Archives: March 2016

Monitoring Orangutan in the South of Kehje Sewen

March 29, 2016. Posted in Article

This was my first experience monitoring orangutans in the wild. It has long been my dream to do so, and I am grateful that it finally came true! I will cherish this memory forever.

Penelope Coulter

The week started with the RHOI team trekking off on a Monday morning to find Leonie in the company of Long, Arif, Bungan and Ajeng. This early-morning group were enjoying a smorgasbord of forest foods. Fruiting trees are a hotspot for orangutan activity and this week the group were enjoying the macaranga gigantea, one of their favourites.

Macaranga gigantea

The orangutans of Camp Nles Mamse had been spending a lot of time together, which meant full days for the team. We observed the group getting along well and sharing the bountiful offerings of the forest trees and plants. Not tiring of each others company, Arif, Long, Bungan and Leonie were seen again later in the week, still enjoying fruits together. The team reported that Arif was seen building a day nest to relax in as he ate. Arif certainly knows when he is on to a good thing!

Arief

Both humans and orangutans had to share the camp and forest with some uninvited guests – bees! They were all around us at the camp and in the forest, making the already challenging days tracking orangutans more difficult, with frequent bee stings. As bees build their hives in the trees, orangutans cannot escape them either and the team observed several orangutans being stung as they foraged for food. The team kept a watchful eye over the orangutans, and noted that it seemed as though the bees were almost like annoying neighbours that the orangutans had learnt to live with.

The prize for the most elusive orangutan of the week went to Hanung. Despite coming to visit the team at the camp earlier in the week, Hanung became a man of mystery and managed to evade the radio telemetry for two days. The day after Hanung was spotted at the camp, the team set out expecting to find him close by. However, we ended up spending a full day cutting trails with a machete, and climbing up and slipping down steep mountains in the hope of hearing his signal again.

Never to walk away from a challenge, Rusda and the team set out again a few days later. After a torrential downpour the night before, the river was flooded and we had to cross it with bare feet and sheer willpower to stay above water. As the most recent addition to the team, I managed to make it to the other side but took an invigorating spontaneous dip right before my last step onto dry land when the river proved too mighty. Oh well, this is forest living, I thought.

As this update was being written, Hanung was spotted close to camp, sitting in a tree overlooking the Telen River.

Hanung

Text By: Penelope Coulter, PRM Volunteer At Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

The year 2016 marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary. We hope all our released orangutans will continue to live safely in their new natural habitats, and we will continue to do our best to monitor their progress. We look forward to providing some new, exciting reports on their adaptations throughout the year! You can support our team and monitoring activities. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation and make a difference to the future survival of orangutans!

Native Species of Kalimantan’s Kehje Sewen Forest

March 22, 2016. Posted in Article

Kalimantan’s forests, including the Kehje Sewen Forest, are treasure troves filled with an extraordinary array of flora and fauna, including orangutans. Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team has documented a rich biodiversity of birds, primates, reptiles and other species native to East Kalimantan they have encountered while on their orangutan-monitoring assignments.

The dusky munia (Lonchura fuscans) is a small seed-eating bird that can only be found in Kalimantan’s lowland forests. This bird lives in lowland shrubland, forest and grassland habitat . In the Kehje Sewen Forest, this dark grey-feathered bird is easy to find in the small fields where the PRM team has planted vegetables at Camp Lesik.

Lonchura fuscans by desti

Dusky Munia (Lonchura fuscans)

The yellow-rumped flowerpecker (Proinochilus xanthopygius) is also endemic to Kalimantan. This bird eats small fruits and insects, and resides mainly in lowland forest or tropical montane forest. It is known locally as the ‘chilli bird’, and is often seen by the PRM team during patrols.

Prionochilus xanthopygius by Lung

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker (Proinochilus xanthopygius)

Some primates native to East Kalimantan include the white-fronted surili (Presbytis frontata) and the owa kalawat, or Muller’s Bornean gibbon (Hylobates muelleri). Our PRM team occasionally encounter these two species during patrols for released orangutans.

