A steady supply of seed is vital for forest restoration, so there are always seedlings to be planted out. Recently, three of us from the nursery team headed into the forest to collect bilakang seeds. As we headed out along the trail, our eyes didn’t stop scanning the forest floor – many seeds were ignored as we focussed on finding the bilakang seeds. There is an art to finding seeds of a particular type of tree – each has seeds of different shapes and colours, some are hard, some are soft and some with strange shapes. One type of seed is even shaped like flattish gravel - if we don’t really use our eyes, we can easily overlook that one. In that one trip we collected hundreds of seeds. On getting back to camp, we washed the seeds and put them in polybags for germination. A very tiring day, but fun!
Check out our new film to find out what we've been up to in Harapan Rainforest thanks to your support, why we're working to protect it for wildlife and local communities, and what we're hoping to do next. There's interviews with people working on the ground and footage of what's being done to help learn more about this amazing place and restore it to its former glory.
You can find the film here. Enjoy!
We know that the animals and birds in Harapan Rainforest are important for moving seeds around the forest. Hornbills fly for miles across the forest canopy, taking with them the seeds of fruit they have eaten. We want to find out which animals and birds eat what types of seed. This will help us as we restore the forest. If we plant species that have fruit they are keen to eat, it will attract more wildlife into the planted areas bringing seeds from other parts of the forest with them. To find out what they eat, we collect bird and animal droppings whenever we can, take the seeds out, and try to grow them in our nursery. If successful, we can identify the plants and can tell, for example, that the rhinoceros hornbill likes to eat the fruits of the strangler fig. This photo shows plants growing from seeds collected from bear droppings.