Article

Distribution and conservation status of the orang-utan (Pongo spp.) on Borneo and Sumatra: How many remain?

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Abstract

In recognition of the fact that orang-utans (Pongo spp.) are severely threatened, a meeting of orang-utan experts and conservationists, representatives of national and regional governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders, was convened in Jakarta, Indonesia, in January 2004. Prior to this meeting we surveyed all large areas for which orang-utan population status was unknown. Compilation of all survey data produced a comprehensive picture of orang-utan distribution on both Borneo and Sumatra. These results indicate that in 2004 there were c. 6,500 P. abelii remaining on Sumatra and at least 54,000 P. pygmaeus on Borneo. Extrapolating to 2008 on the basis of forest loss on both islands suggests the estimate for Borneo could be 10% too high but that for Sumatra is probably still relatively accurate because forest loss in orang-utan habitat has been low during the conflict in Aceh, where most P. abelii occur. When those population sizes are compared to known historical sizes it is clear that the Sumatran orang-utan is in rapid decline, and unless extraordinary efforts are made soon, it could become the first great ape species to go extinct. In contrast, our results indicate there are more and larger populations of Bornean orang-utans than previously known. Although these revised estimates for Borneo are encouraging, forest loss and associated loss of orang-utans are occurring at an alarming rate, and suggest that recent reductions of Bornean orang-utan populations have been far more severe than previously supposed. Nevertheless, although orang-utans on both islands are under threat, we highlight some reasons for cautious optimism for their long-term conservation.

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... Depuis une trentaine d'années, l'expansion rapide de la culture du palmier à huile, essentiellement sur les espaces forestiers, a eu un impact dramatique sur la biodiversité (Vijay et al., 2016). Les scientifiques internationaux publient périodiquement des articles toujours plus catastrophiques sur l'avenir du plus grand mammifère arboricole, prédisant sa prochaine extinction (Rijksen et Meijaard, 1999 ;Wich et al., 2003 ;Singleton et al., 2004 ;Wich et al., 2008 ;Wich et al., 2016). Les associations internationales environnementales, les médias internationaux et même les Nations unies (Nellemann et al., 2007) relayent abondamment ces informations alarmistes (Louchart, 2011). ...
... Ils ont aussi limité la distribution des orangs-outans aux basses altitudes, déterminant par convention une altitude inférieure à 900 m en 2008, pour l'augmenter ensuite tout aussi arbitrairement à 1500 m (þ60 %) en 2016. Enfin, leurs premières analyses se sont centrées sur l'aire protégée du Gunung Leuser et des alentours plus larges de l'écosystème Leuser pour ensuite inclure la distribution d'orangs-outans sur des zones non protégées, en particulier l'ouest du lac Toba (Wich et al., 2008 ;Wich et al., 2016). Ces trois modifications arbitraires proviennent de retours d'observation de personnels sur le terrain qui nécessite l'adaptation du modèle à ces informations. ...
... Chaque nouvel article scientifique se conclut sur l'annonce du déclin continu et de l'extinction imminente des orangs-outans à Sumatra. Ces estimations de la taille sont contredites par les travaux scientifiques ultérieurs (Rijksen et Meijaard, 1999 ;van Schaik et al., 2001 ;Wich et al., 2003 ;Singleton et al., 2004 ;Wich et al., 2008;. ...
... In Sumatra, the majority number of orangutan can be found in Aceh Province. In the rugged mountains of Aceh, 6,600 orangutans are estimated, and they inhabit inside and outside the NPs; with the remaining 0.09% exists in West Mount Leuser (Wich et al. 2008). Most of the areas in NPs consist of high mountains, although their densities decrease with an increasing elevation. ...
... Since early 1970s, most orangutans' populations in Sumatra and Borneo have been in a constantly dangerous condition (Supriatna et al. 2017). For example, the 'rugged' mountainous regions of Ulu Masen in Aceh and its surroundings -is known as one of the prime habitats in the northern Aceh -up to 800 individuals were estimated in the population but suprisingly, no orangutan revealed in the field survey in 2007 (Wich et al. 2008). Such condition on the field would fit with a future prediction made by Wich et al. (2008) in Aceh-only scenario. ...
... For example, the 'rugged' mountainous regions of Ulu Masen in Aceh and its surroundings -is known as one of the prime habitats in the northern Aceh -up to 800 individuals were estimated in the population but suprisingly, no orangutan revealed in the field survey in 2007 (Wich et al. 2008). Such condition on the field would fit with a future prediction made by Wich et al. (2008) in Aceh-only scenario. There will be a steep decline up to 68.5% of the current numbers as a result of annual forest loss up to 1.0%-1.5% in most of orangutans' habitat in over 16 years. ...
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Abstract Orangutans (Pongo spp.) populations used to be widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia, from Java in the south to the southern China in the north during the Pleistocene. Their populations have declined up to 75% of their original size and are now distributed only in parts of the tropical rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Pongo pygmaeus, Pongo tapanuliensis and Pongo abelii, are the three most representative species, and this study discussed the latter. Sumatran forests are generally suffering from deforestation with rates ranging from 3.74% to 49.85% between 2000 and 2012. Thus, human wildlife conflict intensity has escalated and gained more traction. Orangutans are known as arboreal great apes and need to build nests for resting. Here we applied the transect line method (three transects; each 1,000 m long) at different elevations in Soraya Station, Gelombang Village, Sultan Daulat sub-district, Subulussalam district, and assessed nest characteristics. The characteristics are: (1) nesting position referring to the position of nest on a tree; (2) nest successional stages defining the age and leaf decay used in constructing a nest indicated with I (new) until V (almost gone); and (3) nest density to predict the density of nest per square km. Afterwards, the identified nesting trees along the transect were further identified based on their species, and assessed based on three characteristics (the nesting tree height, diameter and the height of a nest measured from the soil). A total of 27 nests were found, and 44% were located in transect III or at the riparian. Out of 27, four orangutans’ nests were found on Moraceae (Streblus elongatus) and Myrtaceae (Syzigium spp.), while three nests were found on Dipterocarpus sp. Tree height, tree diameter and nest height were 10 m–25 m (mean = 17.5 m; SD = ± 0.25), 10 cm–30 cm (mean = 20 cm; SD = ± 0.4) and 16 m–20 m (mean = 18 m; SD = ± 0.35), respectively. Meanwhile, nest density calculated based on the form: d = [N/ (L* 2w)], and the values obtained were 8.4, 13.45, 26.9 nests/km2 located on transect I, II and III or at the riparian. The most commonly found nest successional stages and position were stage III and position 3, respectively. This study could serve as baseline research representing that in primate conservation, nest characterisation could be used as guidance for any future activity planning (e.g., tree reforestation) in a particular region and the existence of various tree species diversity are indispensable for maintaining orangutan habitats’ quality. Keywords: Biodiversity, Conservation, Leuser, National Park, Protected Forest
... Wild orangutans inhabiting the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are the only Southeast Asian great apes (Wich et al., 2008). They belong to the Pongo genus, diverged into three distinct species, the Sumatran Pongo abelii and P. tapanuliensis and the Bornean Pongo pygmaeus (Wich et al., 2008;Nater et al., 2017). ...
... Wild orangutans inhabiting the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are the only Southeast Asian great apes (Wich et al., 2008). They belong to the Pongo genus, diverged into three distinct species, the Sumatran Pongo abelii and P. tapanuliensis and the Bornean Pongo pygmaeus (Wich et al., 2008;Nater et al., 2017). The demographic history of orangutans has been shaped by dramatic changes in climate and sea levels (Flenley, 1998). ...
... Once widely spread throughout mainland Southeast Asia and Sundaland, the orangutans are nowadays encountered exclusively in isolated regions in northern Sumatra (the Pongo abelii and P. tapanuliensis species) and in Borneo (the Pongo pygmaeus species) (Wich et al., 2008). Since their divergence, these species have been subjected to contrasting environmental factors (Taylor and van Schaik, 2007;Wich et al., 2009). ...
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The genus Pongo is ideal to study population genetics adaptation, given its remarkable phenotypic divergence and the highly contrasting environmental conditions it’s been exposed to. Studying its genetic variation bears the promise to reveal a motion picture of these great apes’ evolutionary and adaptive history, and also helps us expand our knowledge of the patterns of adaptation and evolution. In this work, we advance the understanding of the genetic variation among wild orangutans through a genome-wide study of short tandem repeats (STRs). Their elevated mutation rate makes STRs ideal markers for the study of recent evolution within a given population. Current technological and algorithmic advances have rendered their sequencing and discovery more accurate, therefore their potential can be finally leveraged in population genetics studies. To study patterns of population variation within the wild orangutan population, we genotyped the short tandem repeats in a population of 21 individuals spanning four Sumatran and Bornean (sub-) species and eight Southeast Asian regions. We studied the impact of sequencing depth on our ability to genotype STRs and found that the STR copy number changes function as a powerful marker, correctly capturing the demographic history of these populations, even the divergences as recent as 10 Kya. Moreover, gene ontology enrichments for genes close to STR variants are aligned with local adaptations in the two islands. Coupled with more advanced STR-compatible population models, and selection tests, genomic studies based on STRs will be able to reduce the gap caused by the missing heritability for species with recent adaptations.
... Approximately 50% of Sumatran orangutan habitat falls inside the park directly managed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and 78% lies within the boundaries of the wider vast Leuser Ecosystem Area that includes the park [25]. Thus, Gunung Leuser National Park is vital habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan [26]. ...
... It is estimated that there were 85,000 Sumatran orangutans in 1900. By 2017, only 6600 were thought to exist, all in North Sumatra and Aceh provinces [25]. ...
Article
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The local community is an essential and key partner in managing protected areas, especially for national parks in Indonesia. Therefore, there is a need to establish adaptive collaborative management (ACM) between the park authorities and the local community. In 2000, several local leaders established a new organization to develop an ecotourism package called the Tangkahan Ecotourism Organization or Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan (LPT) and set up the Community Tour Operator to manage the ecotourism activities. Our study used a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis through focus group discussions (FGDs), interviews with related stakeholders and key informants, and carried out a literature review. It was found that ensuring local community could generate alternative income from ecotourism was an effective way to protect the park from any illegal activities. Additionally, the results about sustainability from the FGDs show that all three categories: Social Process, Adaptive Natural Resource Management, and Impact/Condition are interrelated, meaning that the collaboration and adaptive management in Tangkahan have resulted in high levels of humanistic well-being and the maintenance of ecological values, supporting collaboration processes and adaptive levels. Finally, our study can be used as a basis for a model of national parks focusing on ACM.
