Provide the best possible care to orphaned primates in DRC, while working to ensure their protection in the wild

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to about 90% of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Since the mid-1990s, eastern DRC’s chimpanzees have experienced alarming population declines (up to 40%) due to illegal hunting and habitat loss, threats that have been exacerbated by years of war, insecurity, and humanitarian crises. Since its creation in 2002, CRPL has rescued 89 chimpanzees. Most of the chimpanzees have been confiscated in the hands of poachers in consequence of bush-meat hunting. In the last couple of years, CRPL has had an increase of chimpanzees’ rescues.
Together with chimpanzees, CRPL takes care of more than 100 monkeys from 11 different species, some of them are included in the UICN red list, as Cercopithecus hamlyni and Cercopithecus lhoesti.
In addition to give long-term care to the orphans of poaching, the CRPL plays and important role in chimpanzees’ conservation by (1) supporting law enforcement, (2) conservation education of national and international population, (3) provide alternative livelihoods for families around Kahuzi-Biega National Park and (4) Building capacity for congoles vets.
CRPL is an important agent in the eastern DRC’s Conservation Action Plan (CAP) and verified member of Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).
The aim of this project is to continue to provide to all animals in the care of the CRPL with a high standard of care assuring the capacity of the center to accept all the primates intercepted by congolaise authorities. Helping to enforcing congolaise conservation laws.

Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme

HUTAN is a French grassroots non-profit organisation created in 1996, to develop and implement innovative solutions to conserve orangutan and other wildlife species in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
HUTAN and the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) initiated the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme (KOCP) in 1998 to study orang-utan adaptation to forest disturbance and to design and implement sound conservation strategies for this species and its habitat.
Today our team is composed of more than 60 highly skilled staff hailing from the Orang Sungai community. To achieve our vision, we have developed a holistic strategy combining long-term scientific research, wildlife and habitat protection and management, policy work, capacity building, education and awareness, as well as community outreach and development. The “Orangutan Research Team” has been running the longest non-interrupted field study of wild orangutans in Borneo. The “Wildlife Survey and Protection” Unit is in charge of alleviating Human-Elephant conflicts, conducting biodiversity surveys and law enforcement activities, and is in charge of our succesfull artificial nest boxes project. The HUTAN “Environmental Awareness Program” reaches out school children and villagers throughout Sabah. The “Reforestation Team” is active in bare lands or encroached areas where forest regeneration cannot occur naturally. The “Pangi Swiflet Recovery Unit” is in charge of guarding colonies of edible-nest swiflets against any poacher. HUTAN has developed a capcity building platform to train various partners ranging from villagers to industry players (timber, oil palm plantation) and civil servants about biodiversiy monitoring and protection. Last but not least, we are using our community-based ground approach to inform policies and management startegies at the local, national and international levels.

Borneo Nature Foundation: Protecting Borneo’s Biodiversity

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF, previously the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop)) works to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest in Borneo, including the peat swamps of Sabangau, home to the world’s largest orangutan population. We monitor the behavioural ecology of the forest’s flagship ape and cat species, carry out biodiversity and forestry research, and work with our local partners to develop conservation solutions and improve capacity for conservation in the region. BNF’s biodiversity monitoring research is leading the field in tropical forest biodiversity studies in Kalimantan. Our records stretch back from 1995 and cover almost all major animal groups (from mammals, birds and reptiles, to butterflies and ants), representing the most extensive dataset available for Kalimantan’s peat-swamp forest. Following the devastating forest fires which engulfed Borneo and Sumatra in 2015, combined with ongoing habitat degradation and hunting has resulted in the Bornean orangutan has been up listed to Critically Endangered. BNF is working to understand Asian ape population dynamics, to protect and restore critical habitat and work to raise awareness in Indonesia and around the world.

Pangolins, in general, face threats due to illegal hunting and wildlife trade as their meat is sought after, and their scales are valued for medicinal purposes. Pangolins confiscated within Indonesia are often already dead but any live animals are often inappropriately released into the wild, or are sold back into the trade. While the current population status of the pangolin is unknown, the scale of pangolin trade represents a major conservation risk for the animal.

BNF works to raise awareness in Indonesian Borneo as well as contributing data to understand the trade routes and population status of this elusive species.BNF has a focus on communities, conservation and appplied research on flagship species inclding orangutans, gibbons, red langurs, clouded leopards, bay cats, sun bears, pangolins and other biodiversity.

