E y e s   o n  t h e   F o r e s t
A   M o n t h l y   B u l l e t i n   f r o m   B o r n e o  -  J u n e   2 0 1 2

eyes in the forest


A Special Message from 

Dr. Birut� Mary Galdikas 


Desperate times require 

desperate measures...and your help.


As you know, we are currently raising funds to purchase and permanently protect the biologically-rich, 6,400-acre Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest--home to at least 50 wild orangutans and a future release site for orangutans rescued and rehabilitated by OFI. To date, we have successfully purchased more than 2,000 acres, and we continue to raise funds to secure the remaining forestland.


Sadly, nearly over night, a number of local zircon mining companies, as well as a slew of squatting miners, have set up shop and are now excavating within 300 feet of our eastern border. More than 2,000 workers have swarmed the 250-acre mining site. Left unchallenged, these resource-hungry mining operations will cross our property boundary with impunity and decimate portions of our Rawa Kuno

Mining operations
Zircon mining abutting Rawa Kuno.

Legacy Forest in little time, leaving behind a white, sandy, wasteland devoid of vegetation and wildlife. They must be stopped today!


But with so many small companies and innumerable illegal squatters currently staking claims to the zircon resources that abut our property, negotiating with potential encroachers is difficult. We MUST act swiftly and powerfully to permanently protect Rawa Kuno's precious rainforest habitat and the wildlife that depend on it.


Desperate times require desperate measures! Therefore, I have signed an emergency contract with an excavation contractor to create a moat (canal)--approximately ten feet wide and seven feet deep--on the eastern border of the Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest. Work is currently underway. It will run nearly four miles to the Bengaris River, and will take an estimated two months to complete; its disturbed edge will be planted with native forest fruit and habitat trees for wildlife. Once the moat is in place, we will be able to patrol the boundary both by motorcycle and small motorboat or dugout

RKLF Moat/Canal
OFI's Pak Tamel surveys new moat (canal) built to protect
Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest
from nearby zircon mining encroachment.

canoe. It will also act as a firebreak for fires used for clearing villagers' gardens and plantations close to our border, which often spread out of control during the dry season.


We must also build permanent guard posts at the mouth of the moat and along the way to prevent others from using it for transportation. Moreover, we must work with armed Mobile Police Brigades (BRIMOB) to prevent encroachment and take legal action against intruders before a single tree can be cut or mining foothold established within our protected forest. The BRIMOB patrols will also guard against the slaughter of orangutans and other wildlife species, and prevent their abduction for the cruel pet trade industry.


Your financial support--large or small--is urgently needed today to stop this potential conservation crisis in its tracks. We'll put your donation to work immediately, supporting the construction of a moat ($33,000) and three guard posts ($36,000); the purchase of one small motorboat ($1,000), one motorcycle ($2,500), and gasoline ($250); and the per diem cost of four Indonesian mobile brigade officers and their commander ($12,000) for one year.


Won't you please help? We're counting on all of our friends to join us in firmly taking a stand to protect our forest.


Click here to make a generous donation today (be sure to write "Defend Rawa Kuno" in the Special Instructions section).


With deep appreciation,

Birut� Mary Galdikas



 Birute Mary Galdikas and FriendDonate Now!


 In this Issue

  • Orangutan of the Month: Ari
  • Upcoming OFI Events: 5K Race
  • News from the Field: Judith Roycroft--A Remarkable Volunteer
  • Jungle Corner: Hardwicke's Woolly Bat
  • Conservation Partners: Good Friends Support Rawa Kuno




of the Month: 



A Bornean Agile Gibbon at Camp Leakey  ______________

OFI 5th Annual 
5K Run/Walk


Join us! 

September 16, 2012

Woodley Park

Los Angeles, CA


Save the Orangutans

5K Run for Survival



 Large male orangutan


News from the Field  


Judith Roycroft:

There's Nothing She Wouldn't Do For Orangutans


By Janie Dubman



Many volunteers share their time at the OCCQ with the OFI community through personal reflection. But knowing Judith Roycroft, I suspected that this humble woman would never do justice to the magnitude of her effort and impact on the orangutans of the Care Center. So, instead, I am writing about her as an exemplary volunteer and a deeply compassionate person. 