... Despite legal protection, laws remain difficult to enforce. Over time, orangutans have lost their habitat greatly and has been under threat from human populations [10] and human activities such as agricultural activities, large-scale commercial logging and hunting [7] [11]. Since there is a transition of habitat from original to a semi-wild condition, therefore, this research will analyze their social behavior in referring to a process of familiarization of their environment co-existing with humans and man-made structures, which is different from the original habitat. ...
... This situation is different for the wild orangutans. In the wild, they need time to find their own food (foraging) and once they found the place, they will take longer time to consume all the food sources [10]. ...
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Although orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is one of Malaysian iconic species, however when compared to other great apes this species is not well studied. Several good articles regarding this species in captivity are relatively limited. Due to this reason, a behavioral study of this orangutan (P. pygmaeus) was conducted at Orang Utan Island, Bukit Merah, Perak. The main objectives of this study were to understand the ethology of orangutan in a semi-wild condition and the space utilization of the orangutans that would help in giving picture of the animal’s arboreal and terrestrial nature. Preliminary observations were carried out for five days in January 2016 and intensive observations was carried out for a month in February 2016. The observation method used was focal sampling with continuous reading. The observations were done by focusing on one individual subject for every one hour from 09:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. and from 14:00 p.m. to 17:00 p.m. The behavioral profile of the orangutans in semi-wild environment showed that resting, feeding, and playing are the three major daily activities of the orangutans on the island. In accordance with the purpose of this study, the result of the behavioral activities of orangutan can be used for the management and well-being of the orangutan in the study site. It is much hoped with the provided information this will help to increase our understanding of orangutans’ behavior in a semi-wild condition.
... Phylogenèse, répartition géographique et écologie Des distinctions morphologiques et génétiques notables (Groves 2001;Locke et al. 2011;Warren et al. 2001) ont révélé l'existence de deux espèces d'orangsoutans que sont Pongo abelii et Pongo pygmaeus (Groves 2001;Mailund et al. 2012;Nater et al. 2015;Prado-Martinez et al. 2013). P. abelii évolue sur l'île de Sumatra, tandis que l'île de Bornéo abrite les représentants de l'espèce P. pygmaeus (Groves 2001;Wich et al. 2008) constitués de trois sous-espèces : (i) P. p. pygmaeus au Nord-Ouest de l'île, (ii) P. p. wurmbii au centre, et (iii) au Nord-Est, P. p. morio (Wich et al. 2008;Ancrenaz et al. 2018; Figure 4). ...
... Phylogenèse, répartition géographique et écologie Des distinctions morphologiques et génétiques notables (Groves 2001;Locke et al. 2011;Warren et al. 2001) ont révélé l'existence de deux espèces d'orangsoutans que sont Pongo abelii et Pongo pygmaeus (Groves 2001;Mailund et al. 2012;Nater et al. 2015;Prado-Martinez et al. 2013). P. abelii évolue sur l'île de Sumatra, tandis que l'île de Bornéo abrite les représentants de l'espèce P. pygmaeus (Groves 2001;Wich et al. 2008) constitués de trois sous-espèces : (i) P. p. pygmaeus au Nord-Ouest de l'île, (ii) P. p. wurmbii au centre, et (iii) au Nord-Est, P. p. morio (Wich et al. 2008;Ancrenaz et al. 2018; Figure 4). ...
Thesis
L’universalité des “règles” qui régissent les conversations humaines, comme le respect du tour de parole, suggère de possibles bases biologiques à ce comportement. Au travers d’une revue de la littérature, nous avons révélé qu’à l’image de nos conversations, les échanges vocaux de vocalisations de contact de la plupart des primates non-humains respectent des règles sociales et temporelles. Notamment, les interlocuteurs, choisis sur des critères sociaux, alternent leurs émissions vocales tout en évitant de se couper la parole. Ces échanges permettent de créer et consolider des relations affiliatives. Toutefois, les grands singes sont peu représentés dans la littérature disponible sur ce sujet, malgré l’intérêt comparatif qu’ils représentent de par leur proximité phylogénétique avec l’humain et la diversité de leurs systèmes sociaux. Ce projet vise donc à décrire les règles d’interactions vocales chez les grands singes non-humains : bonobos (Pan paniscus), chimpanzés (Pan troglodytes), gorilles des plaines de l’Ouest (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) et orangs-outans de Bornéo (Pongo pygmaeus). Dans un premier temps, une approche expérimentale a permis de vérifier l’importance du respect du tour de parole lors des échanges vocaux pour les gorilles et de souligner un rôle possible de l’apprentissage social dans l’acquisition des règles appropriées d’interaction. Ensuite, une approche observationnelle menée sur un groupe de chimpanzés captifs a, au contraire, souligné l’extrême rareté des tours de paroles, au profit d’interactions vocales de type chorus et de fréquentes émissions de cris isolés associées à la régulation des conflits. Enfin, une approche comparative des quatre espèces, mêlant des données provenant de la littérature à nos propres résultats, a suggéré que l’organisation temporelle des interactions vocales est sous l’influence de caractéristiques sociales telles que le degré de socialité et de tolérance intra-groupe, comme le souligne l’existence d’échanges vocaux organisés chez les gorilles et les bonobos. La découverte d’échanges vocaux organisés chez les grands singes permet de compléter l’arbre phylogénétique de cette capacité langagière. Des investigations comparatives supplémentaires restent à mener afin d’affiner nos connaissances quant aux multiples et subtils facteurs sociaux ayant favorisé l’émergence de ce comportement interactionnel.
... There is a lack of research regarding S-SDM applications for Indonesian primates. Most of the Indonesian primate distribution studies were conducted by species-specific modeling [9,46,61,99,100]. Therefore, in this study, we provide reliable information regarding Indonesian primate diversity (multiple species) within the protected areas. ...
... Protected areas of Indonesia covered of about 71,732 km 2 (~49%) primate distributions. Our findings confirm that the Indonesian protected areas still harbor a rich diversity of primates, including many keystone species-e.g., orangutan [100], slow loris [46], and gibbon [54]. Nevertheless, most of the Indonesian primates within the protected areas would be expected to suffer nonanalog climatic conditions by 2050 under the worst-case scenario. ...
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Indonesia has a large number of primate diversity where a majority of the species are threatened. In addition, climate change is conservation issues that biodiversity may likely face in the future, particularly among primates. Thus, species-distribution modeling was useful for conservation planning. Herein, we present protected areas (PA) recommendations with high nature-conservation importance based on species-richness changes. We performed maximum entropy (Maxent) to retrieve species distribution of 51 primate species across Indonesia. We calculated species-richness change and range shifts to determine the priority of PA for primates under mitigation and worst-case scenarios by 2050. The results suggest that the models have an excellent performance based on seven different metrics. Current primate distributions occupied 65% of terrestrial landscape. However, our results indicate that 30 species of primates in Indonesia are likely to be extinct by 2050. Future primate species richness would be also expected to decline with the alpha diversity ranging from one to four species per 1 km2. Based on our results, we recommend 54 and 27 PA in Indonesia to be considered as the habitat-restoration priority and refugia, respectively. We conclude that species-distribution modeling approach along with the categorical species richness is effectively applicable for assessing primate biodiversity patterns.
... P. p. pygmaeus is found mainly in the Batang Ai-Lanjak Entimau (BALE) Landscape of the Malaysian state of Sarawak as well as in Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan. P. p. wurmbii occurs mainly in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan (Wich et al., 2008;Husson et al., 2009). ...
... tapanuliensis). At an annual rate of 10-15% in habitat loss due to logging, both species are the most vulnerable to extinction possibly in the next 50-100 years (Nater et al., 2017;Wich et al., 2008;Marshall et al., 2009). ...
... The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is the third species of orangutan that discovered recently. This newly great ape is isolated in small numbers of fragments forest in Tapanuli -a district in North Sumatera (Nater et al. 2017) and the last population remaining to the south of Lake Toba (Wich et al. 2008). Since 2011, Nater et al. (2011 found that compared to the north of Lake Toba population, mtDNA of the Batang Toru population is more similar to Bornean orangutan. ...
... The forest is divided into a western and an eastern forest block and administratively covers three districts of North Sumatra (North, Central and South Tapanuli). The Tapanuli orangutan is estimated to consist of 400 individuals in the west and 150 individuals in the east/ East Sarulla (Wich et al. 2008). This estimation is based on a preliminary survey in the western forest block, while a guesstimate was made for the eastern forest block (Singleton et al. 2004). ...
Article
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Habitat loss and hunting are major threats to the long-term survival of the viable orangutan population in Batang Toru. East Batang Toru Forest Block (EBTFB) is the most threatened area due to low forest cover and high encroachment. Based on a preliminary survey in 2008, Hopong forest which is located in EBTFB, had the highest orangutan density (0.7 ind/km²). However illegal logging and hunting of protected species were occuring in this unprotected forest. Since this location has been gazetted as unprotected forest from the first survey until this study was conducted, it is important to assess orangutans population trends. This study aims to provide an updated density of orangutan in Hopong forest. The study included the location of the original survey but covered a wider overall area. The line transect method was used to record orangutan nests, ficus and trees bearing fruits. A quadrat method was used to record vegetation. The encounter rate of orangutan declined from 0.7 ind/km² to 0.4 ind/km² between 2008 and 2015. Forest cover has also changed in the seven years between surveys and this has influenced orangutan and orangutan nest encounter rates in Hopong. Since unprotected forest is at more risk in comparison with protected forest, allocation status of the Hopong forest is critical to reduce the threats it faces.
