Orangutan in Central Kalimantan. Photo taken in May 2009 by Rhett A. Butler
A substantial population of endangered orangutans could be at risk if a planned road and bridge project moves forward in East Kalimantan. The project would divide the mangroves of Balikpapan Bay from the Sungai Wain Protection forest and could open up the area to loggers.
(01/03/2010) Balikpapan Bay in East Kalimantan is home to an incredible variety of ecosystems: in the shallow bay waters endangered dugong feed on sea grasses and salt water crocodiles sleep; along the bay proboscis monkeys leap among mangroves thirty meters tall and Irrawaddy dolphins roam; beyond the mangroves lies the Sungai Wain Protection forest; here, the Sunda clouded leopard hunts, sun bears climb into the canopy searching for fruits and nuts, and a reintroduced population of orangutans makes their nests; but this wilderness, along with all of its myriad inhabitants, are threatened by a plan to build a bridge and road connecting the towns of Penajam and Balikpapan.