Prillicia Gumbang, a recent graduate of Palangka Raya University, marked a significant milestone in her academic journey as she successfully completed her studies in Forestry under the prestigious Orangutan Caring Scholarship provided by the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and administered by the Borneo Nature Foundation in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Since its establishment in 2006, OURF has been a beacon of support for Indonesian students interested in conservation and wildlife management. Prillicia, one of the latest beneficiaries of the Orangutan Caring Scholarship, has demonstrated exceptional dedication and passion throughout her academic pursuits. Because of her excellent leadership qualities, Prillicia also became the recipient of the first Matthew Jordan Hamilton Foster Scholarship.
One of Prillicia's notable research endeavors focused on the critical issue of orangutan habitat conservation in the former Mega Rice Project (MRP) area in Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan. This region has been grappling with environmental degradation and deforestation. Prillicia proposed a comprehensive approach to ecosystem renewal, suggesting the planting of specific nest trees and orangutan feed trees to restore the forest, recognizing the vital role orangutans play in maintaining the ecological balance.
In addition to her work in the MRP area, Prillicia delved into the challenging terrain of Peat swamp forests, aiming to identify nest trees and feed trees crucial for orangutan habitat preservation. Her dedication and commitment to these vital research subjects underscore her profound concern for the well-being of these endangered species.
Prillicia and field station staff find evidence of recent orangutan foraging.
A highlight of Prillicia's academic journey was her research titled "Bioacoustic Orangutan in Sebangau National Park." This groundbreaking study explored the nuances of orangutan communication, shedding light on the characteristics, functions, and physiological aspects of their vocalizations. Prillicia's work in understanding how sound is used among individual orangutans in their daily activities could potentially contribute to more effective conservation strategies.
Out of her three areas of research interest, Prillicia chose to focus on community participation in reforestation efforts in Mantangai Hulu Village. For nearly a year, she immersed herself in gathering information, discussing ideas, and exploring research locations. On December 2, 2022, Prillicia successfully held a proposal seminar titled "Community Participation in Reforestation of BOSF Mawas Orangutan Habitat in Block A ex-PLG Of Mantangai Hulu Village, Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan."
Prillicia Gumbang's dedication and successful research were celebrated during her graduation ceremony on April 29, 2023. Her accomplishments stand as a testament to the impact of OURF's scholarship program and her own unwavering commitment to the conservation of orangutans and their habitats. Congratulations to Prillicia, and best wishes for a promising and impactful future career in wildlife conservation.