... While there have been important studies focused on the population and behavioral ecology of E.m. sumatranus (e.g., [9,10]), P. abelii (e.g., [11][12][13]), and P.t. sumatrae (e.g., [14][15][16]), there have been few studies of their ecological distribution or status and the factors driving their distribution [17][18][19][20][21][22]. With the increasing threats to Sumatran wildlife due to habitat loss and degradation, it is vital to assess their distribution and habitat use in order to prioritize protection of critical areas. ...
Article
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Tropical Rainforest Heritage sites of Sumatra are some of the most irreplaceable landscapes in the world for biodiversity conservation. These landscapes harbor many endangered Asiatic mammals all suffering multifaceted threats due to anthropogenic activities. Three charismatic mammals in Sumatra: Elephas maximus sumatranus, Pongo abelii, and Panthera tigris sumatrae are protected and listed as Critically Endangered (CR) within the IUCN Red List. Nevertheless, their current geographic distribution remains unclear, and the impact of environmental factors on these species are mostly unknown. This study predicts the potential range of those species on the island of Sumatra using anthropogenic, biophysical, topographic, and climatic parameters based on the ensemble machine learning algorithms. We also investigated the effects of habitat loss from current land use, ecosystem availability, and importance of Indonesian protected areas. Our predictive model had relatively excellent performance (Sørensen: 0.81–0.94) and can enhance knowledge on the current species distributions. The most critical environmental predictors for the distribution of the three species are conservation status and temperature seasonality. This study revealed that more than half of the species distributions occurred in non-protected areas, with proportional coverage being 83%, 72%, and 54% for E.m. sumatranus, P. abelii, and P.t. sumatrae, respectively. Our study further provides reliable information on places where conservation efforts must be prioritized, both inside and outside of the protected area networks, to safeguard the ongoing survival of these Indonesian large charismatic mammals
... The deforestation is linked to the increasing global demand for palm oil, requiring forested lands to be cleared on a large scale for new plantations (Gaveau, 2017;Gilbert, 2012;Koh & Wilcove, 2008;Meijaard et al., 2018;Wright et al., 2019). The dwindling biodiversity in these regions is reflective of this deforestation's ecological impact (Meijaard & Sheil, 2013;Sample, 2018;Wich et al., 2008). Further, these rainforests and the peatlands upon which they grow release enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, when cleared and burned (Basyuni, Sulistyono, Slamet, & Wati 2018;Carlson et al., 2012;Sheil et al., 2009). ...
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Widespread tropical deforestation and biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia due to the oil palm industry can be addressed by encouraging consumers to purchase sustainable palm oil (SPO). An online experiment was conducted to assess whether addressing barriers relating to education, motivation and product availability would increase purchasing of SPO. Australian adults ( n = 628) were randomly assigned to either: (1) a newly developed interactive educational website on palm oil and SPO; (2) an existing educational video on SPO; or (3) an interactive website on differentiating between real and fake news (an attentional control condition). All participants completed pre-intervention and immediate post-intervention measures. Most participants ( n = 403) completed follow-up measures two weeks later. Multivariate analysis revealed that the interactive website and educational video increased both knowledge and the intention to purchase SPO (compared to the attentional control), but neither significantly impacted follow-up self-reported SPO purchasing behaviour. Low perceived product availability might help explain the intention–behaviour gap. Our results suggest that, in addition to increasing consumer knowledge and motivation, promoting sustainable consumption requires creating opportunities for people to engage in the desired behaviour.
... The booming global market for palm oil has led to large-scale clearing of tropical rainforests, consequently negatively impacting biodiversity in Southeast Asia (Gaveau, 2017;Gilbert, 2012;Koh & Wilcove, 2008;Meijaard & Sheil, 2013;Meijaard et al., 2018;Wright et al., 2019). This has pushed several species, including the orangutan, toward critical endangerment (Meijaard & Sheil, 2013;Sample, 2018;Wich et al., 2008). The popular slash-and-burn technique to clear forests drains the peatlands upon which these rainforests grow, thereby releasing copious amounts of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (Basyuni et al., 2018;Carlson et al., 2012;Sheil et al., 2009). ...
Article
Green consumption refers to consumer decision-making that prioritizes the environmental impacts of purchases. The aim of the current research was to identify factors that influence consumers to purchase sustainable palm oil (SPO) products. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 adult residents of Australia, transcribed, and subjected to framework analysis, with sub-themes classified under main themes of capability, opportunity, and motivation. While several sub-themes emerged, those barriers unique to SPO purchasing behavior included a lack of knowledge combined with contradictory information on the best course of action, palm oil being a hidden ingredient that is often not labeled such, and reduced availability and/or visibility of SPO containing products. These barriers are difficult for consumers to overcome on their own. Policy and structural modifications to procurement and labeling, as well as widespread awareness campaigns with a uniform message, could assist in providing a platform for consumer reform.
... Orangutan Borneo, Pongo pygmaeus, diklasifikasikan sebagai Terancam Kritis dalam Daftar Merah Spesies Terancam IUCN (Ancrenaz dkk., 2016). Ancaman utama untuk orangutan Borneo di Indonesia adalah pembukaan hutan untuk pertanian industri, perkebunan kehutanan, pertambangan, pekebun rakyat, dan pembangunan pedesaan, kebakaran, dan pembunuhan hewan buruan, konflik manusia-orangutan, dan penangkapan dalam keadaan hidup (Abram dkk., 2015;Santika dkk., 2017;Voigt dkk., 2018;Wich et al., 2008Wich et al., , 2012. Undang-Undang Indonesia Nomor 5 Tahun 1990, melarang penangkapan, pencederaan, pembunuhan, pengangkutan, perdagangan, dan kepemilikan orangutan, yang mana dapat dihukum hingga lima tahun penjara dan/atau denda maksimum Rp100 juta, atau sekitar $ 7100 USD untuk nilai tukar pada September 2019. ...
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Selama lebih dari 50 tahun, orangutan Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus) yang Terancam Kritis telah diselamatkan dari pemburu liar atau penangkap, direhabilitasi, dan dilepaskan ke habitat alami. Orangutan liar juga dipindahkan-secara sengaja ditangkap dari petak-petak habitat dan situasi yang tidak aman dengan tujuan untuk melepaskan mereka kembali ke area yang dianggap lebih aman. Meskipun kegiatan ini diterapkan secara luas, data tentang konservasi orangutan dan dampak kesejahteraannya masih kurang. Studi kami meningkatkan pemahaman tentang hasil-hasil ini melalui analisis penyelamatan dan pelepasan orangutan Borneo yang dilakukan di Kalimantan, Indonesia antara 2007 dan 2017. Kami mengumpulkan data tentang penyelamatan orangutan (n = 1517) dan pelepasan (n = 1219) dari laporan fasilitas penyelamatan, artikel surat kabar, dan publikasi ilmiah, dan menilai hasilnya terkait dengan rencana aksi, standar internasional untuk pelepasan satwa liar, penegakan hukum, dan populasi dan konservasi habitat orangutan liar. Tingginya tingkat pembunuhan orangutan dan kepemilikan ilegal mendorong munculnya fasilitas penyelamatan, sementara deforestasi, aktual atau potensi kemungkinan interaksi manusia-orangutan, dan kebakaran mendorong pemindahan orangutan liar berskala besar. Kami menemukan fasilitas penyelamatan yang menampung 1.112 orangutan pada tahun 2017, jumlah yang sebagian besar tidak berubah sejak 2007 meskipun dilaporkan 1219 telah dilepas termasuk 605 orangutan penangkaran dan setidaknya 523 orangutan liar yang dipindahkan. Penyelamatan belum memfasilitasi perubahan penting dalam penegakan hukum, atau mencegah hilangnya orangutan liar. Pemindahan pada khususnya menimbulkan risiko serius bagi konservasi populasi besar orangutan dan kesejahteraan individu. Perubahan substansial dalam penegakan hukum, sikap dan perilaku manusia terhadap orangutan, dan peningkatan manajemen tentang hidup berdampingan manusia-orangutan diperlukan untuk memutus siklus pembunuhan orangutan dan kepemilikan ilegal saat ini diikuti dengan penyelamatan dan pelepasan. Perubahan ini akan memungkinkan satu fokus pembaruan yang sangat dibutuhkan untuk melindungi orangutan liar di habitat alami mereka.
... Although they support generally lower biodiversity levels than forests on mineral soils ( Paoli et al., 2010), South-east Asia's peat-swamp forests are now recognized as being of particular importance for biodiversity (Posa, Wijedasa, & Corlett, 2011), which includes the largest proportion of the remaining critically endangered Bornean orangutan population (Pongo pygmaeus: Wich et al., 2008). The Indonesian government recognizes 149,056 km 2 of peatland in the country, with extensive deposits covering both remote areas and neighbouring major population centres on its three largest islands (Kalimantan: 28--32% of the total Indonesian peatland area; Sumatra: 34%-43%; Papua: 25%-38%; Warren, Hergoualc'h, Kauffman, Murdiyarso, & Kolka, 2017). ...
