him

ribbet Agus by Bani 1

We backed away from Agus and found a place where we could still observe him in the middle of persistent rain. But unfortunately the weather got a lot worse and we could no longer continue our observation. So we recorded as much information as we could and noted Agus’ GPS location point. Recording GPS points of the whereabouts of orangutans is important to determine the pattern of their movements. Agus has now been living unaided in the forest for over a year and a half so is considered a successful release, however we continue to record opportunistic data on his movements and behavior.

The Team continued to patrol towards Berlian Hill all the way to Mount Belah, where we also spotted a fairly new orangutan nest.

ribbet Sarang by Agus 1

Shortly after we met Yayang and her daughter Sayang feeding on forest fruits in the trees. Both Yayang and Sayang looked healthy.

The weather that afternoon was very unfriendly, the rain got heavier and the sky got darker. So the team returned to Camp Lesik. The unpredictable weather this past week in Kehje Sewen Forest does not deter our passion to go on our daily patrols looking for orangutans. And all our efforts paid off. We were very happy that we got to spend some time with Agus this weekend!

Text by: PRM Team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our team and their monitoring actvities. DONATE NOW to BOS Foundation and help us keep our spirits high!