Our ranger team are patrolling through Christmas and have been extremely busy in the buffer zone of the Leuser Ecosystem. The focus of their December patrol has been twofold: snare removal and bamboo cannon construction. Over 20 snares have been removed in one forest edge community, Batu Rongring. Thanks to Nasib, a new team member from this village, the team were able to focus their efforts on deactivation of traps and snares thanks to his local knowledge. Unfortunately one recently trapped and dead Pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) was found in a snare as well as the skeleton of a forest goat with a wire snare around its' neck. The number of traps and snares deactivated and removed gives extra cause for concern as fresh Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) pug marks were found in the area.
Head ranger Jack and second in charge Agus, put their recently honed skills to good use this month, assisting community members with constructing bamboo cannons which are used as non-lethal deterrents to remove crop-raiding Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus). Both species are Critically Endangered according to IUCN classification and at present this is the best method available to this community to protect their income crops and keep wildlife safe. Thanks to support from Thin Green Line Foundation , recently we were able to initiate our orangutan conflict mitigation program, by employing a consultant from Kalimantan to assess four of the communities we work with and provide training in non-lethal orangutan removal methods. Jack and Agus were able to fine tune their skills and it is encouraging to see these being put to use as part of their monthly patrols.
The images below are from this months' patrol - WARNING, contains graphic images.