The white-fronted surili is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s red list, and the Indonesian government also lists it as a protected species. This primate, called ‘puan’ by the local Dayak population, is diurnal, meaning it is active during the day.

- FOTO 1 Lutung dahi putih

White-fronted Surili (Presbytis frontata)

The Mullers Bornean gibbon known in Indonesia at owa kalawat, is a frugivore and can be found in both the primary and secondary forests of Kalimantan and is on the IUCN red list as ‘endangered’.

Hylobates muelleri by luy

Muller’s Bornean gibbon (Hylobates muelleri)

Kalimantan also has other native species including reptiles like the white-fronted water snake (Amphiesma flavifrons). This snake is found in rivers flowing through Kalimantan’s primary and secondary forests, and its head is visible above the water’s surface when it is swimming. Its diet consists of eggs, tadpoles and frogs.

FOTO 6 - Amphiesma Flavirons

White-fronted water snake (Amphiesma flavifrons)

Geographically located along the equator, Indonesia’s biodiversity is abundantly rich. The examples mentioned above comprise only a small fraction of what can be found in the Kehje Sewen Forest, and more broadly this archipelago nation. It is we, human beings, who need to be responsible for protecting and preserving this precious ecosystem – not only to sustain our local natural environment, but all life on Earth.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Lesik, the Kehje Sewen Forest

This year marks the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary. We hope orangutans will continue to live safely in their natural environment and we will do our best to continue to monitor our released orangutans. We look forward to reporting on their progress throughout the year! You can support our team and our monitoring activities. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation and make a difference to the future survival of orangutans!

Hamzah and Sayang Spotted Near Camp Lesik

March 15, 2016. Posted in Article

Our team from Camp Lesik, in the Kehje Sewen Forest, was recently patrolling at Gunung Belah and along the Rini transect with transmitters in the hope of picking up orangutan signals. The team spent the entire day trying to locate released orangutans, but it was to no avail. However, right before they retired to Camp Lesik that evening, Sayang and Hamzah were discovered nearby the camp.

Early the next morning, as our kitchen camp began emitting the hearty smells of breakfast, our spirits were lifted after spotting several movements on the hill in front of the camp. After peeking through our binoculars, we found that the movements were coming from Sayang and Hamzah, who both had nested near Camp Lesik.

Bowo, Handoko and Rizal skipped breakfast to observe the two orangutans. We later realized that Sayang and Hamzah were closer than we initially thought, actively moving through the trees and kiss-squeaking when they saw members of our monitoring team.

Hamzah

Hamzah

Sayang

We witnessed Sayang knock down a dead tree, around 50 centimetres in diameter: She dangled her body on the branch of a dead tree and used her weight to rock it around. After a few tries, she managed to knock it down. We could only wonder why she may have done this – perhaps she was trying to show her displeasure toward us.

Soon after, Hamzah moved deeper into the Kehje Sewen Forest, leaving Sayang to relax and enjoy her morning meal of forest fruits.

Sayang

We finished our data collection by mid-morning and continued to patrol along the Ariyo transect up to the release point where we had reintroduced Diah, in December 2013. On the way, we intermittently detected Mona’s signal, which seemed to be heading to Peapong. We tracked the signal, but it wasn’t clear. By the time we had finished our patrol at the Martin transect, we still had not spotted a single orangutan.  We figured it was just one of those days.

The sun was setting and it was getting dark, so the team quickly headed back to Camp Lesik. We can only hope for better results on the next patrol.

Our team always feels uplifted whenever we locate, follow and observe one of our released orangutans. It gives us great joy to witness them living happily and enjoying their freedom in the forest. We hope every orangutan that goes through our rehabilitation process, both in Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng, will eventually be able to live again in their natural habitat.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

In celebration of the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary this year, we hope that the orangutans will continue to live safely in their new natural habitat. We will do our best to continuously monitor their progress and look forward to some new exciting reports on their adaptation this year! You can keep support our team and our monitoring activities. DONATE NOW to BOS Foundation and make a difference to the future survival of orangutans!

