About the Project
We are a grass roots community led conservation
program, run by a group of dedicated local people who are passionate about
nature and the environment and who want to protect the animals and rainforest
where they live.
If you are looking for a hands-on conservation
project, monitoring wild life, replanting the rainforest, helping with recycling and up-cycling educational
projects to protect the jungle, where you can really make a difference to the communities you will be working
with, please come and join us!
Our aim is to protect and conserve the rare and
endangered native fauna and flora that occurs in this critical wildlife corridor occurring on private
lands at Batu Kapal adjacent to the Gunung Leuser NP in North Sumatra.
Please note we are an action-based
community led Citizen Science program (there is no
university supervisor on site).
Working at Batu Kapal Conservation base, you will
be contributing to the protection the endangered wild Orangutan population and
other rare and endangered animals that occur in this critically important
national park buffer zone and wildlife corridor occurring in the area.
will find our conservation project site at the Batu Kapal Conservation
Sanctuary in the heart of the jungle on the tranquil Landak River, overlooking
the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Gunung Leuser National Park. The conservation project is
20 minutes by motorbike or a 1 hour walk from the Bukit Lawang village,
ensuring you will feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of village life,
as soon as you arrive in this hidden Sumatran jungle paradise.
We will be surrounded by nature and geological formations, with frequent visits from the local population of wild orangutans and sightings of porcupines, slow loris and civet cats. We have resident wild populations of thomas leaf monkeys, silver monkeys, macaques, water monitors, geckos and slow loris in the project area as well as many different species of birds, reptiles, frogs, butterflies, dragonflies and insects.
Sumatra represents the last remaining natural habitat for Orang-utans in Indonesia. the Sumatran Orang-utan is now classified as critically endangered.
Forest cover in Sumatra was reduced by 61% from 1985-1997 due to logging, infrastructure development, internal migration, and plantation development. The Sumatran Orang-utan population has decreased by 86% over the past 100 years. The most recent estimate places the figure around 7,300 left in the wild, with steady losses occurring every year. Batu Kapal Conservation Program activities include
- Surveying, mapping and monitoring the area, habitats and animals with GPS. To identify existing landholdings, their primary land use and the extant native vegetation.
- To map orangutan and primate habitation and food forage areas. To map known orangutan and primate movement pathways with GPS.
- To develop a full species list for fauna and flora. To identify the ecosystem service provided by each subject. With a view to developing a better understanding of what is missing. To establish recovery programmes for threatened and vulnerable species.
- Create wildlife corridors to reconnect fragmented habitat for orangutans, primates and other animals between the national park and the nature buffer zone occurring on private lands as per the project plan
Conducting animal and bird monitoring and surveys
observing, identifying, monitoring, photographing and GPS recording
areas with wild populations of orang-utans and other animals and birds
in the Batu Kapal conservation project area and at specified GPS points
of interest in the program
- Survey, GPS, photograph and collect data of sightings of Orang-Utan’s Nests and map them on google earth pro
GPS recording and monitoring orang-utans and other primates daily
activity pattern, including migration paths and feeding, resting
and travelling patterns
- observe, map, monitor,
survey, photograph and GPS record the significant flora
and fauna in the Batu Kapal conservation project area, including orang-utans,
silver monkeys, other animals and birds
- dusk, dawn and night walks by spot light to gps, photograph
and record sightings of slow loris, civet cat, leopard cat, sun bear, bats and porcupine
- gps, record and map every large tree (eg ficus, trembesi and pakam trees) in the area and record when fruiting, as
these are important trees for orangutans and other primates and map them on google earthpro
- identify individual
orangutans to ascertain the population of orangutans living in the Batu Kapal biolink buffer zone, by taking photos of each individual orangutan face and identifying each orangutans unique features, and hence being able to track their range
- Innovative up-cycling plastic waste projects, including reusing single use plastics to make eco bricks, sleeping mats, bags and baskets
consolidating and analysing the monitoring data sheets on the excel
spreadsheet data base and recording data on the mapping software
- GPS trail mapping, using garmin GPS and updating the mapping software
We are looking
for volunteers that have a passion for wildlife conservation, an ability to
work as a team with other volunteers and by yourself, have an upbeat, positive
attitude and are committed to achieving the projects goals. Tasks are not
particularly physically strenuous, however a fair level of fitness is advised
as the climate is hot and humid.
