CAMERA TRAP: RECORDING THE NEIGHBOURS OF THE TAPANULI ORANGUTANS
Our team sets up camera traps in the area of the monitoring station in the Batang Toru Ecosystem, in the province of North Sumatra. The traps take videos and photos of their surroundings and collect important data for the station’s biodiversity monitoring.
Batang Toru is home to nearly 800 Tapanuli orangutans, the last of their kind. To better protect them, it is essential to know what they need to survive and understand how their environment works. For this reason, camera traps were set up around our research station in the Batang Toru Ecosystem.
The biodiversity of the Batang Toru Ecosystem is absolutely unique. In addition to the rare Tapanuli orangutans, numerous other species live and coexist in this rainforest. Some of those special animals were captured by our camera traps. We would like to introduce two of them to you:
- The Malayan sun bear is the smallest of its kind and can only be found Southeast Asia. Once fully grown, the Sun bear measures to a maximum length of 140 cm and a height of 70 cm. The small bear is already extinct in many regions. Some populations remain in Sumatra, but the Malayan sun bear will disappear if its natural habitat on the island continues to be destroyed for palm oil plantations and if the bears keep being hunted and kept illegally in bile farms or as pets.
- The Southern pig-tailed macaques, which owe their name to their pig-like tail, mainly eat fruits. Typically they move in groups, which consist mainly of females. When they reach sexual maturity, the males are forced to leave the group and search for a new one. The Southern pig-tailed macaques too are threatened with extinction because of the destruction of their habitat for palm-oil-plantations and because they are killed by humans in human-wildlife conflicts.