Bornean Orangutan mother with baby
Apex Supports Rainforest Trust to Protect Bornean Orangutans
Posted by Giovanna Fasanelli
in Of Interest
Apex is proud to support Rainforest Trust and their efforts to protect Bornean Orangutans and their critical habitat in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
A Stronghold for Bornean Orangutans
In southern Borneo lies the fruit-rich Rungan River Peat Swamp Forest, one of the largest regions of lowland forest in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) that until recently was a conservation afterthought. During the past four decades, the Kalimantan lowlands have been extensively cleared, primarily to expand plantation agriculture for palm oil and wood pulp.
This hyper-diverse region of peat swamp and lowland rainforest supports a plethora of specialized and highly threatened creatures such as the Bornean White-bearded Gibbon, Proboscis Monkey, Flat-headed Cat, Otter Civet, Malayan Sun Bear, Hairy-nosed Otter and 136 species of birds. Most notably, this area is a stronghold for critically endangered Bornean Orangutans—close to 2,000 individuals call this area home, or four percent of the global population. Habitat loss is the most intense threat facing Borneo Orangutans, so protecting this swath of forest is a vital step in securing their survival.
Critical Protection for Borneo’s Rainforest
Due to its climate and location, this habitat is prime real estate for conversion into oil palm and acacia plantations and, without immediate action, the tables could be forever turned on this treasure chest of nature. Added to the urgency of this project are the distress calls emanating from indigenous people of the area, the Dayak Ngaju, who depend upon the forest’s natural resources for their survival. They are at dire odds with the Indonesian government, which laid claim to all unoccupied land at the time of independence and have since been distributing leases to logging and plantation companies. The rampant destruction of these forests is directly attacking the livelihoods of the Dayak communities who are struggling to have their voices heard as they fight to hold onto their way of life.
Thankfully the cries of the people and the animals have been acknowledged. Rainforest Trust, working together with their local partner, Borneo Nature Foundation, has succeeded in raising the funds needed to purchase 385,000 acres of lowland forest as a permanent protected area to ensure this land and its role in the larger ecosystem can be preserved.
Apex Supports Rainforest Trust
This is just one of many superb projects that Rainforest Trust is bringing to the world’s attention. With their expertise, passion, dedication and proficiency, this non-profit organization is doing the very best work they can to protect our planet’s biodiversity. In collaboration with local partners and the world’s most committed conservationists, Rainforest Trust has secured over 22 million acres of precious habitat, protecting countless species of flora and fauna.
Apex Expeditions is very proud to be counted as one of their supporters. In 2018, we selected Rainforest Trust as one of the recipient charities of our annual contributions, specifically to support the Kalimantan project to protect Bornean Orangutans. Visit the Rainforest Trust website to learn more about their efforts to protect our planet’s critical ecosystems. Read about the other projects that Apex supports around the world on our Conservation page.