specific skills or experience are required, we are looking for volunteers that
are highly motivated, have significant drive and able to work independently or
as part of a small team after the initial induction and orientation. Our
volunteer coordinator is here to assist and support you, but we expect our
volunteers to be self directed and motivated in completing your daily volunteer
ensure you have a great volunteering experience with us, please take the
opportunity every day to discuss the programmed activities with the volunteer
coordinator, as well as any specific activities you might like to undertake
during your stay. If you have any particular concerns or need further advice or
support, please discuss this with the coordinator so it can be addressed and
Respect Wildlife – Keep wild animals wild! Never feed wild animals or birds.
Our Respect Jungle Guidelines are designed to help you understand and enjoy your time in the jungle in an environmentally sensitive and respectful way. We follow a strict no contact of wild animal policy. Let's help protect this fragile ecosystem so your children and grandchildren can enjoy this natural wonder for many years to come!
Observe wildlife from a distance.
- Feeding wildlife damages their health alters natural behaviours, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Store food and rubbish securely. Wild animals have adapted over time to the food found in nature. Human food can make animals sick.
- Feeding can also make animals reliant on humans for food, which may lead to aggressive behaviour.
- Keep your food and wastes in a secure container. Plastic bags are not secure, animals can easily rip these open
Avoid touching wilds animals.
- Do not follow or approach wild animals. Keep a respectable distance (5 metres) and if the animal shows signs of fear or aggressiveness, back off immediately and give the animal plenty of space to move on.
- Avoid chasing or following wildlife that is attempting to escape.
- Keep watching times to a reasonable length to avoid stressing the animals.
- Move slowly, quietly, and in full view to avoid scaring or stressing animals.
Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- To minimise the spread of disease to wild animals, familiarisation with humans and for your own safety from injury and bites
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, and raising young. Touching nests or young animals may cause their parents to abandon them.
- Report any injured animals to the local land managers. Do not attempt to handle the animal.
All native plants, animals, geological features, historical and cultural remains are protected by law in national parks. Ensure that they remain undisturbed.Avoid activities with large groups
Large groups have a greater impact and affect the natural experience for both the groups and other park usersStay on the track!
Tracks are carefully designed to allow people to visit natural environments while minimising the impact on the environment. Staying on track minimises erosion, limits spreading of diseases and weeds, and helps you from getting lostDispose of Waste Properly
- “Pack it in, Pack it out.” Inspect your campsite and rest areas for rubbish and spilled food.
- Pack and carry out all rubbish and leftover food including organics.
- Do not burn or bury rubbish. Rubbish that is half-burned or buried will attract animals and make a site unattractive to other visitors
- Be careful not to drop rubbish while walking on tracks.
- When available use established toilet facilities.
- In other situations, carry a trowel and deposit solid human waste in catholes dug in topsoil – usually 10-15cm deep and at least 100m from water, camp and tracks. Cover and disguise the hole when finished.
- Pack out all hygiene products in a suitable container.
- Be careful of improper cigarette butt disposal. Take all cigarette butts out with you.
- Plan meals to avoid generating messy, smelly rubbish. It is critical to wildlife that we pack out kitchen waste and leftover food. Don’t count on a fire to dispose of it. Rubbish that is half-burned or buried will attract animals and make a site unattractive to other visitors. Overlooked rubbish is litter, and litter is not only ugly — it can also be deadly to the wildlife.
- Animals scavenging a meal from a tasty smelling morsel can ingest bits of dropped food packaging damaging their digestive system. Plastic six-pack holders and plastic bags kill birds, fish and animals. Fishing lines, lures and nets ensnare, kill, injure and maim wildlife, so be careful not to leave any behind in rivers or streams. Pack in plastic bags to carry your rubbish out (and maybe someone else’s).
- Before moving on from a camp or resting place, search the area for “micro-rubbish” such as bits of food and rubbish, including cigarette butts and organic litter such as fruit peel, egg and nut shells.