Monitoring Lesan, Hamzah, Mona and Sayang

March 8, 2016. Posted in Article

During a patrol last week in the Kehje Sewen Forest, our PRM team at Camp Lesik encountered several orangutans located not very far from the camp. Three beautiful females and one male were spotted enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the forest.

The team had embarked on a patrol that day near the spring, about a 1-hour walk from the camp. There they saw Lesan perched up in a tree, observing her surroundings. The team got to work taking notes on Lesan’s movements every 2 minutes. Before one hour had passed, Lesan had already moved away through the trees.

Lesan

Not long after that, the team noticed movements up the hill, not far from where they had first spotted Lesan. A team member carefully sneaked up and discovered the movements had come from Hamzah. The team then switched its focus to Hamzah, who was busy feeding.

Hamzah

The team ate lunch while observing Lesan and Hamzah, who were happily eating rambutan.

Not long after lunch, Sayang and Mona were seen joining Lesan in the same tree to eat rambutan. The three looked very comfortable together. Unfortunately, the sky turned dark as the rain set in: The four orangutans left the area one by one and moved deeper into the forest while the team returned to Camp Lesik.

Sayang (left) and Mona (right)

Mona and Sayang were the last two orangutans to move away together through the trees.

Sayang and Mona

Observations on that day indicate that Lesan, Hamzah, Mona and Sayang appear to be in good health and spend a lot of their time up in the trees. Sayang, the first daughter of Yayang and the youngest in this group of four, continues to show positive developments in adapting well to her environment.

Keep living comfortably and happily in the Kehje Sewen Forest, Lesan, Hamzah, Mona and Sayang!

Text by: PRM team in Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

In celebration of the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary this year, we hope that the orangutans will continue to live safely in their new natural habitat. We will do our best to continuously monitor their progress and look forward to some new exciting reports on their adaptation this year! You can keep support our team and our monitoring activities. DONATE NOW to BOS Foundation and make a difference to the future survival of orangutans!

Update on our Reintroduced Orangutans in the South Kehje Sewen Forest

March 1, 2016. Posted in Article

Apart from mother-infant units, orangutans are known to be generally solitary creatures; however, our Post-Release Monitoring team from Nles Mamse camp in the South Kehje Sewen Forest of East Kalimantan has recorded some of our orangutans spending extended periods of time with each other. Bungan and Ajeng are current companions, whilst Leonie, Long, Arief and Hanung have also remained in close contact over the past few weeks, eating and exploring the forest together, almost in a group situation.

It appears that Ajeng finds it difficult to keep up with the quicker and more agile Bungan, yet she still manages to tag along like a little sister, following Bungan wherever she goes.

When she runs out of puff trying to trail Bungan, Ajeng stops and gazes in the direction she has gone; as if willing Bungan to wait for her.

Ajeng

Bungan

Leoni, Long, Arief and Hanung have been observed eating together in the same tree. The four seem to have a tight social bond.

Long, Arief, Leonie, and Hanung

Long, Arief, Leonie, and Hanung

Long and Arief

Long has been a surrogate mother to Arief since they were in the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Program and we are so pleased to see that they have stayed together after their release.

Long and Arief

We are delighted to see the progress made by our released orangutans in the Kehje Sewen Forest. They seem to be living happily in their natural surroundings. We very much hope that all the orangutans at our rehabilitation centers will be able to live like Bungan, Ajeng, Long, Arief, Hanung and Leonie in the future.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

In celebration of the BOS Foundation’s 25th anniversary this year, we hope that the orangutans will continue to live safely in their new natural habitat. We will do our best to continuosly monitor their progress and look forward to some new exciting reports on their adaption this year! You can keep support our team and our monitoring activities. DONATE NOW to BOS Foundation and make a difference to the future survial orangutans!