Click here to read this heart-warming story about a remarkable OFI volunteer...




 Jungle Corner 

 Hardwicke's woolly bat

Kerivoula hardwickii


Taxonomy: Animalia; Chordata; Mammalia; Chiroptera; Vespertilionidae


A Hardwicke's woolly bat roosts inside a pitcher plant 

Threat Status: Least Concern (on the IUCN Red List)


Distribution: Borneo; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Indonesia;

Laos; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Thailand; Vietnam


Morphology: Hardwicke's woolly bat is incredibly small. Typically, the bats are 4cm (1.6in) long and weigh roughly 4g (0.14oz). 


Interesting Fact: It was recently discovered that Hardwicke's woolly bats roost in pitcher plants, a carnivorous plant found in Borneo. It appears the relationship between the bats and plants is mutualistic. The bats receive shelter from the plants, and the plants receive additional nitrogen from the bats' droppings. This is the first time a mammal has been found using pitcher plants for shelter. 


Conservation Partners 

 Friends of Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest Protect 245 Acres


From Chicago to Hong Kong, caring people from all across the globe are coming together to help Orangutan Foundation International purchase and permanently protect the 6,400-acre Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest--home to many wild orangutans and a future release forest for orangutans rehabilitated by OFI at its Care Center.  


'Rainforest Rescue Coalition' Members Bike 325 Miles to Save 125 Acres!


College students Adam Bauer-Goulden, Marykate Sperduto, William Heineke, and Ross Sullivan recently formed a nonprofit called the Rainforest Rescue Coalition with a mission to conserve and protect rainforest land around the world and to support sustainable relationships between humans and nature.

Rainforest Rescue Coalition
Marykate, Adam, Ross and William ride for Rawa Kuno.


"We all love biking, so we decided to raise money and awareness for conservation initiatives with the "Ride for the Rainforest," said the group's spokesperson, Adam Bauer-Goulden. "In May 2012 we rode 325 miles from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Illinois. Lots of people sponsored our dedicated riders, and together we raised enough money ($12,500) to save 125 acres of the Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest."


"The trip was a great success! Not only did we raise much-needed monetary support, we also spread awareness of environmental issues to hundreds of people, who will hopefully tell hundreds more people."


Many thanks to our dedicated Rainforest Rescue Coalition friends. Keep up the good work!



Hong Kong-based Orangutan Aid Raises $12,000 to Help OFI Purchase 120 Acres!


For the second time in less than a year, OFI's good friends at Orangutan Aid have contributed to the Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest Fund, with donations of $2,000 and $10,000

Orangutan Aid's Mara McCaffery
Orangutan Aid's Mara McCaffery at Care Center.

in 2011 and 2012, respectively. All told, they have protected 120 acres, with future plans to protect more through their ongoing "Buy a Forest" campaign. 


Orangutan Aid is registered in Hong Kong as a society, and is run solely on a voluntary not-for-profit basis. Its immense generosity is matched only by its founder's kindness. Founder Mara McCaffery has been a frequent volunteer at OFI's Care Center, working alongside caregivers to feed and nurture infant orangutans, and building a jungle-gym playground to help young orangutans develop much-needed climbing and swinging skills (Orangutan Aid raised the funds for this new playground).


OFI wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to Mara and Orangutan Aid. Our work would not be possible without the help of good friends like you. Thank you for caring!



Click here to learn more about OFI's Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest project or to take a virtual tour of the forest.


For more information on ways your business or organization can partner with OFI, please contact Hollis Burbank-Hammarlund, Development Director, at [email protected].


Thank you very much for  following "Eyes on the Forest - Bulletin from Borneo". From now on you can expect this eNewsletter to reach your mailbox monthly.  We'd love to have your thoughts, comments or submissions ([email protected]). In the meanwhile, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our official website: www.orangutan.org   
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