PALANGKA RAYA (Indonesia), June 21 – The orangutan population in Sebangau National Park, Central Kalimantan, is on the rise, said Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry, Alue Dohong.

On the sidelines of a national seminar on Thursday, he said the 2016 Population and Habitat Viability Analysis (PHVA) estimated the population at 6,080 which has now increased to an estimated 8,772 to 8,973, reported ANTARA news agency.

Dohong said that the increase in the orangutan population in the national park, which covers an area of 543,871 hectares indicates improvements in natural conditions and ecosystem health. He also highlighted the crucial role orangutans play in forest seed dispersal.

“Orangutans also play a role in maintaining the health of forest ecosystems, and they also act as protectors of other species whose lives depend on forest ecosystems,” he said.

Ruswanto, the Sebangau National Park Office (BTNS) head, said that his office has gradually succeeded in restoring the ecosystem in the national park area through various efforts, including replanting as well as creating and repairing canal blocks.

TNS straddles three regions of Central Kalimantan, namely Palangka Raya City, Katingan District, and Pulang Pisau District.

“So far, forest fires and orangutan hunting are the threats,” Ruswanto said. “We can say that forest and land fires are currently the biggest threats.”

The office is continuing to cooperate with various parties to protect the ecosystem in TNS, including by monitoring its natural conditions.


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