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Tropical forests and peatlands provide important ecological, climate and socio‐economic benefits from the local to the global scale. However, these ecosystems and their associated benefits are threatened by anthropogenic activities, including agricultural conversion, timber harvesting, peatland drainage and associated fire. Here, we identify key challenges, and provide potential solutions and future directions to meet forest and peatland conservation and restoration goals in Indonesia, with a particular focus on Kalimantan. Through a round‐table, dual‐language workshop discussion and literature evaluation, we recognized 59 political, economic, legal, social, logistical and research challenges, for which five key underlying factors were identified. These challenges relate to the 3Rs adopted by the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency (Rewetting, Revegetation and Revitalization), plus a fourth R that we suggest is essential to incorporate into (peatland) conservation planning: Reducing Fires. Our analysis suggests that (a) all challenges have potential for impact on activities under all 4Rs, and many are inter‐dependent and mutually reinforcing, implying that narrowly focused solutions are likely to carry a higher risk of failure; (b) addressing challenges relating to Rewetting and Reducing Fire is critical for achieving goals in all 4Rs, as is considering the local socio‐political situation and acquiring local government and community support; and (c) the suite of challenges faced, and thus conservation interventions required to address these, will be unique to each project, depending on its goals and prevailing local environmental, social and political conditions. With this in mind, we propose an eight‐step adaptive management framework, which could support projects in both Indonesia and other tropical areas to identify and overcome their specific conservation and restoration challenges. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. Hutan dan lahan gambut tropis memberikan manfaat ekosistem, iklim dan sosial‐ekonomi penting untuk skala lokal sampai global. Akan tetapi, ekosistem hutan dan lahan gambut beserta manfaatnya terancam oleh tindakan‐tindakan antropogenik, diantaranya konversi ke pertanian, pemanenan hutan, drainase gambut dan kebakaran. Disini, kami mengidentifikasi tantangan‐tantangan kunci, dan memberikan solusi‐solusi potensial serta arahan‐arahan di masa depan guna mencapai tujuan‐tujuan restorasi dan konservasi gambut di Indonesia dengan fokus khusus di Kalimantan. Melalui lokakarya dwi‐bahasa dan diskusi meja bundar serta evaluasi literatur, kami mengenali 59 tantangan‐tantangan politik, ekonomi, legal, sosial, logistik dan penelitian, yang mana lima faktor kunci mendasar berhasil teridentifikasi. Tantangan‐tantangan terkait dengan adopsi 3Rs oleh Badan Restorasi Gambut (Rewetting, Revegetation dan Revitalization) dan ditambah R yang ke‐empat yang kami sarankan penting untuk dimasukkan ke dalam perencanaan konservasi (gambut): pengurangan kebakaran (Reducing Fire). Analisis kami menyarankan bahwa (a) seluruh tantangan semuanya memiliki dampak potensial terhadap keseluruhan kegiatan 4Rs, dan kebanyakan saling ketergantungan dan saling memperkuat, yang secara implisit bahwa fokus solusi yang bersifat sempit akan beresiko tinggi mengalami kegagalan; (b) penanganan tantangan terkait pembasahan gambut dan pengurangan kebakaran merupakan hal pokok guna pencapaian tujuan 4Rs secara keseluruhan, dengan mempertimbangkan situasi sosial‐politik lokal dan memproleh dukungan pemerintah daerah dan masyarakat setempat; dan (c) dengan kesesuaian dari tantangan‐tantangan yang dihadapi sehingga intervensi‐intervensi konservasi diperlukan guna mengatasinya sehingga akan menjadi hal yang unik untuk setiap proyek tergantung dengan tujuan dan kondisi‐kondisi politik, sosial dan lingkungan yang berlaku. Dengan pemikiran ini, kami mengajukan suatu kerangka kerja pengelolaan ‘delapan langkah adaptif’ yang mana dapat mendukung proyek‐proyek baik di Indonesia atau wilayah‐wilayah tropis lainnya guna mengidentfikiasi dan mengatasi tantangan‐tantangan khusus restorasi dan konservasi. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
... We used 19 environmental variables that have been shown to be suitable predictors of orangutan presence by other studies. These variables were classified into four classes: 1) physical variables such as elevation (Wich et al. 2012), slope (Wich et al. 2012), soil type (Wich et al. 2012), and distance from rivers (Arora et al. 2010); 2) resources such as distance from forest edges to the primary and secondary forest, (Wich et al. 2012;Spehar and Rayadian 2017), forest classification by altitude gradien (Wich et al. 2008), and vegetation productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index/NDVI) (Prayogo et al. 2014); 3) anthropogencic disturbance such as distance from earthquake point, distance from settlements, roads, and cultivation ares (Wich et al. 2012;Wich et al. 2016), and land use classification (Wich et al. 2012;Wich et al. 2016); and 4) climatic variables such as annual rainfall, rainfall of the wettest month, rainfall of the driest month, annual mean temperature, maximum temperature of the warmest month, minimum temperature of the coldest month (Wich et al. 2012). The original spatial dataset included rivers and roads (OpenStreetMap 2019), digital elevation map (30 m resolution) (United States Geological Survey 2019), and land use classification layers (Ministry of Forestry 2011). ...
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Understanding the habitat preference and spatial distribution for the management of medium-large primates is important for conserving and enhancing biodiversity in the most isolated and remote Batang Toru landscape, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Based on the first extensive orangutan survey dataset during 2000 and 2007, we aimed to provide microhabitat preference and distribution assessment for the new species of orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), a poorly known and threatened primate endemic in Indonesia. To inform future conservation measures, we develop a predictive habitat suitability map and use this map to show the current threat for Tapanuli orangutan in their habitat and as the basis of proposed of the landscape boundary in Batang Toru ecosystem. In order to identify some environmental factors affecting conservation, we analyzed the microhabitat preference of Tapanuli orangutan using maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt). The modeled orangutan distribution map covers 1.458,06 km2 (58,52% of Batang Toru’s landscape) and reveals three distinct distribution areas. The four most important environmental predictors are the distance from the cultivation area, NDVI, mean precipitation, and distance from the secondary forest edge. The distribution of the orangutan overlap with land-use categories reveals that 42,98% of the distribution lies in protected areas, but that 15,54% lies in natural forest concessions and area for other purposes (APL). Large scale land-use masterplan is needed to provide strategies and control for future development in the possibility of land uses and management are allowed in the landscape including its conservation policies. Moreover, collaborative management strategies are needed to develop a sustainable management system. We confirmed the Batang Toru landscape as the sole of Indonesia’s biodiversity hotspots and a critical area to preserve the Tapanuli orangutan.
... This deforestation has negatively impacted the biodiversity in Southeast Asia (Koh and Wilcove, 2008), and has led to the critical endangerment of several native species, including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, pygmy elephant, and sun bear (Meijaard and Sheil, 2013). The orangutan is predicted to be the first of the great apes to face extinction, which may occur within only a few decades (Wich et al., 2008), as numbers have drastically declined. A 16year study (1999)(2000)(2001)(2002)(2003)(2004)(2005)(2006)(2007)(2008)(2009)(2010)(2011)(2012)(2013)(2014)(2015) in Borneo, Indonesia, revealed that an estimated 150,000 orangutans had been lost during this period, reducing the entire population of Bornean orangutans to less than half of the original number when the study began (Sample, 2018). ...
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Palm oil is an edible oil with a high yield, various economic benefits, and many diverse uses. However, its production has led to increased deforestation, the endangerment of several species, and toxic greenhouse gas emissions. The current study had two aims: (1) to generate a list of palm oil-related pro-environmental behaviours (PEB) that general community members in Australia can do; and (2) to identify one or more behaviours from this list to address in a behaviour-change intervention. Semi-structured interviews with 12 experts (environmental journalists, conservation scientists and activists) generated a list of 11 potential palm oil-related PEB. The same experts rated this list in terms of potential effectiveness in reducing the negative environmental effects of palm oil. A community sample of 300 participants rated the same PEB on likelihood of adoption and current penetration (i.e., the extent to which they already engage in the behaviour). These scores were integrated into a behaviour prioritization matrix, which revealed that the most beneficial PEB to target was “purchasing products containing only sustainable palm oil”. This study is an essential preliminary step in behaviour change interventional research, and outlines the process of selecting specific consumer behaviour related to environmental concerns. Policy-based implications are discussed.
... A prime example illustrating all the above stated challenges is the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). Due to habitat loss, fragmentation, hunting and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade [11,12,[20][21][22] the Sumatran orangutan is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN [23] with approximately 14,000 animals left in the wild [24]. Without continued habitat protection, which provides the most cost-effective long term conservation benefit [13], Sumatran orangutans are thought to be highly susceptible to extinction [25,26]. ...
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Wildlife restoration is one of the key components of conservation strategies, and this includes the rehabilitation and release of animals confiscated from wildlife traffickers. When primates are re-introduced, most individuals need a pre-release training to acquire the skills needed to survive in the wild. Pre-release training may either negatively or positively affect primate post-release behavior and survival. Post-release behavior, however, has rarely been monitored even though it is the only means to assess the survival of released individuals. Here, we present a thorough analysis of data from a 3-year radio tracking study on 32 orangutans (Pongo abelii) released in Sumatra after their rehabilitation. We investigated whether and how the age at release, the duration of the pre-release rehabilitation and training, and the release location affected the post-release individual spatial behavior. Orangutans released at older age exhibited post-release habitat selection patterns that were more comparable to that shown by wild conspecifics, i.e., they chose areas closer to rivers and at lower elevations (150–250 meters a.s.l.) where previous research had documented greater food availability. In contrast, individuals released at younger age showed a stronger spatial dependency on the rehabilitation station and exhibited disrupted habitat selection patterns; although after several months after the release all individuals tended to decrease their spatial reliance on the rehabilitation facility. This study indicates that the rehabilitation of individuals for a longer period and their release further from the rehabilitation station have facilitated the subsequent development of more natural spatial behavior, i.e. driven by food availability rather than by the dependence on care-giving human facility. Our study provides indications on how to improve the rehabilitation and release of confiscated orangutans, highlighting the importance of the age at release, the length of the rehabilitation program, and the location of the release site.
... Critically endangered Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) exemplify this need for increased attention and understanding of the conservation value of degraded forests. Today, > 70% of Bornean orangutans survive in degraded forests (protected or not) that have been exploited recently or are still being used by people (Ancrenaz et al., 2015;Meijaard et al., 2010;Wich et al., 2008). However, despite their ability to survive in disturbed forests, orangutans remain susceptible to changing forest characteristics and likely require minimal ecological attributes to persist in transformed forests over the long term. ...
Article
Primary tropical forests are becoming increasingly disturbed and fragmented, making it critically important to understand the conservation value of degraded forests. Many populations of even the largest and most iconic species are now found outside of primary habitats, and the long-term survival of these and many other species depends on appropriate management of degraded areas, whether protected or not. However, for conservation in degraded habitats to be successful, an adequate understanding of the minimal ecological requirements necessary for species persistence within them is required. We combined ground and helicopter nest surveys of critically endangered Bornean orangutans with high-resolution measurements of forest canopy structure from airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to understand orangutan nest site selection across multiple spatial scales in degraded forests of the Lower Kinabatangan region, Malaysian Borneo. We found orangutans to be selective when choosing nest sites, with nests more likely to be observed in canopies of tall and uniform height and closer to full canopy gaps, which was consistent across spatial scales and orangutan age and sex classes. These sites likely offer orangutans an improved vantage point and/or shelter from wind and rain. In contrast, no discernible relationships between nest site selection and canopy complexity, or nest abundance and landscape forest structure or aboveground carbon density were recorded. Our findings suggest that although orangutans do nest across a range of forest conditions, their optimum requirement for nesting strongly depends on forest patches with sufficient tall canopy of uniform height. These results serve to inform degraded forest conservation strategies across Borneo, particularly where orangutans are a focal species.
