Rehabilitation of Orang-utan Habitat in Bilit, Lower Kinabatangan (HABITAT)
Grocery store in the Forest
This is where WWF's HABITAT project comes in – to help improve and restore degraded orang-utan habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan. HABITAT aims to generate greater food sources for the appetite of these gentle giants by replanting mostly fruit trees in degraded areas.
HABITAT’s field assistants are local youth and volunteers from Kampung Bilit, where the nursery is located. With training provided by the Forest Research Centre (FRC), Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project (KOCP) and the Model Ecologically Sustainable Community Tourism project (MESCOT), these hard-working locals have cultivated 10,214 seedlings of 19 different tree species and planted about 3,500 food trees in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. As co-managers of the project, they are responsible for the nursery, replanting seedlings at identified sites, cutting climbers and weeds that impede seedling growth and monitoring progress.
Replanting is back-breaking work in under testing conditions. Walking through rough terrain, carrying the 70-100 seedlings and tools for each days planting, not to mention your own food and water! The locals’ satisfaction from caring for the orang-utans and their habitat makes this hardship worth the time and effort.