Dr. Mark Harrison (BNF Co-director) on behalf of Borneo Nature Foundation was awarded a Special Prize for Endangered Animal Species from Fondation Ensemble France, for its project to protect Orangutans in Rungan Landscape, Central Borneo. The award was given on May the 23rd, at the Duc des Lombards Jazz Club in Paris, in a festive and musical atmosphere, presented by J. Delia Brémond and the whole Foundation’s team. The Special Prize was given during the celebration of Fondation Ensemble 15 years of commitment for biodiversity.
The Rungan Landscape (over 100,000 hectares) currently has no formal conservation project despite being the largest relatively-intact forest in this part of Borneo. It is believed to have sizable peat deposits. A 2004 orangutan distribution analysis listed this area as home to over 1,000 individuals and has been identified as priority habitat of the species.
The region was brought to people’s attention by local communities because concerns are growing as the forest is at risk from conversion to oil palm and acacia. To fully realize its conservation potential, the landscape must be mapped and surveyed, in particular, the distribution and abundance of the region’s flagship species, the Bornean orangutan.
The aim of this project is to develop an orangutan conservation plan for the Rungan region, by adopting a landscape approach to conservation planning and building on existing community and NGO activities.
BNF described the conservation potential of the Rungan Landscape and provide a credible scientific rationale for protection by Mapping habitat distribution; Forest cover and land-use using GIS and drone technology; and Surveying orangutan distribution and determine habitat occupancy and population densities throughout the landscape. (ESB)