A wild orang-utan spotted in the Engkari-Telaus Community Conservation Landscape. Photo © Daniel Kong
The orang-utans in Sarawak are recognised as the northwest Bornean sub-species, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus. It is estimated that 90% of this sub-species in Sarawak is found in the Batang Ai National Park (BANP) and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) landscape. This landscape is approximately 1,920 km2 in area size. Together with the Betung Kerihun National Park of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, they form the Trans-boundary Biodiversity Conservation Area (TBCA), which forms the largest protected area where the Bornean species of orang-utan occur.
Two more national parks were gazetted outside the BANP-LEWS landscape in 2010 for the purpose of orang-utan conservation. They are the Ulu Sebuyau National Park (July 2010) and Sedilu National Park (September 2010).
In May 2013, another landscape to the south of the proposed Southern extension of BANP known as the Ulu Sungai Menyang landscape was announced at the Sarawak’s State Legislative Assembly as a High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) after a survey of the area confirmed that there was up to 200 orang-utans in April 2013. Also in the same month, two formerly proposed extensions to LEWS were gazetted as part of the Wildlife Sanctuary for the purpose of orang-utan conservation which added 142.25 km2 to the landscape.
Although Bornean orang-utans are endangered and protected by the strictest laws on this island, it is threatened because of forest loss and illegal hunting.
Past WCS Activities
On-going WCS activities
Work with authorities to strengthen the enforcement and monitoring of illegal wildlife activities through Management Information System (MIST), and other relevant activities. MIST is a management tool developed to assist decision makers in managing protected areas.
The orang-utan nest count surveys and conservation education programs were financially supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Great Ape Conservation Fund (USFWS GACF), Margo Marsh Biodiversity Foundation (MMBF), Whitley Fund for Nature, Arcus Foundation, Crest Megaway, and Kathy Ruttenberg. Additional funds were provided by the Orang-utan Project Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Way Out Experiences (M) Sdn Bhd) and Borneo Adventure. In-kind contribution for accommodation at the operational bases, boats and additional manpower were provided by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), the conservation partner for this project. Additional off-road transportation was provided by Hariwood Sdn. Bhd. Administrative support was provided by the District Offices as well as District Police Offices of Lubok Antu, Kanowit and Song. Permits to conduct the surveys, past and present were provided by the Forest Department of Sarawak (FDS).
Wich, S.A., Meijaard, E., Marshall, A.J., Husson, S. Ancrenaz, M., Lacy, R.C., van Schaik, C.P., Sugardjito, J., Simorangkir, T., Traylor-Holzer, K., Doughty, M., Supriatna, J., Dennis, R., Gumal, M., Knott, C.D. & Singleton, I. (2008). Distribution and conservation status of the orang-utan (Pongo spp.) on Borneo and Sumatra: how many remain? Oryx 42(3): 329-339