... Payne and Prudente conclude that responsible logging should be undertaken in all forests on Borneo and Sumatra where orang-utans are found and which cannot be transformed into protected areas. Wich et al (2008) also recognise good possibilities for the preservation of orang-utans within concessions. They state the following conditions: logging should be done selectively, fruit trees must be kept intact and hunting should be sharply monitored. ...
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This report, which is based on several scientific studies, information from nature conservationists and large logging companies, aims to offer insights into FSC’s (Forest Stewardship Council) effectiveness as an instrument for the protection of chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orang-utans.
... slow life history and reproductive rates (Wich et al., 2004)), historical (e.g. continuously decreasing population numbers due to human action, (Marshall et al., 2006;Meijaard et al., 2011Meijaard et al., ,2010Wich et al., 2014Wich et al., , 2008Wich et al., , 2016) and ethical issues (e.g. via non-invasive protocols, (Lameira et al., 2016)) associated with studying (critically) endangered great apes (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016) (Estrada et al., 2017), these studies will provide a richer overview of the phylogenetic context in which spoken language emergence, as well as its most likely evolutionary trajectories. Given individual and population idiosyncrasies regarding call repertoire composition, future work should preferably comprise several thousands of hours of observation (van Schaik et al., 2006). ...
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Speech evolution seems to defy scientific explanation. Progress on this front has been jammed in an entrenched orthodoxy about what great apes can and (mostly) cannot do vocally, an idea epitomized by the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis. Findings by great ape researchers paint, however, starkly different and more optimistic landscapes for speech evolution. Over twenty studies qualify as positive evidence for primate vocal (production) learning following accepted terminology. Additionally, the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis shows low etymological, empirical, and theoretical soundness. Great apes can produce novel voiced calls and voluntarily control their modification − observations supposedly impossible. Furthermore, no valid pretext justifies dismissing heuristically the production of new voiceless consonant-like calls by great apes. To underscore this point, new evidence is provided for a novel supra-genera voiceless call across all great ape species. Their vocal invention and vocal learning faculties are real and sufficiently potent to, at times, uphold vocal traditions. These data overpower conventional predicaments in speech evolution theory and will help to make new strides explaining why, among hominids, only humans developed speech.
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Cette recherche vise à comprendre la construction de la nature comme un héritage mondial, particulièrement pour l’orang-outan à Sumatra, puis à en expliquer les implications concrètes. Un ensemble cohérent d’éléments plaident pour la conservation des orangs-outans : un habitat concentré sur des terres impropres à l’agriculture, des croyances locales restées vives et l’existence d’aires protégées. Pour autant, les scientifiques internationaux, intimement liés au mouvement de la conservation, se sont engagés dans une patrimonialisation de l’orang-outan. Ce travail de patrimonialisation entretient une perception de rareté et d’extinction imminente en construisant et mobilisant des indicateurs (nombre, tendance, répartition, rareté) basés sur des modèles complexes. Il conforte aussi leur hégémonie sur la production des savoirs, élude les principaux facteurs explicatifs et rend impossible la coexistence pratique entre l’humain et l’orang-outan.
Chapter
The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.
Chapter
The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.
Chapter
The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.
Chapter
The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.
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As a country rich in biodiversity, Indonesia has realised the importance of conducting conservation efforts beyond the designated conservation areas, where most of the biodiversity elements are located. In fact, the country has adopted the concept of Essential Ecosystem Areas (EEAs) into various statutory instruments. However, the implementation of EEA policies has faced various obstacles stemming from the dualism of authority between the central and regional governments in establishing and managing EEA. Act No. 23 of 2014 on Regional Government delegates the implementation to the provincial governments. At the same time, Government Regulation No. 28 of 2011 mandates that the exercise of EEA protection be integrated with conservation efforts conducted by the central government. Therefore, this study aims to analyse the legal implications of the dualism of authority in EEA implementation and provide recommendations for a regulatory scheme. The problem may be mitigated by considering the factors relevant to the regulatory implementation aspects. The results revealed that the existence of dualism of authority has had implications in several aspects, including the authority in establishing, managing and financing EEAs, which have prevented authorities from achieving the objectives of establishing EEAs. Thus, this study also recommends the integrated and modified implementation of EEA policies in several ways
Chapter
Microsporidia are pathogenic organism related to fungi. They cause infections in a wide variety of mammals as well as in avian, amphibian, and reptilian hosts. Many microsporidia species play an important role in the development of serious diseases that have significant implications in human and veterinary medicine. While microsporidia were originally considered to be opportunistic pathogens in humans, it is now understood that infections also occur in immune competent humans. Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, and Enterocytozoon bieneusi are primarily mammalian pathogens. However, many other species of microsporidia that have some other primary host that is not a mammal have been reported to cause sporadic mammalian infections. Experimental models and observations in natural infections have demonstrated that microsporidia can cause a latent infection in mammalian hosts. This chapter reviews the published studies on mammalian microsporidiosis and the data on chronic infections due to these enigmatic pathogens.
Technical Report
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Many authors contributed to this report.
Technical Report
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USAID launched an assessment of the capacity of Asian countries to develop wildlife-friendly linear infrastructure (LI), focused on roads, railways, and electric power lines. This 14-month project sought to understand the challenges and barriers that slow the adoption and implementation of safeguards that protect Asia’s diverse wildlife species and their critical habitats from the region’s rapidly expanding LI. Additionally, the program developed training materials and delivered a series of capacity-building workshops.
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To protect Tapanuli orangutan it is essential to understand the actual situation. It has been studied 15% of its population live outside the protected area facing a density disruption due to forest conversion. Several best management practices have been created and tested for different natural concession types. Yet, the main objective to reduce the impact and increase wildlife survival is far away from the goal. To improve our understanding of the species survival within ongoing project construction, we conducted population density monitoring prior- to post-construction time frames within the hydroelectric dam project. Also, we carried out spatial analysis to understand the land cover change and orangutan’s suitable habitat distribution. This study found that during high construction activities, orangutans were avoiding the threat sources, and returned when the disturbances reduced. These findings indicated orangutans are ecology flexible and have the capability to increase its survival, although the company’s involvement is crucial to facilitate the successes. Our study is based on indirect observation, and spatial modeling, which may lead to an uncertain conclusion. Further research on orangutan ecology and behavior is prioritized.
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Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the great apes that lives in Asia. The species' population suffered a significant reduction due to altered habitat and climate shifting; thus, this species is critically endangered (CR) based on The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Nowadays, the vast majority of the species only occur in the Leuser ecosystem (LE). The population estimation of Sumatran orangutan towards ground-truthing methods still became a challenge to carry out conservation planning; therefore, the ecological niche modeling (ENM) will be a gan excellent alternative to evaluate this species' population dynamics. Here we present the potential distribution changes of the Sumatran orangutan in the LE under mitigation and business as usual (BAU) scenarios of climate change. This study also conducted the effects of environmental constraint (i.e., deforestation and rivers) on the Sumatran orangutan's future dispersal in LE. We collected the Sumatran orangutan occurrences data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and literature reviews of orangutan inventory in the Leuser ecosystem. The ENM and dispersal constraints have been conducted using ENMTML and MigClim R package script-codes, respectively. This study provides novel information regarding future orangutan distribution.
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About half of the world’s tropical peatlands occur in Southeast (SE) Asia, where they serve as a major carbon (C) sink. Nearly 80% of natural peatlands in this region have been deforested and drained, with the majority under plantations and agriculture. This conversion increases peat oxidation which contributes to rapid C loss to the atmosphere as greenhouse gas emissions and increases their vulnerability to fires which generate regional smoke haze that has severe impacts on human health. Attempts at restoring these systems to mitigate environmental problems have had limited success. We review the current understanding of intact and degraded peatlands in SE Asia to help develop a way forward in restoring these ecosystems. As such, we critically examine them in terms of their biodiversity, C storage, hydrology and nutrients, paying attention to both above‐ and below‐ground subsystems. We then propose an approach for better management and restoration of degraded peatlands that involves explicit consideration of multiple interacting ecological factors and the involvement of local communities who rely on converted peatlands for their livelihood. We make the case that as processes leading to peatland development involve modification of both above‐ and below‐ground subsystems, an integrated approach that explicitly recognizes both subsystems and their interactions is key to successful tropical peatland management and restoration. Synthesis and applications. Gaining a better understanding of not just carbon stores and their changes during peat degradation, but also an in‐depth understanding of the biota, nutrient dynamics, hydrology and biotic and abiotic feedbacks, is key to developing better solutions for the management and restoration of peatlands in Southeast Asia. Through the application of science‐and nature‐based solutions that recognize the interactions among the above‐ and below‐ground subsystems, and taking into account the livelihood needs of local people, we propose a way to mitigate the ongoing environmental damage that is occurring in these iconic and unique ecosystems.
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The Gunung Palung Orangutan Project has conducted research on critically endangered wild Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) since 1994 in Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. A major goal of our broad-ranging research on orangutan behavior and ecology is to understand how the unique rainforest environment of Southeast Asia, characterized by dramatic changes in fruit productivity due to unpredictable mast fruiting, impacts orangutan behavior, physiology, and health. Much of our research has been devoted to the development of non-invasive techniques and an integrated biology approach – using hormonal assays, fecal processing, nutritional analysis, genetics, and behavioral ecology – and has led to an increased understanding of the ecological and evolutionary pressures shaping orangutan adaptations. Our results show that the extended life history and very slow reproductive rate of orangutans are adaptations to their environment. Orangutans in the Gunung Palung landscape, as elsewhere across Borneo and Sumatra, also face a series of conservation challenges, including extensive habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. We highlight how our investigations of orangutan health status, ecosystem requirements, and the assessment of orangutan density using ground and drone nest surveys have been applied to conservation efforts. We describe our project's direct conservation interventions of public education and awareness campaigns, sustainable livelihood development, establishment of village-run customary forests, investigation of the illegal pet trade, and active engagement with Indonesian government organizations. These efforts, in concert with the development of local scientific and conservation capacity, provide a strong foundation for further conservation as orangutans face a challenging future.
