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Shared Spirit to Maintain the Biodiversity of the Wehea Kelay Landscape

The Wehea Landscape has an area of 532,143 ha between East Kutai and Berau Regencies. Being a link between more than two conservation areas, a wildlife habitat corridor, a habitat for rare/threatened species, and having high cultural value and biodiversity makes this area an Essential Ecosystem Area known as an Important Ecosystem Area (KEP). This area is also an essential habitat for the orangutan population in East Kalimantan Province.

In protecting orangutan habitat areas outside conservation areas, the Nusantara Nature Conservation Foundation encourages collaborative management of the Wehea-Kelay Landscape by collaborating with forestry concessions, oil palm plantations, and surrounding communities by building agreements in the form of understanding with the parties. In 2016, the KEP forum was formed based on the Decree of the Governor of East Kalimantan Number 660.1/K.214/2016. This forum comprises various parties, including companies, government, NGOs, and indigenous communities, with duties and responsibilities to manage KEP based on applicable laws and regulations.

Biodiversity studies are conducted periodically, one of which is in the forest management area of PT. Wanabakti Persada Utama (PT. WBPU) covering an area of 44,402 hectares. Field assessments were first conducted in 2016 to collect ecological, social, and cultural data. The results of this study confirmed that the area falls under the High Conservation Value Area. In 2017, a field study was conducted in the form of orangutan surveys and monitoring in PT. WBPU to gain a better understanding of the actual conditions of orangutans at that time.

  1. Populasi orang utan diperkirakan sebanyak 75-79 individu dengan kepadatan 0,171 individu/km2.
  2. Orang utan tersebar di seluruh wilayah konsesi, namun lebih banyak ditemukan di bagian selatan dibandingkan daerah utara.
  3. Diidentifikasi sebanyak 321 jenis tumbuahan hutan, 102 (32%) di antaranya adalah pohon pakan orang utan.
  4. Keberadaan 6 jenis buah di jalur dan pohon ficus dengan kepadatan 69,57 tegakan/km2 adalah faktor pendukung habitat orang utan.
Sarang orangutan
The latest biodiversity study was carried out in September 2023. Apart from revealing findings on 28 types of mammals and 202 types of bird communities, this research was carried out to help local communities recognize the potential for biodiversity and also as a basis for managing this area in the future. Therefore, people from 4 villages around the PT. WBPU is also included and directly involved in the study process carried out in the field. With community involvement, it is hoped that collaboration between multi-stakeholders can be established to protect biodiversity in this region.

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