Pygmy Elephant ©HUTAN Marc Ancrenaz
|Orangutan ©HUTAN Daisah Bin Kapar|
|Proboscis Monkey ©HUTAN Jamil Sinyor|
Rainforest Trust Announces Sir David Attenborough Supports $1.5 Million Appeal to Save Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Habitat in Borneo
Donated funds will buy private land to create a vital rainforest corridor in an area facing massive habitat loss
WARRENTON, VA – OCTOBER 3, 2013 – Rainforest Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization focused on protecting threatened tropical lands and saving endangered species, announced today that Sir David Attenborough, the world’s leading natural history filmmaker, has thrown his support behind the joint Rainforest Trust and World Land Trust campaign to raise $1.5 million to secure rainforest habitat vital for the survival of the endangered Bornean orangutan and pygmy elephant.
Donated funds will be used to purchase private properties to establish a permanent rainforest corridor reconnecting patches of rainforest that have become fragmented due to extensive logging and intensive cultivation. Once complete, the corridor will enable orangutans and pygmy elephants to again roam the forest of the north bank of the Kinabatangan River, one of Malaysia’s most beautiful rainforest wetland areas.
“Every bit of the rainforest that is knocked down is less space for orangutans. They have been reduced very seriously in the past decade, and we must do all we can to reverse this devastation,” explained Sir David.
From October 2 to 16, 2013, all donations to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal will be matched by donor pledges at World Land Trust in the UK for up to $750,000, making contributions from individuals and corporations go twice as far.
“Borneo’s orangutans and pygmy elephants are losing their rainforests at an alarming rate, as the booming palm oil sector is snapping up private properties to create vast oil palm plantations,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust. “The remaining strongholds must be protected through land purchase. In Borneo, even relatively small parcels of land can be a lifeline for orangutans so long as they link together protected forests enabling animals to move safely over greater distances.”
Every dollar raised in this campaign will allow Rainforest Trust’s partner in Borneo to buy vital private properties to create the “Keruak Corridor” that will permanently connect two protected areas, the Keruak Forest Reserve and the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Despite massive loss of habitat, the Kinabatangan district remains a bastion for biodiversity. Of 222 mammal species found here, there are 10 species of primate, including proboscis monkeys, along with large populations of approximately 1,000 orangutan and 300 Bornean pygmy elephants. Orangutans and pygmy elephants are considered keystone species, playing a critical role in maintaining the structure and health of the rainforests in Borneo.
To donate to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal, visit https://www.rainforesttrust.org/donations-borneo/.
For more information about Rainforest Trust, visit https://www.rainforesttrust.org/.
About Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Trust, formerly World Land Trust-US, is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving rainforest and endangered species. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved more than 7 million acres of rainforests and other tropical habitats in 67 projects across 17 tropical countries. The nonprofit purchases and protects threatened land by forming partnerships with local conservation organizations and engaging indigenous communities. Rainforest Trust has been awarded the top four-star Charity Navigator rating for each of the last five years.
Marc Ford, Rainforest Trust
Marie Gehret, RF|Binder