Camp Rasak Orangutan Release Site: Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Camp Rasak is located in the north-east of the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan. It is one of six monitoring release sites in the Lamandau Reserve. Camp Rasak was built in 2005 and has functioned since 2006. The camp includes two main buildings, staff accommodation including bathroom facilities and a dining room. Two wells have been dug to provide clean water. As with the other camps in Lamandau, there are cages for orangutans during soft releases and treatment cages for orangutans that may become unwell and need medical treatment.

Since January 2006, more than 22 ex-captive orangutans have been reintroduced to the wild. Most of the females have reproduced and have successfully reared their young. This confirms Camp Rasak as an ideal location for orangutan releases.   In addition to the released ex-captive orangutans, there are more orangutans in the soft release programme.  There have also been numerous female orangutans that have ‘adopted’ an orphaned orangutan, usually between the ages of two to five years old. They have allowed these young orangutans to travel, forage and sleep with them which provides excellent assistance to their adaptation to the wild. Over 47 orangutan food trees have been identified in the forest around Camp Rasak. With this good food source the orangutans are able to survive in the wild without being reliant on additional feeding.

With its experience of soft releases and adoptions, Camp Rasak is one of the pivotal release sites within the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. More orangutans are being rescued due to increased habitat destruction and consequently the pressure on camps such as Rasak will increase. The funding of these release camps and guard posts is crucial in maintaining the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve as a safe haven for the reintroduction of orangutans back to the wild.

Project Leader: Ashley Leiman