Tag Archives: rainforests

Borneo’s Enchanting Forests

As the UN Year of the Forests 2011 draws to a close Arif Nugroho, the manager of Pondok Ambung Tropical forest Research Station in Tanjung Puting National Park (Central kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo), has sent this interesting report (which is almost poetic in parts) with images about some of the rarer treasures of the rainforest. Over to Arif …….

Welcome the rainy season, welcome beautiful colorful mushrooms

At the beginning of rainy season, we felt spoilt when walking in the forest. There were many different colorful mushrooms, some with striking colors such as bright yellow or orange. They looked like little umbrellas in the ground – so beautiful.

Mushrooms found at Pondok Ambung

Mushrooms found at Pondok Ambung

Mushroom found at Pondok Ambung - Tanjung Puting National Park

Mushroom found at Pondok Ambung - Tanjung Puting National Park




While collecting data on the vegetation with Mas’ud Ashari, a student from the Forestry Faculty at Gajah Mada University, Jogjakarta we found many species of mushrooms. We couldn’t identify them but took images of them. Classification of fungi is always suffering from contradictions because there is a lack of complete knowledge about all the fungal organisms. There is little information reported about mushrooms in Borneo, especially in Pondok Ambung. So the aim of the present investigation was to identify the wild mushroom in Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station. We found at least 12 different species of wild mushrooms, even if we didn’t identify yet. (Please leave a comment if you can help!).

Frogs: Wildlife under canopy

Night tracking. Walk slowly into forest. Smelling the soil after the rain and listening to nature’s voices. So peaceful. Light your torch around you and find some eyes glowing. Yup, that is way to see a beautiful frog, wildlife under canopy.

Rough-sided Tree Frog

Rough-sided Tree Frog

Dark-eared Tree Frog

Dark-eared Tree Frog

Collet's Tree frog

Collet's Tree frog

Butterflies Covering the Ground

Tanjung Puting National Park (TNTP), has peat swamp forests and  orangutans are a key species. The National Park attracts many tourists mainly to see the orangutans. But there is still lots of other biodiversity. We  are trying to explore  and the more we do we discover awesome wildlife.

Idea Hypermnestra

Idea Hypermnestra


This month looks like a butterflies’ moon. They are so easy to find and watch. On a river bank, among the leaf litter and twigs of trees, there are  various kinds of colorful butterflies. I watched one. Flapping its wings occasionally to shift places, then pauses as if she were sipping something from the soil. I crawled over. Trying to enjoy every detail of its beauty. Wings have colorful patterns and sometimes seem complicated. Some of them show a striking hue. Others are just black and white only. But the pattern remains fascinating.

Based on my observations, the butterflies are very easily found on the edge of the river. Precisely on lands moist but still exposed to sunlight. Several others were observed at the lower canopy of trees or perched in the foliage. I also found butterflies gathered in soil doused with smelling material, like soapy water or rotten fruit.


Check my article (In Bahasa Indonesian) about butterfly of Pondok Ambung TNTP in Biodiversitas Indonesia Magazine Vol. 1 No. 2 Th. 2011. Magazine can be downloaded for free here.

Researching Western Tarsier in Pondok Ambung

Masud  Ashari,  the student from Forestry Faculty, Gajah Mada University, Jogjakarta is at Pondok Ambung to research the population and distribution of the Western Tarsier (Tarsius bancanus Horsfield, 1821) in the lowland forest habitat of Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station and Tanjung Harapan, Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan.

Tarsius bancanus at pondok Ambung

Tarsius bancanus

Over 15 days he made 11 transects line and 23 plots of vegetation analysis and recorded 8 points of Tarsiers. This wasn’t actual observations but encountering their smell. Tarsiers produce a secretion from a gland aroung their genitals for marking their homerange. Each point recorded shared similar characteristics. Sapling trees up to pole size, moderate to high vegetation density, temperature between 24-27 ° C, and humidity between 60-65%. Tarsier prefer this habitat because the conditions allow for easy locomotion (leaping between treest), feeding, playing, perching to prey etc.

Thank you,


More news on orangutans later this week…

Please support our work by making a donation today via our website or by calling 0044 (0)20 7724 2912 – thank you.

Back where they belong!

Sorry for the long period of inactivity! Hudi, our Programme Co-ordinator in Indonesia sent through this short story about a sunbear and a pig-tailed Macaque.  


Belle, the sunbear © Orangutan Foundation

Saturday 13th of March 2010 was a special day for “Belle” a young female sunbear (Helarctos malayanus) and also for one pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina). After medical observation by Dr Fiqri (our Vet) and Tigor (our Reintroduction Manager ), Pak Eko Novi, the head of section II of the  Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA SKW II Kalimantan Tengah) gave permission for both to be trans-located to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

boat into Lam 

Sunbear and pig-tailed macaque going up river into the reserve © Orangutan Foundation

Belle cage

Carrying the cage out of the boat.  © Orangutan Foundation

belle being freed

Belle, about to be released. © Orangutan Foundation

The trans-location process went very smoothly. When the cage door was open by Pak Eko Novi the sunbear just walked out directly into the forest, she did not look back at us, unlike “Bruno”, the young male sun-bear, who we translocated a few months ago. He gave a surprise for all the people who trans-located him!

 belle out

Straight out! © Orangutan Foundation

into the forest

Back to the forest -wild and free! © Orangutan Foundation

Within a few minutes Belle had disappeared into the forest. However, we did have a surprise from the pig-tail macaque. A few minutes after the release the macaque came back to the longboat and then jumped into the water, swam across the river and then played on the opposite side of the river bank!

 pig tail

The pig-tailed macaque decided it wanted to be on the otherside of the river and why not? © Orangutan Foundation

pig tail 2

Good to be back home! © Orangutan Foundation

Huge thanks to all of our dedicated staff and to our partners, who we work with in and around the reserve.

Please consider a donation towards our Protect Me and My Tree Appeal – raising vital funds for the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

Thank you!

Can palm oil help Indonesia’s poor?

There has been much coverage of Indonesia’s palm oil boom over the last week in the UK press and media.  Here are some of the links.

Can palm oil help Indonesia’s poor? – This radio programme was broadcast on Radio 4 last night, but is worth listening to on iplayer if you get the chance.

Green fuels cause more harm than fossil fuels, according to report

Orangutan survival and the shopping trolley

The Orangutan Foundation prides itself on keeping to the facts and we avoid sensationalist arguments. We acknowledge there are some companies who are acting responsibly and we applaud their efforts. However, many companies aren’t and it is these and the Indonesian Government that must take action to stop the conversion of high conservation value forests into plantations.


Cathy – Orangutan Foundation UK office

HRH The Prince of Wales’ New Rainforest Video

HRH The Prince of Wales launched a global public awareness campaign last week to save rainforests.

The focal point of the campaign is this 90 second public awareness film in which HRH The Prince of Wales appears alongside his sons and an array of well-known faces including Harrison Ford, the Dalai Lama, Daniel Craig and Robin Williams.

Support for the cause can be demonstrated by the public by signing up on The Prince’s Rainforest Trust website http://www.rainforestsos.org/

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