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At the end of 2023, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team met Agus in the jungle once again. He had been released 10 years prior and at that time he has roamed near and far in the Kehje Sewen Forest. In this encounter, the team met Agus around the Pelangsiran transit settlement. Based on reports from the community, Agus was seen picking coconuts from trees in the area. However, Agus’s arrival did not cause conflict with the local community in Pelangsiran.

In general, an orangutan home range indicates that the habitat it encompasses is healthy and productive. The habitats suitable for orangutans can vary, but all contain a unique combination of abiotic and biotic components which support complex ecosystems. For wildlife in particular, it is critical that their habitat provides plentiful sources of food, water, and shelter.

The Kehje Sewen Forest is a mixed dipterocarp forest, rich in biodiversity, with nearly 500 identified tree species, as well as dozens of liana and rattan species. Despite selective logging decades ago, the forest is a healthy habitat which is inhabited by hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians – not to mention the countless insects and arachnids. For orangutans like Agus, the entire Kehje Sewen Forest feels like an abundant home.

Hemiprocne comata.

The wealth of natural resources in Kehje Sewen has the potential to benefit humans and wildlife alike, but that is only if humans do not grow greedy. Kehje Sewen and forests like it provide invaluable ecosystem services to us in the form of clear air and fresh water, but only if we protect and respect them. Sustainable management of wild habitats safeguards wildlife and allows for them to make their own unique contributions to the intricately interlinked ecosystem.

Every habitat is made up of an innumerable number of factors and if even one is removed, risks ecological collapse. It is for this reason we must continue our work to observe and monitor orangutans, a keystone species that helps to support others within their habitat. To ensure their survival in Kehje Sewen, our PRM team is currently planting more food species to help undo the damage done by selective logging many years ago. This planting aims to reinforce the availability of natural foods for wildlife, especially orangutans, far into the future.

Text by: PRM Team at Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan.

Will you help us rescue, rehabilitate and release orangutans back to freedom? Thank you!

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