students helping with forest restoration

Students helping with forest restoration


Restoring orangutan habitat

During the last 3 months, we worked in five forest restoration sites, at different stages of restoration.

Deforestation is still a problem and we are determined to return the land into rainforest for orangutans and other species. In Bukit Mas and Halaban, our oldest projects still active, the activities focused on the maintenance of secondary forest over 25 hectares. Maintenance consists of pruning tall trees and keeping the planting lines clear of grass, to avoid young trees dying. We also replanted 600 trees belonging to four fast-growing species over 1.5 hectare, with the help of local students and visitors.

In Halaban, 11 camera traps have been placed in strategic areas to observe wildlife. And we have been happy to see Sumatran elephants roaming freely in our site! Unfortunately almost all our cameras are now out of order due to humidity and moisture accumulated during the last months of usage.

nursery construction

Constructing a nursery for seedlings

In Cinta Raja, an area located inside the Gunung Leuser National Park formerly encroached by oil palm farmers, 30,000 trees have been planted or are in nursery. This is already a huge effort to restore the 70 hectares devastated of lush rainforest destroyed by greed and illegal activities.

Young Seedlings in nursery

Finally, two other sites will be operating in the next 3 months. In Bakongan, our teams proceeded to map the 50 hectare area and involve the local community in the restoration work. After training, local farmers will be selected to conduct the reforestation along with our expert team.

 

Peat re-wetting

In Singkil, one of the most important peatland areas of Sumatra, our team conducted mapping over the 150 hectares of the site. Peatlands are incredibly important for fighting climate change as well as being the area with densest orangutan population due to the fertility of the soil, which produces abundant fruit. Our field team is currently working with experts in peatland restoration from the United Stated to learn peat rewetting and hydrology techniques

In both sites, we are designing, alongside the local authorities, the best work plan to implement for a successful programme. In November and January, we will build the main installations (team camp, nurseries) and in January 2018, seed collection will start!

As Rio Ardie, our restoration project manager, says: “Working in these two new sites, Bakongan and Singkil, is a beautiful challenge and key to protecting orangutans. We are so proud of all our supporters around the world who donate so we can carry on our work”.

In the name of all the team, we thank you very much for caring about orangutans and their habitat!

weeding around trees

Weeding to keep trees healthy

Zac Mills

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