Kalaweit Gibbon Project Indonesia
In Indonesia, habitat loss is a major issue for many species, particularly with forest clearance to make way for palm oil plantations. For gibbons, this problem is compounded by a thriving pet trade. Entire gibbon families are slaughtered to capture one baby for this trade, and when these individuals reach sexual maturity – at around seven years – they become too aggressive to keep and many are killed. The Kalaweit project rescues and rehabilitates gibbons that have been orphaned by this cruel and destructive trade. With two centres in Borneo and Sumatra, Kalaweit is currently rehabilitating 300 Gibbons and Siamangs, and employs 50 staff from veterinarians to labourers. Wherever possible the rehabilitated animals are released back into their natural habitat, after careful training and veterinary screening, to boost depleted populations in the wild.
In addition to this rescue and rehabilitation work, Kalaweit takes a comprehensive approach to protecting gibbons in the wild and preserving Indonesia’s unique biodiversity. The project is involved in the protection of existing habitat through the creation and management of several protected areas and by campaigning regionally and nationally against deforestation. Local people are involved at all levels of the project, and information about the importance of gibbons and other native flora and fauna is broadcast through Kalaweit FM, a vibrant and popular radio station which transmits this vital education message to nearly 40,000 listeners.