WWF field series: Lessons learnt from restoring the orangutan habitat in the Malaysian State of Sabah

Posted on July, 29 2020

Forest landscape restoration has shown to be an effective tool in creating a forest habitat and connectivity for orangutans and other species.
Situated in the Malaysian State of Sabah on the island of Borneo, the Ulu Segama-Malua (USM) landscape  stretches approximately 240,000 hectares. This lowland rainforest sustains one of the largest orangutan populations in Sabah. To the north of the landscape lies a 12,000-hectare area known as the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve, an area of high conservation value because of its importance as a habitat for the orangutan population.

Because of its degraded state and its isolation from the larger USM landscape, Bukit Piton was identified as needing restoration. Since 2007, WWF, together with the Sabah Foundation, Sime Darby Foundation and Sabah Forestry Department, has been carrying out forest restoration activities here. The aim of WWF’s Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) programme has been to re-establish the structure, productivity and species diversity of the forest. The main activities implemented include active restoration, maintenance and monitoring of both the restoration work and surveys of orangutans in the project area. 

This report highlights lessons learnt from WWF's engagement in the region, and the scope of activities in the landscape.