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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Translocation of pocketed orang-utans in Sabah

Published source details

Andau PM, Hiong LK & Sale J.B. (1994) Translocation of pocketed orang-utans in Sabah. Oryx, 28, 263-268


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Translocate (capture & release) wild primates from development sites to natural habitat elsewhere Primate Conservation

A study in June-September 1993 in fragmented tropical forest in Sabah state, Malaysia found that 78 of 80 (98%) orangutans Pongo pygmaeus morio that were translocated from a development site to natural habitat elsewhere along with other interventions, survived capture and subsequent release at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Four individuals escaped from their temporary holdings before they could be transported to the release site. Of these, three individuals suffered minor injuries and one individual sustained major injury during capture. Individuals were either immobilized in trees or captured manually on the ground with nets. Individuals underwent veterinary screens and sick animals were treated before they were released individually into habitat already occupied by resident orangutans. To avoid stress-related injuries, females were kept in separate (but adjacent) cages from their offspring and adequate space was maintained between occupied cages during temporary holdings and transportation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Conduct veterinary screens of animals before reintroducing/translocating them Primate Conservation

A study in June-September 1993 in three fragmented tropical forests in the State of Sabah, Malaysia found that 78 of 80 (98%) translocated orangutans Pongo pygmaeus morio that underwent veterinary screens before their release at Tabin Wildlife Reserve along with other interventions, survived translocation. Four individuals escaped from their temporary holdings before transport to the release site. Of these, three individuals suffered minor injuries and one individual sustained major injury during capture. Individuals were either immobilized in trees or captured manually on the ground with nets. Individuals were treated before they were released individually into habitat already occupied by other orangutans. To avoid injury due to post-traumatic stress, females were kept in separate (but adjacent) cages from their offspring and adequate space was maintained between occupied cages during temporary holdings and transportation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Treat sick/injured animals Primate Conservation

A study in 1993 in fragmented tropical forest in Sabah State, Malaysia found that 78 of 80 (98%) translocated orangutans Pongo pygmaeus morio, some of which were treated for injuries alongside other interventions, survived capture and subsequent release at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Four individuals escaped from their temporary holdings before they could be transported to the release site. Of these, three individuals suffered minor injuries and one individual sustained major injury during capture, but all were treated successfully. Orangutans were either immobilized in trees or captured manually on the ground with nets. Individuals underwent veterinary screens before they were released individually into habitat already occupied by other orangutans. To avoid injury due to post-traumatic stress, females were kept in separate (but adjacent) cages from their offspring and adequate space was maintained between occupied cages during temporary holdings and transportation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates into habitat where the species is present Primate Conservation

A study in 1993 in three tropical forest sites in Sabah, Malaysia found that along with other interventions, translocation of orangutans Pongo pygmaeus morio to an area where resident orangutans lived resulted in the survival of 78 of 80 (98%) individuals. Orangutans were either immobilized in trees or captured manually on the ground with nets. Nets were used to catch animals falling from trees during capture. Before release orangutans were screened by vets and sick animals were treated. Females were kept in separate cages from offspring and adequate space was maintained between occupied cages during temporary holdings and transportation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates as single/multiple individuals Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1976-1988 in a tropical forest in Malaysia found that of 87 captive, wild-born Müller's Bornean gibbons Hylobates muelleri that were reintroduced in pairs or as single individuals along with other interventions, at least 77 (90%) died after release. When possible, males and females were paired in cages to try to establish pair bonds before to release into habitat without resident wild gibbons. Confiscated gibbons had undergone veterinary checks and were placed in holding cages in a forest clearing. Müller's Bornean gibbons were fully protected under local law. Surveys of direct sightings and gibbon calls were conducted simultaneously by three or four observers on non-rainy days on eight mornings between 4 February and 31 March 1988. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.