Protecting wild bonobos in the buffer zone of Salonga National Park by long-term monitoring

Salonga National Park (SNP) is one of the four key areas that were identified as priority sites for bonobo conservation. For this, bonobos living within SNP and its surroundings must be protected from hunting and other forms of human encroachment. Besides law enforcement, long-term field research has been identified as particularly successful in protecting apes on a population level. One project with a long-term commitment to research and conservation of bonobos, is the LuiKotale Bonobo Project (LKBP). The field site was established in February 2002 in collaboration with one village, Lompole, providing an area of approximately 100km² of local forest, abstaining from hunting and snaring. Ever since, teams of research staff and local assistants are present. In 2011, the second community, was started to be habituated. In 2016, the project was able to incorporate the neighbouring village, Bekombo, in the conservation management and start habituation of the 3rd community in the freshly acquired forest. To promote this relevant conservation work, Bonobo Alive e.V. was founded in 2011. With help of donations from Zoos, private people, and income generated from leading funding organisations financing science and conservation, the project succeeded in creating a well-protected area currently covering about 200km² of pristine lowland rainforest with an intact ecological web. Here, the changing teams of student volunteers and researchers acquire insight into a larger network of interacting bonobo communities. The project integrates an increasing number of local people into the accompanying conservation measures, becoming multipliers in the region. In combination, the LKBP and Bonobo Alive have been able to promote field research, biomonitoring programs and other conservation initiatives with the result that the local protection status of wild bonobos and other endangered species has considerably improved.

To protect the unique Sungai Wain Forest and its rich lowland biodiversity from fires, encroachment, and poaching by enabling community forest ranger patrolling, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo

This project is focused on management and protection of the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (SWPF) in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. This is a relatively small (ca 10,000 ha) but vitally important forest area as it supplies about 25% of the freshwater needs of Balikpapan [ca 700.000 inhabitants, the 4th largest city on Borneo), including all fresh water for the Pertamina oil refinery. It is currently the last example of primary lowland rainforest in the wider area. Sungai Wain is home most Bornean lowland rainforest species, including many endemics (all 5 of Borneo\’s cat species, including the endemic Bay Cat; all 8 hornbill species, including the Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill; 9 primate species including a population of orangutans reintroduced in the 1990\’s and viable populations of 4 endemic primate species [Proboscis monkeys, Mueller\’s Gibbons, Red leaf monkeys, White-fronted leaf monkey; Sun bears [the first ever wild population that was studied]; rare endemic birds such as the Bornean ground cuckoo and Peacock pheasant). In addition, more than 30 tree species found in this lowland forest are listed as Critically Endangered. Recently 1,385 ha of forest in an adjacent watershed was added as an extension to the SWPF and one of our aims is to further expand the protected area network to reconnect SWPF to other forest patches through corridor development.
Threats to the SWPF primarily consist of forest fires during periods of drought, encroachment and deforestation by immigrants and increased poaching pressure of mammals and birds. Pro Natura focuses on strengthening management of this unique lowland forest through 3 key components: protecting the forest and its fauna from poaching, logging, encroachment and prevention of forest fires through active community patrols; monitoring health of key species populations and regeneration of burned over forest; raising conservation support through awareness and education.

Support of gorilla conservation

We focus on the survival of gorilla populations that are particularly at risk. However, the gorillas’ survival can only be ensured in the long-term if we succeed in finding a balance between the needs of the human population and the required nature conservation measures. Key ways to achieve this are:
• To support the people who are employed by national authorities to protect the gorillas and their forests.
• To raise awareness and provide support to the people who live in gorilla areas – the gorillas would not survive without their cooperation and help.
• To give direct aid during sudden, unpredictable events such as wars, rebel attacks or volcanic eruptions, which often create emergencies.
Our work is financed by donations and members’ contributions. As the board works on a honorary basis, very little of our funds is spent for administration. We do not manage our own projects, but we support protected areas and other nature conservation organisations when something is urgently needed. We do not follow a rigid approach: we make decisions on an individual basis, in a fast and un-bureaucratic manner, appropriate to individual conditions and requirements. We collaborate with local contact persons in whom we trust, and our assistant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in constant contact with the local projects.