Govt to form orangutans and bekantan conservation team

BANJARMASIN, South Kalimantan: Chairman of the Sahabat Bekantan Indonesia (SBI) Amalia Rezeki appreciated the initiative of the Governor of South Kalimantan Sahbirin Noor who intend to form an orangutans and bekantan conservation team, AntaranewsKalsel reported.

It is in response to the findings of the Observation Team for the Biological Diversity Study and Conservation Center (Biodiversity Indonesia) – University of Lambung Mangkurat on habitat and population of orangutans in the North Hulu Sungai District in 2014, she said here on Tuesday.

According to Amalia, previously South Kalimantan was scientifically mentioned to not having spread of habitats and populations of orangutans and proboscis monkeys (bekantan). The last condition they have decreased drastically due to land conversion, settlement, forest fires and poaching.

The team will be assigned to collect data about the orangutans and bekantan in South Kalimantan. They will conduct a population study, distribution, and mapping to be followed up by the relevant agencies, universities, and observers.

In addition to conduct a social impact and threat analysis to orangutans and proboscis and their conflicts with humans, the team to prepare action plans and provide advice on conservation of orangutans and bekantan and also to coordinate with all parties in efforts to conservation.

The good will of the government was a milestone for the world of conservation in South Kalimantan in an effortto save orangutans and bekantan.

“It is now all the stakeholders unite together and working to save the endemic primates of Kalimantan which existance are endangered in the world, since the enactment of bekantan as an icon of South Kalimantan in March 28, 1990,” said Amalia who is also a lecturer of Biology Education in University of Lambung Mangkurat.

Meanwhile, SBI during 2015 to 2016 has about 29 times evacuated the proboscis. “We have been released 16 bekantan to their natural habitat, 10 other are in treatment, but three could not be helped due to quite serious burns,” said Chairman of the SBI Amalia Rezeki.