Support for Key Collaborations Strengthens Conservation of Great Apes and Gibbons

October 4, 2019

Grants awarded in Arcus’ fall funding cycle will support conservation and ape sanctuary organizations to work together to safeguard great apes and gibbons living in their natural habitats.

A significant three-year grant to the Pan Eco Foundation will enable an alliance of organizations to collaborate on protecting the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, one of the most important contiguous forest blocks left in Southeast Asia and home to around 85 percent of all remaining wild Sumatran orangutans and important populations of siamang and gibbons. The complexity of the challenges faced across the Leuser demand a coordinated and collaborative approach. The Pan Eco alliance has positioned itself in a central role in the management of this landscape, giving NGOs space to develop independently while also providing the credibility to access other sources of support.

Two grants to Health in Harmony—working in partnership with Alam Sehat Lestari and International Animal Rescue—will help strengthen the link between the conservation and protection of Gunung Palung and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya national parks in West Kalimantan, the sanctuaries taking in orangutans and gibbons from those regions, and the efforts to bring economic development and health services to local communities. By increasing access to high-quality, affordable healthcare among those living near Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, this project could reduce logging, as indicated during the pilot phase. Similar intervention in Gunung Palung National Park reportedly reduced logging households’ illegal activity by 90 percent.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is using its support to focus on the conservation of the endangered southern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus siki) and will enhance our understanding of gibbon distribution, grow conservation capacity, and engage local people in conservation approaches. An ecotourism feasibility study will identify options for community benefits that incentivize support for Lao PDR’s Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area.

Also receiving support is a pilot collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society and Cloud Mountain in China to implement on-the-ground conservation actions for and better understand the population dynamics of the Skywalker hoolock gibbon, a subspecies named by scientists in 2017.

Also receiving grants this funding cycle are the Center for Great Apes, Conservation Analytics, and Kalaweit.