To support our orangutan reintrodution program in East Kalimantan, the BOS Foundation and PT RHOI (Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia) built a new camp in the southern part of Kehje Sewen Forest to ensure we can properly monitor the newly reintroduced orangutans in this area. One post-release monitoring team is stationed here and deployed daily to observe the progress and adaptation of our released orangutans.
This new camp is called Nles Mamse and construction started in August 2015. The name Nles Mamse was given by the local Wehean Dayak tribe. Whilst under construction, the PRM team were living in a flying (temporary) camp so we could still adequately monitor the orangutans we reintroduced in September.
Despite living under a temporary roof, the PRM team made the camp as cozy as possible. They maintained the basic hut there, and also renovated the trail heading towards the release points. This trail was formerly a track used by a logging company working in the Kehje Sewen area. Since it had been abandoned for many years, it was completely covered with new secondary vegetation.
Prior to the release day on September 4th, the field team worked hard to fix and clear the trail of wooden stumps and boulders. The team had to make sure the track was clear of obstacles that might damage our 4-wheel drive pickup truck which was needed to transport the orangutans themselvs and logistics to support the team.
On the August 31, the almost finished Nles Mamse camp was inaugurated. The Head of RHOI’s Operational and Planning Bureau, Ariyo Sambodo who led the advance team and had the responsibility of preparing the camp and the release points, gave a speech to the team.
“We hope our new Nles Mamse camp will be a comfortable place to live on and bring happiness to our colleagues conducting post-release monitoring in South Kehje Sewen,” said Ariyo.
The inauguration was a great success and thanks to our two camp chefs, Mbak Sri and Mbak Sum, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the excellent meal. Not surprising when you consider the exhausting daily activities that the team experiences in the forest.
With new infrastructure in place, refresher trainings were implemented by our BMP (Best Management Practice) Specialist, Eko Prasetyo to ensure that our new PRM team members were properly trained in all areas of post-release monitoring; from GPS and radio tracking use to orangutan behaviour. This knowledge was strengthened with training on tree species identification which is needed for phenology surveys and to record what the orangutans are eating. This training is instrumental for recording accurate data.
Nles Mamse camp is now up and running. This building is equipped with solar panels for light during the night, and to support the PRM team collecting monitoring data on Ajeng, Long, Arief, Leonie and Erica who we released in September.
Text by: BOSF-RHOI Communication Team
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