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Abstract Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) sustains ~37 million hectares of native tropical forest. Numerous large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at promoting land-development activities are planned or ongoing in the region. However, little is known of the potential impacts of this new infrastructure on Bornean forests or biodiversity. We found that planned and ongoing road and rail-line developments will have many detrimental ecological impacts, including fragmenting large expanses of intact forest. Assuming conservatively that new road and rail projects will influence only a 1 km buffer on either side, landscape connectivity across the region will decline sharply (from 89% to 55%) if all imminently planned projects proceed. This will have particularly large impacts on wide-ranging, rare species such as rhinoceros, orangutans, and elephants. Planned developments will impact 42 protected areas, undermining Indonesian efforts to achieve key targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. New infrastructure will accelerate expansion in intact or frontier regions of legal and illegal logging and land colonization as well as illicit mining and wildlife poaching. The net environmental, social, financial, and economic risks of several imminent projects—such as parallel border roads in West, East, and North Kalimantan, new Trans-Kalimantan road developments in Central Kalimantan and North Kalimantan, and freeways and rail lines in East Kalimantan—could markedly outstrip their overall benefits. Such projects should be reconsidered in light of rigorous cost-benefit frameworks.
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Background Integrating demography and adaptive evolution is pivotal to understanding the evolutionary history and conservation of great apes. However, little is known about the adaptive evolution of our closest relatives, in particular if and to what extent adaptions to environmental differences have occurred. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing data from critically endangered orangutans from North Sumatra (Pongo abelii) and Borneo (P. pygmaeus) to investigate adaptive responses of each species to environmental differences during the Pleistocene. Results Taking into account the markedly disparate demographic histories of each species after their split ~ 1 Ma ago, we show that persistent environmental differences on each island had a strong impact on the adaptive evolution of the genus Pongo. Across a range of tests for positive selection, we find a consistent pattern of between-island and species differences. In the more productive Sumatran environment, the most notable signals of positive selection involve genes linked to brain and neuronal development, learning, and glucose metabolism. On Borneo, however, positive selection comprised genes involved in lipid metabolism, as well as cardiac and muscle activities. Conclusions We find strikingly different sets of genes appearing to have evolved under strong positive selection in each species. In Sumatran orangutans, selection patterns were congruent with well-documented cognitive and behavioral differences between the species, such as a larger and more complex cultural repertoire and higher degrees of sociality. However, in Bornean orangutans, selective responses to fluctuating environmental conditions appear to have produced physiological adaptations to generally lower and temporally more unpredictable food supplies. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13059-018-1562-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is the new great ape species that only occurred in the Batang Toru forest. The long term survival of this population is threatened due to habitat loss and hunting. Performing a nest survey is important to give a deeper understanding of the ecology and help determine the best protective management measures. We provide a basic data of orangutan nesting characteristics in two unprotected forests of Batang Toru: Sitandiang (West Batang Toru) and Hopong (East Batang Toru). A line transect method was conducted to obtain the nest data and sampling quadrat method was used to analyze the condition and sustainability of the habitat. Our result showed that there were similarities in the choosing of tree diameter and species, while there were disparities in the choosing of tree height, nest height, and nest position for nesting. The species diversity index in Sitandiang and Hopong was categorized high, with values found to be 4.5 and 4.6 respectively which mean that these locations potentially serve nest and food tree for the orangutans. Considering our findings, we recommend to allocating these areas into protected forests for long-term survival of Tapanuli orangutan in Batang Toru.
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In recent history, Indonesian forest policies have been dominated by deforestation in the name of economic progress. Many actors have expressed concerns about this trend and have tried to reverse it in favour of a more sustainable pathway. From 2004–2017, non-governmental environmental organisations fought for the case of the coastal Tripa peat swamp rainforest in the province of Aceh, Sumatra. Unique in Indonesian history, they managed halting and reversing the deforestation of an area. Their sustained action led the Indonesia state to cancel an oil palm plantation permit, with the plantation managers and owners facing heavy fines and prison terms. Our research seeks to understand the enabling factors making this success story possible. We used the Advocacy Coalition Framework for its capacity to deal with a complicated policymaking ecosystem whose decisions takes years for implementation. Our analysis found four enabling conditions of success, which were the NGOs capacity to: 1) sustain action for over a decade and grasp four changing events (post-tsunami reconstruction, emerging connection between forests and climate change, governors’ change, and use of digital technologies); 2) learn from own past failures marked by the evolution of their policy core beliefs, from ‘conserving forest for biodiversity’ to ‘conserving forest for local livelihoods’, and then to ‘conserving forest to prevent climate change’. As a result, they could broaden their advocacy coalition, which grew to include diverse social actors from local to international levels, including the central state's REDD + Task Force; 3) take an advantage over economic power by acting strategically and timely when changes occurred; and 4) closely monitor and disseminate knowledge (fire events, deforestation trends and peat depth), supporting a simple causal deforestation model which allowed a high degree of policy-oriented learning, helping the coalition to change its behaviour and act strategically. To sum up, the overall trend of rainforest destruction for agricultural extension in Southeast Asia, particularly in Sumatra, Indonesia, can be reversed, at least at the local level. Cautious not to overgeneralise, the Tripa case indicates that NGOs could improve forest governance by engaging in the long term, acting strategically, and building a broad socio-ecological and rights-based coalition.
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Knowing the density or abundance of primate populations is essential for their conservation management and contextualizing socio-demographic and behavioral observations. When direct counts of animals are not possible, genetic analysis of non-invasive samples collected from wildlife populations allows estimates of population size with higher accuracy and precision than is possible using indirect signs. Furthermore, in contrast to traditional indirect survey methods, prolonged or periodic genetic sampling across months or years enables inference of group membership, movement, dynamics, and some kin relationships. Data may also be used to estimate sex ratios, sex differences in dispersal distances, and detect gene flow among locations. Recent advances in capture-recapture models have further improved the precision of population estimates derived from non-invasive samples. Simulations using these methods have shown that the confidence interval of point estimates includes the true population size when assumptions of the models are met, and therefore this range of population size minima and maxima should be emphasized in population monitoring studies. Innovations such as the use of sniffer dogs or anti-poaching patrols for sample collection are important to ensure adequate sampling, and the expected development of efficient and cost-effective genotyping by sequencing methods for DNAs derived from non-invasive samples will automate and speed analyses.
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For many threatened species the rate and drivers of population decline are difficult to assess accurately: species' surveys are typically restricted to small geographic areas, are conducted over short time periods, and employ a wide range of survey protocols. We addressed methodological challenges for assessing change in the abundance of an endangered species. We applied novel methods for integrating field and interview survey data for the critically endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), allowing a deeper understanding of the species’ persistence through time. Our analysis revealed that Bornean orangutan populations have declined at a rate of 25% over the last 10 years. Survival rates of the species are lowest in areas with intermediate rainfall, where complex interrelations between soil fertility, agricultural productivity, and human settlement patterns influence persistence. These areas also have highest threats from human-wildlife conflict. Survival rates are further positively associated with forest extent, but are lower in areas where surrounding forest has been recently converted to industrial agriculture. Our study highlights the urgency of determining specific management interventions needed in different locations to counter the trend of decline and its associated drivers.
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Background: A large proportion of the world's tropical peatlands occur in Indonesia where rapid conversion and associated losses of carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services have brought peatland management to the forefront of Indonesia's climate mitigation efforts. We evaluated peat volume from two commonly referenced maps of peat distribution and depth published by Wetlands International (WI) and the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and used regionally specific values of carbon density to calculate carbon stocks. Results: Peatland extent and volume published in the MoA maps are lower than those in the WI maps, resulting in lower estimates of carbon storage. We estimate Indonesia's total peat carbon store to be within 13.6 GtC (the low MoA map estimate) and 40.5 GtC (the high WI map estimate) with a best estimate of 28.1 GtC: the midpoint of medium carbon stock estimates derived from WI (30.8 GtC) and MoA (25.3 GtC) maps. This estimate is about half of previous assessments which used an assumed average value of peat thickness for all Indonesian peatlands, and revises the current global tropical peat carbon pool to 75 GtC. Yet, these results do not diminish the significance of Indonesia's peatlands, which store an estimated 30% more carbon than the biomass of all Indonesian forests. The largest discrepancy between maps is for the Papua province, which accounts for 62-71% of the overall differences in peat area, volume and carbon storage. According to the MoA map, 80% of Indonesian peatlands are <300 cm thick and thus vulnerable to conversion outside of protected areas according to environmental regulations. The carbon contained in these shallower peatlands is conservatively estimated to be 10.6 GtC, equivalent to 42% of Indonesia's total peat carbon and about 12 years of global emissions from land use change at current rates. Conclusions: Considering the high uncertainties in peatland extent, volume and carbon storage revealed in this assessment of current maps, a systematic revision of Indonesia's peat maps to produce a single geospatial reference that is universally accepted would improve national peat carbon storage estimates and greatly benefit carbon cycle research, land use management and spatial planning.
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Adaptability to a variety of environmental conditions is a prominent feature of Homo sapiens. We hypothesize that this feature can be explained by evolutionary changes in gene promoters active in the brain prefrontal cortex leading to a more flexible gene regulation network. The genotype-dependent range of gene expression can be broader in humans than in other higher primates. Thus, we searched for specific signatures of evolutionary changes in promoter architectures of multiple hominid genes, including the genes active in human cortical neurons that may indicate an increase of variability of gene expression rather than just changes in the level of expression, such as downregulation or upregulation of the genes. We performed a whole-genome search for genetic-based alterations that may impact gene regulation “flexibility” in a process of hominids evolution, such as (i) CpG dinucleotide content, (ii) predicted nucleosome-DNA dissociation constant, and (iii) predicted affinities for TATA-binding protein (TBP) in gene promoters. We tested all putative promoter regions across the human genome and especially gene promoters in active chromatin state in neurons of prefrontal cortex, the brain region critical for abstract thinking and social and behavioral adaptation. Our data imply that the origin of modern man has been associated with an increase of flexibility of promoter-driven gene regulation in brain. In contrast, after splitting from the ancestral lineages of H. sapiens, the evolution of ape species is characterized by reduced flexibility of gene promoter functioning, underlying reduced variability of the gene expression.
