Wildlife Protection with Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER)
What does the pheasant known as the Crestless Fireback have in common with Sun Bears or Bearded Pigs? Answer: they all dwell in the lowland peat forests of Sumatra. Supplemental answer: they’ve all been captured by the hidden cameras of Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER).
RER is the 10-year, $17 million program to restore 20,265 hectares of degraded forest on Sumatra’s Kampar Peninsula. APRIL sponsors RER. It manages the project in partnership with international conservationists Fauna & Flora International and Indonesian social development consultants Bidara.
RER’s objective is to revitalize a landscape damaged by years of encroachment, illegal logging and arson. Protecting wildlife is a big part of the project.
Habitat damage has put forest-dwelling animals at risk. By restoring the forest and restricting illegal activity, chances for the long-term sustainability of threatened species increase.
A first step for RER is taking a wildlife inventory. The official species census begins in the third quarter of 2014. But since 2013, RER’s hidden cameras have been videotaping wildlife trekking through the forest.
The images of Crestless Firebacks were captured in April 2014. The pictures excite forestry experts because the elusive birds are not often spotted by humans. The International Conservation Union for Nature classifies Crestless Firebacks as a Vulnerable species. Their presence within RER indicates that the forest canopy could provide a sustainable habitat, if it can be reinvigorated and protected.
Other species recorded by RER’s camera trap include Sun Bears, Bearded Pigs, Mouse Deer, Southern Pig-tailed Macaques, Black-Capped Babblers and Banded Palm Civets. All are visible at the RER website video gallery. View them here: http://www.rekoforest.org/index.php/en/gallery/videos
Curious about the aquatic life in the rivers of the RER preservation zone? See the photo gallery here: http://www.rekoforest.org/index.php/en/gallery/photos