Conservation in Asia
It’s good to give something back to the communities in which we serve and work. You may not know this but a percentage of our profits at Flight of the Gibbon are set aside for conservation in Asia, in particular Thailand and Cambodia.
We have a dedicated conservation team that works with local experts to deliver meaningful conservation projects. We have had some pretty good success with this so far too. We’ve planted over 5,000 new trees in the past year alone in Thailand and Cambodia. We’ve also rehabilitated a threatened species of gibbon in both Chiang Mai, Thailand and in Siem Reap, Cambodia! You can click on the links after each section below to find out more about our efforts.
Conservation Efforts in Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Flight of the Gibbon experience in Thailand is based in Mae Kampong. That’s a little village about an hour’s drive to the east of Chiang Mai. It’s a beautiful mountainside setting which gives allows us the property to deliver an 800 meter zipline in addition to our other eco-attractions! Our guests always tell us how much they love the Thai jungle scenery.
It’s important to involve the local community in conservation efforts; so back in 2008 we worked with local villagers to start planting some trees in a deforested and over-used area near our ziplines. We also planted in a section of forest where primates were in competition with villagers for food sources. We started small and planted 2000 trees in the first year. We’ve picked up our pace since and have now helped plant more than 30,000 trees in those forests. We’ll be planting another 5,000 this year too!
Thailand introduced a ban on illegal logging back in 1989. Sadly, it’s been very much ignored and Thailand now has only 10-11% of its primary forests left! Flight of the Gibbon works hard to plant trees and to re-establish the biodiversity of the area we work in.
Find out more about this project here.
Thailand Gibbon Reintroduction
The white-handed gibbon is considered to be a “threatened species”. That means they can still be found in the wild but are under a real threat of extinction. In Mae Kampong, the white-handed gibbon has been extinct for many years. We reintroduced this species in 2007 and organized a release of a breeding pair of these gibbons into the jungle. We are very pleased to report that they have had two offspring and appear to be thriving. If you enjoy one of our early eco-tours you will see and hear the Gibbons most mornings! Flight of the Gibbon is still working to reintroduce this species in Chiang Mai and you can read more about it here.
Thailand Hornbill Reintroduction
Bird life is under constant threat from deforestation and hunting too. The last Great Hornbill and Oriental Pied Hornbill vanished from the forests around Chiang Mai nearly 40 years ago. The two species were hunted into extinction.
We have some good news on this front. It’s 2015 and we have commissioned a brand new project to, hopefully, reintroduce these species to this area. We are working with a group of leading scientists, who are experts in the behaviour and lives of Hornbills, to conduct a survey of the forest.
If the results of that survey are positive, we can begin a program to reintroduce these two lost species to the area. You can learn more about the hornbill reintroduction program here.
Conservation Efforts in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Flight of the Gibbon is a relatively recent addition to Siem Reap. That hasn’t stopped us from diving straight in and trying to get involved in conservation in Angkor Archeological Park.
Cambodia’s forests are being lost at an alarming rate. Official figures show that deforestation rates in Cambodia are among the highest in the world. This is threatening the biodiversity of this beautiful country and impinging on its ability to thrive.
In 2014 we introduced the start of our first reforestation project in Cambodia. We’re going to work with the local community to plant 5,000 new trees in 2015 in Angkor Park in June. Want to know about our action plan? Click here to find out more.
Cambodia Gibbon Reintroduction
The white-handed gibbon has been lost to the forests of Angkor for years now. In 2013, Flight of the Gibbon helped fund the reintroduction of two mating pair of gibbons to the jungle here. We’re extremely pleased to say that they’ve already had a baby! That makes the new gibbon the first to be born in the area for more than a century! Get more information on this wonderful news here.