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The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.
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Effective conservation of a species requires accurate information on its geographic distribution and on its densities in the range of habitats it occupies, as well as estimates of its total numbers. For the orangutan, widely divergent estimates of total numbers have been produced over the years. In this study, we used line transects of nests to estimate population densities of Sumatran orangutans. The parameters needed for this technique were obtained from large nest samples by S. Djojosudharmo and T. Mitra Setia, and from field trials. The accuracy of the method could be validated at Ketambe, a site with known density. We found that orangutan densities are highest in forests on floodplains, that they strongly decline with altitude and that this decline is most plausibly ascribed to declines in the abundance of fruits with fleshy pulp. We note that densities in one site may vary due to movements between habitats. We also present preliminary evidence that floodplain forests may act as keystone habitats for orangutans living in the adjacent hills and thus, subsidize orangutan densities in adjacent uplands.
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To conserve species it is essential to understand which factors determine their distribution and density. Here we focus on the critically endangered Sumatran orang-utan and examine factors that influence the distribution and density in the Batang Toru area, the southernmost area where wild orang-utans occur on Sumatra. We contrast a scenario in which orang-utan distribution is mainly determined by ecological, and topographic variables with a model that includes hunting and human impact. We show that orang-utan distribution and density are best explained by hunting pressure and elevation. These results indicate that an assessment of anthropogenic factors that might influence density such as hunting needs to be included in surveys that aim to predict orang-utan distribution and density. As anthropogenic impact becomes higher with increasing human population density and increased forest access in most areas where orang-utans occur the consequence is that orang-utan conservation will have to be achieved in an environment modified by humans. In such areas the potential for a range of conflicts such as hunting that lead to human-caused mortality for orang-utans will remain a constant threat and need to be mitigated.
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Genetic management of fragmented populations poses logistical and theoretical challenges to conservation managers. Simulating changes in genetic diversity and differentiation within and among fragmented population units under different management scenarios has until now rarely used molecular marker data collected from present-day populations. Here we examine the genetic implications of management options for the highly fragmented yet globally significant orang-utan population in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia. We simulated the effects of non-intervention, translocation, corridor establishment and a mixture of the latter 2 approaches on future genetic diversity in this population using the stochastic simulation software VORTEX and a well-described molecular dataset for 200 individuals from within the Sanctuary. We found that nonintervention resulted in high extinction risks for a number of subpopulations over short demographic timescales (<5 generations). Furthermore, the exclusive use of either translocation or corridor establishment as a management tool was insufficient to prevent substantial levels of inbreeding using demographically and logistically feasible translocation rates and was insufficient to prevent inbreeding and extinction in the most isolated subpopulations using conservative corridor establishment rates. Instead, a combination of modest translocation rates (1 ind. every 20 yr) and corridor establishment enabled even the most isolated subpopulations to retain demographic stability and constrain localised inbreeding to levels below a threshold of 0.1. Our simulations suggest that this mixed management approach is both a pragmatic and potentially successful course of action and that this combination may be useful in other species and fragmented populations in the future. The use of presentday molecular data in stochastic simulations requires further development, but here we show that it can aid predictive modelling.
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Despite scientific consensus regarding the importance of the world's forests, the destruction of ecosystems and globally important biodiversity in some parts of the world increases without a concerted plan of action to stop the loss. Jepson et al. describe their recent experiences in protected areas and forest concessions of the Sumatra and Kalimantan regions of Indonesia. Illegal logging networks are seizing control of Indonesia's forests; timber plunder followed by forest clearance is rampant. The authors argue for a multiple approach adapted to local contexts, and briefly discuss some possible options.
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Deforestation contributes 6-17% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Large uncertainties in emission estimates arise from inadequate data on the carbon density of forests and the regional rates of deforestation. Consequently there is an urgent need for improved data sets that characterize the global distribution of aboveground biomass, especially in the tropics. Here we use multi-sensor satellite data to estimate aboveground live woody vegetation carbon density for pan-tropical ecosystems with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution. Results indicate that the total amount of carbon held in tropical woody vegetation is 228.7PgC, which is 21% higher than the amount reported in the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (ref. ). At the national level, Brazil and Indonesia contain 35% of the total carbon stored in tropical forests and produce the largest emissions from forest loss. Combining estimates of aboveground carbon stocks with regional deforestation rates we estimate the total net emission of carbon from tropical deforestation and land use to be 1.0PgCyr-1 over the period 2000-2010--based on the carbon bookkeeping model. These new data sets of aboveground carbon stocks will enable tropical nations to meet their emissions reporting requirements (that is, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Tier 3) with greater accuracy.
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Payments for reduced carbon emissions from deforestation (RED) are now attracting attention as a way to halt tropical deforestation. Northern Sumatra comprises an area of 65 000 km² that is both the site of Indonesia's first planned RED initiative, and the stronghold of 92% of remaining Sumatran orangutans. Under current plans, this RED initiative will be implemented in a defined geographic area, essentially a newly established, 7500 km² protected area (PA) comprising mostly upland forest, where guards will be recruited to enforce forest protection. Meanwhile, new roads are currently under construction, while companies are converting lowland forests into oil palm plantations. This case study predicts the effectiveness of RED in reducing deforestation and conserving orangutans for two distinct scenarios: the current plan of implementing RED within the specific boundary of a new upland PA, and an alternative scenario of implementing RED across landscapes outside PAs. Our satellite-based spatially explicit deforestation model predicts that 1313 km² of forest would be saved from deforestation by 2030, while forest cover present in 2006 would shrink by 22% (7913 km²) across landscapes outside PAs if RED were only to be implemented in the upland PA. Meanwhile, orangutan habitat would reduce by 16% (1137 km²), resulting in the conservative loss of 1384 orangutans, or 25% of the current total population with or without RED intervention. By contrast, an estimated 7824 km² of forest could be saved from deforestation, with maximum benefit for orangutan conservation, if RED were to be implemented across all remaining forest landscapes outside PAs. Here, RED payments would compensate land users for their opportunity costs in not converting unprotected forests into oil palm, while the construction of new roads to service the marketing of oil palm would be halted. Our predictions suggest that Indonesia's first RED initiative in an upland PA may not significantly reduce deforestation in northern Sumatra and would have little impact on orangutan conservation because a large amount of forest inside the project area is protected de facto by being inaccessible, while lowland forests will remain exposed to the combined expansion of high-revenue plantations and road networks. In contrast, RED would be more effective in terms of its conservation impact if payments were extended to all remaining carbon-rich tropical forests, including lowland peat swamp forests, the preferred habitat for dense populations of orangutans, and if the construction of new roads was halted.
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a b s t r a c t This study compiles and analyses national-level data on land use change (LUC) and its causes in Indonesia and Malaysia over the past 30 years. The study also explores the role that palm oil has played in past LUC and that projected growth in palm oil production may play in LUC until 2020 and suggests strategies to minimize negative effects. Data collection for the study revealed that the quality and quantity of data on LUC on a national scale over time are low. Despite these uncertainties, the overview of past LUC indicates that large changes in land use have occurred in Indonesia and Malaysia. In Indonesia, LUC can primarily be characterized by forest cover loss on 40 million ha (Mha) of land, a 30% reduction in forest land. Deforestation in Malaysia has been smaller in both absolute and relative terms, with a forest cover loss of nearly 5 Mha (20% reduction in forest land). Other large changes in Malaysia occurred in permanent cropland (excluding oil palm), which has decreased rapidly since the early 1990s, and in land under oil palm cultivation, which experienced a sharp increase. Projections of additional land demand for palm oil production in 2020 range from 1 to 28 Mha in Indonesia. The demand can be met to a large extent by degraded land if no further deforestation is assumed. In Malaysia, expansion projections range from 0.06 to 5 Mha, but only the lowest projection of oil palm expansion is feasible when only degraded land may be used. The role of palm oil production in future LUC depends on the size of the projected expansion as well as agricultural management factors such as implementation of best management practices, earlier replanting with higher yielding plants, and establishment of new plantations on degraded land. The current use of degraded land needs to be investigated in order to reduce possible indirect LUC, land tenure conflicts, or other social impacts. In addition to minimizing direct and indirect LUC by the palm oil sector, measures that reduce deforestation triggered by other causes must also be implemented. A key element for doing so is better planning and governance of land use, which entails more appropriate demarcation of forest land and protection of land that still has forest cover, improved monitoring of land use, and more research to uncover the complexities and dynamics of the causes and drivers of LUC.
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Aim This study determines whether the establishment of tropical protected areas (PAs) has led to a reduction in deforestation within their boundaries or whether deforestation has been displaced to adjacent unprotected areas: a process termed neighbourhood leakage. Location Sumatra, Indonesia. Methods We processed and analysed 98 corresponding LANDSAT satellite images with a c. 800 m2 resolution to map deforestation from 1990 to 2000 across 440,000 km2 on the main island of Sumatra and the smaller island of Siberut. We compared deforestation rates across three categories of land: (1) within PAs; (2) in adjacent unprotected land lying with 10 km of PA boundaries; and (3) within the wider unprotected landscape. We used the statistical method of propensity score matching to predict the deforestation that would have been observed had there been no PAs and to control for the generally remote locations in which Sumatran PAs were established. Results During the period 1990–2000 deforestation rates were found to be lower inside PAs than in adjacent unprotected areas or in the wider landscape. Deforestation rates were also found to be lower in adjacent unprotected areas than in the wider landscape. Main conclusions Sumatran PAs have lower deforestation rates than unprotected areas. Furthermore, a reduction in deforestation rates inside Sumatran PAs has promoted protection, rather than deforestation, in adjacent unprotected land lying within 10 km of PA boundaries. Despite this positive evaluation, deforestation and logging have not halted within the boundaries of Sumatran PAs. Therefore the long-term viability of Sumatran forests remains open to question.
