Lessons learnt from 12 Years Restoring the Orangutan’s Habitat: the Bukit Piton Forest…

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Stephanie Mansourian, Maria Christina Fung, Fredinand P. Lobinsiu, Daniel Vallauri

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Situated in Malaysia, Sabah (Borneo Island), the Ulu Segama-Malua landscape covers about 240,000 ha area of lowland rainforest and sustains the largest population of critically endangered orangutans (about 3400 individuals). At the north, 12,000 ha of isolated and heavily degraded Bukit Piton Forest Reserve has marked as an important orangutan habitat, supporting about 200 orangutans. In 2007, WWF and partners began forest restoration efforts and monitor the orangutan population. The restoration project under WWF completed in 2019, whereby 2,218 ha has been planted with approximately 346,000 trees. Records of orangutan using planted trees were captured as early as 5 years after planting multiply over the years, showing positive improvement after restoration. The estimate funds were contributed in the 12-year programme amounted to over EUR 5 million, funded by private companies and WWF. Nine key lessons learnt: 1. Pressures surrounding the landscape need to be monitored closely. 2. Protection and restoration complement each other and can produce quick results for endangered species. 3. Restoring habitat for a specific species can help to focus the interventions. 4. Unexpected challenges raise the cost of restoration and increase timeframes. 5. Choosing both fast and slow growing tree species can be an effective means of reaching different objectives. 6. Laws of supply and demand affect seedling availability for some native species. 7. Long term maintenance after planting is crucial. 8. Restoration contributes to the enhancement of high conservation values. 9. Payments (funding support) by companies can support long term restoration.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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