Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 16th, 2012
Luke Mackin of Wild Sumatra Adventures offered these comments about the Orang Pendek here on Cryptomundo: Adam Davies: Seeking orang-pendek
FYI Hapa, there are no Orangutans in this part of Sumatra; they’re only found up in northern Sumatra. A few have been reintroduced into Bukit Tigapuluh national park in Riau/Jambi province, but that’s very far away from the Kerinci Seblat National Park. The largest primate in Kerinci is the Siamang gibbon.
Of course, killing a creature that, if it exists, is exceedingly rare, is not a good idea. It would be an impossibility to get permission to do such a thing. Saturation camera trapping on a large scale is probably the only possible way to get more substantial proof. And not just on forest trails as there hasn’t been any success with camera trapping on forest trails in the past, despite great efforts. Seems that the Orang Pendek doesn’t use trails, otherwise it would have been photographed by now. It’s also possible that, like Orangutans on Sumatra, it stays mostly in the trees due to the threat of predators like the Sumatran tiger. This make camera trapping even more difficult, as cameras are triggered too frequently by moving limbs when positioned higher in trees, so cameras would have to be set to trigger on a set schedule every minute or so, reducing the length of time they can be left in the forest unattended. The logistics and cost of such camera trapping makes this strategy pretty unrealistic. It’s unfortunate, since the time that the Orang Pendek, if it exists, has left before becoming extinct grows shorter and shorter. There are a number of proposed roads threatening the Kerinci Seblat National Park that would be devastating for any remaining populations of Orang Pendek, let alone the vast array of wildlife in the national park, like tigers, elephants, tapir, siamang, etc.
Take a minute to sign this petition if you want to help stop this from happening.
About Wild Sumatra Adventures:
Our goal is to provide a wide variety of eco, cultural, and volunteer tourism experiences for beginning and experienced travelers within the Kerinci region of Sumatra. Using expert local guides, we take travelers deep into the mountainous jungles of the Kerinci-Seblat National Park, through local small cinnamon, coffee, and other highland farms, and into the scenic lake district in order to impart a sense of environmental stewardship, cultural beauty, and economic justice.
We also work with locals in the tourism and hospitality industries of Jambi province through English training, marketing, and consulting as they seek to improve their craft.