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Prediction of species’ distributions is central to diverse applications in ecology, evolution and conservation science. There is increasing electronic access to vast sets of occurrence records in museums and herbaria, yet little effective guidance on how best to use this information in the context of numerous approaches for modelling distributions. To meet this need, we compared 16 modelling methods over 226 species from 6 regions of the world, creating the most comprehensive set of model comparisons to date. We used presence-only data to fit models, and independent presence-absence data to evaluate the predictions. Along with well-established modelling methods such as generalised additive models and GARP and BIOCLIM, we explored methods that either have been developed recently or have rarely been applied to modelling species’ distributions. These include machine-learning methods and community models, both of which have features that may make them particularly well suited to noisy or sparse information, as is typical of species’ occurrence data. Presence-only data were effective for modelling species’ distributions for many species and regions. The novel methods consistently outperformed more established methods. The results of our analysis are promising for the use of data from museums and herbaria, especially as methods suited to the noise inherent in such data improve.
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We investigated the population density of Bornean orangutans Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus and aspects of habitat quality in a selectively hand-logged peat swamp forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and in a comparable unlogged forest nearby. We conducted orangutan nest surveys, measured different parameters of forest structure, recorded monthly changes in fruit availability, and noted the sex and the stage of maturity of orangutans encountered. Nest density, an index of orangutan population density, was 21% lower in the logged area. The forest, logged 2 years previously, had fewer large food trees and a greater number of canopy gaps. We discuss these differences in relation to the lower orangutan nest density in the logged forest. Significantly fewer adult orangutans were observed in the logged study area. We hypothesize that fully adult orangutans, particularly females, are the most severely affected by hand-logging.
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Several studies have shown that there is a strong decline in orang-utan densities shortly after logging. Nevertheless, there is little information on whether orang-utan densities return to their pre-logging values when logged forest is left to recover. This study investigates the orang-utan density in a 22-year-old selectively logged forest and compares it with the orang-utan density in a nearby ecologically similar primary forest. The results show that the orang-utan density did not differ significantly between primary forest and the selectively logged forest. Since we found no difference in fruit availability between the selectively logged and primary forest, we suggest that the selectively logged forest regenerated sufficiently well to sustain pre-logging levels of orang-utans. This study confirms previous studies that suggest fruit availability is the best ecological predictor of orang-utan densities and found a positive overall correlation between orang-utan density and fruit availability. The food attraction hypothesis, which explains local fluctuations in orang-utan density as a result of variation in fruit availability, was not supported.
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Various studies have shown that the population densities of a number of forest vertebrates, such as orangutans, are higher on Sumatra than Borneo, and that several species exhibit smaller body sizes on Borneo than Sumatra and mainland Southeast Asia. It has been suggested that differences in forest fruit productivity between the islands can explain these patterns. Here we present a large-scale comparison of forest fruit production between the islands to test this hypothesis. Data on fruit production were collated from Sumatran and Bornean sites. At six sites we assessed fruit production in three forest types: riverine, peat swamp and dryland forests. We compared fruit production using time-series models during different periods of overall fruit production and in different tree size classes. We examined overall island differences and differences specifically for fruiting period and tree size class. The results of these analyses indicate that overall the Sumatran forests are more productive than those on Borneo. This difference remains when each of the three forest types (dryland, riverine, and peat) are examined separately. The difference also holds over most tree sizes and fruiting periods. Our results provide strong support for the hypothesis that forest fruit productivity is higher on Sumatra than Borneo. This difference is most likely the result of the overall younger and more volcanic soils on Sumatra than Borneo. These results contribute to our understanding of the determinants of faunal density and the evolution of body size on both islands.
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Deforestation is rapidly transforming primary forests across the tropics into human-dominated landscapes. Consequently, conservationists need to understand how different taxa respond and adapt to these changes in order to develop appropriate management strategies. Our two year study seeks to determine how wild Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) adapt to living in an isolated agroforest landscape by investigating the sex of crop-raiders related to population demographics, and their temporal variations in feeding behaviour and dietary composition. From focal animal sampling we found that nine identified females raided cultivated fruits more than the four males. Seasonal adaptations were shown through orangutan feeding habits that shifted from being predominantly fruit-based (56% of the total feeding time, then 22% on bark) to the fallback food of bark (44%, then 35% on fruits), when key cultivated resources such as jackfruit (Artocarpus integer), were unavailable. Cultivated fruits were mostly consumed in the afternoon and evening, when farmers had returned home. The finding that females take greater crop-raiding risks than males differs from previous human-primate conflict studies, probably because of the low risks associated (as farmers rarely retaliated) and low intraspecific competition between males. Thus, the behavioral ecology of orangutans living in this human-dominated landscape differs markedly from that in primary forest, where orangutans have a strictly wild food diet, even where primary rainforests directly borders farmland. The importance of wild food availability was clearly illustrated in this study with 21% of the total orangutan feeding time being allocated to feeding on cultivated fruits. As forests are increasingly converted to cultivation, humans and orangutans are predicted to come into conflict more frequently. This study reveals orangutan adaptations for coexisting with humans, e.g. changes in temporal foraging patterns, which should be used for guiding the development of specific human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies to lessen future crop-raiding and conflicts.
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Species conservation is difficult. Threats to species are typically high and immediate. Effective solutions for counteracting these threats, however, require synthesis of high quality evidence, appropriately targeted activities, typically costly implementation, and rapid re-evaluation and adaptation. Conservation management can be ineffective if there is insufficient understanding of the complex ecological, political, socio-cultural, and economic factors that underlie conservation threats. When information about these factors is incomplete, conservation managers may be unaware of the most urgent threats or unable to envision all consequences of potential management strategies. Conservation research aims to address the gap between what is known and what knowledge is needed for effective conservation. Such research, however, generally addresses a subset of the factors that underlie conservation threats, producing a limited, simplistic, and often biased view of complex, real world situations. A combination of approaches is required to provide the complete picture necessary to engage in effective conservation. Orangutan conservation (Pongo spp.) offers an example: standard conservation assessments employ survey methods that focus on ecological variables, but do not usually address the socio-cultural factors that underlie threats. Here, we evaluate a complementary survey method based on interviews of nearly 7,000 people in 687 villages in Kalimantan, Indonesia. We address areas of potential methodological weakness in such surveys, including sampling and questionnaire design, respondent biases, statistical analyses, and sensitivity of resultant inferences. We show that interview-based surveys can provide cost-effective and statistically robust methods to better understand poorly known populations of species that are relatively easily identified by local people. Such surveys provide reasonably reliable estimates of relative presence and relative encounter rates of such species, as well as quantifying the main factors that threaten them. We recommend more extensive use of carefully designed and implemented interview surveys, in conjunction with more traditional field methods.
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Deforestation rates in Sumatra are amongst the highest in the tropics. Lowland forests, which support the highest densities of orangutans, are particularly vulnerable to clearance and fragmentation because they are highly accessible. Consequently, many orangutans will, in the future, live in strictly or partially isolated populations. Whilst orangutans have been extensively studied in primary forests, their response to living in human-dominated landscapes remains poorly known, despite it being essential for their future management. Here, we focus on an isolated group of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) that co-exist with farmers in a mixed agroforest system consisting of degraded natural forest, smallholder (predominantly rubber) farms and oil palm plantations. Over 24 months we conducted the first ever spatial assessment of orangutan habitat use in the human-transformed landscape of Batang Serangan, North Sumatra. From 1,204 independent crop-raiding incidents recorded, orangutans showed strong foraging preference for mixed farmland/degraded forest habitat over oil palm patches. The core home range areas of the eight adult orangutans encompassed only 14% of the available study area. Monthly home range sizes averaged 423 ha (±139, SD) for males, and 131 ± 46 ha for females, and were positively influenced by wild and cultivated fruit presence, and by crop consumption. The average daily distance travelled was similar for both adult males (868 m ± 350, SD) and females (866 m ± 195), but increased when orangutans raided crops. These findings show that orangutans can survive, demographically, in certain types of degraded landscapes, foraging on a mixture of crops and wild fruits. However, the poor quality habitat offered to orangutans by oil palm plantations, in terms of low food availability and as a barrier to female movements, is cause for concern since this is the land use type that is most rapidly replacing the preferred forest habitat across both Sumatran and Bornean orangutan ranges.
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Ecological studies of orangutans have almost exclusively focused on populations living in primary or selectively logged rainforest. The response of orangutans to severe habitat degradation remains therefore poorly understood. Most experts assume that viable populations cannot survive outside undisturbed or slightly disturbed forests. This is a concern because nearly 75% of all orangutans live outside protected areas, where degradation of natural forests is likely to occur, or where these are replaced by planted forests. To improve our understanding of orangutan survival in highly altered forest habitats, we conducted population density surveys in two pulp and paper plantation concessions in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. These plantations consist of areas planted with fast-growing exotics intermixed with stands of highly degraded forests and scrublands. Our rapid surveys indicate unexpectedly high orangutan densities in plantation landscapes dominated by Acacia spp., although it remains unclear whether such landscapes can maintain long-term viable populations. These findings indicate the need to better understand how plantation-dominated landscapes can potentially be incorporated into orangutan conservation planning. Although we emphasize that plantations have less value for overall biodiversity conservation than natural forests, they could potentially boost the chances of orangutan survival. Our findings are based on a relatively short study and various methodological issues need to be addressed, but they suggest that orangutans may be more ecologically flexible than previously thought.
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We compiled details of over 8000 assessments of protected area management effectiveness across the world and developed a method for analyzing results across diverse assessment methodologies and indicators. Data was compiled and analyzed for over 4000 of these sites. Management of these protected areas varied from weak to effective, with about 40% showing major deficiencies. About 14% of the surveyed areas showed significant deficiencies across many management effectiveness indicators and hence lacked basic requirements to operate effectively. Strongest management factors recorded on average related to establishment of protected areas (legal establishment, design, legislation and boundary marking) and to effectiveness of governance; while the weakest aspects of management included community benefit programs, resourcing (funding reliability and adequacy, staff numbers and facility and equipment maintenance) and management effectiveness evaluation. Estimations of management outcomes, including both environmental values conservation and impact on communities, were positive. We conclude that in spite of inadequate funding and management process, there are indications that protected areas are contributing to biodiversity conservation and community well-being.