Back to Borneo!

Hello Friends,

Greetings from the rain forest of Borneo!  I’m writing this on my iPhone while sitting under a fruiting fig tree where the orangutan mom and juvenile we have been following have been feeding for the past couple hours, unfortunately their position is high and obstructed. Thus I have some down time here to catch you up on my latest news. 

This is my first trip back to Gunung Palung National Park since before the pandemic and it’s good to be back.  Just this morning gibbons, macaques, and orangutans have all been feeding at this tree as well as at least a dozen species of birds, including the colorful barbets, several species of which are just now calling incessantly above. 

I’m here with my wife Cheryl Knott who directs the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project and her team of students and assistants. My 18 year old daughter Jessica is working with Cheryl on her project, and my 22 year old son Russell is assisting me with filming orangutans for another major production.  It’s great to be here with the whole family and all our Indonesian colleagues working to spread the word about the amazing biodiversity that is protected in this sanctuary. 

This image of rhinoceros hornbills high in the canopy of the lowland rainforest in Gunung Palung is one of my all time favorites that I made from a blind high in the canopy near a fruiting fig tree.  I love capturing shots of the rain forest wildlife in the broader landscape and the mist hovering in the canopy on this early morning created the perfect atmosphere for the image.

I’ll be spending at least three months in the field here this year also working on a major National Geographic magazine feature about Gunung Palung’s amazingly intact flora and fauna that represents the full diversity of lowland rainforest species in Borneo. 

So please stay tuned and I’ll keep sending periodic updates. It’s not easy to upload new photos from here as I have no internet connection and just enough signal to send this note out by WhatsApp to my assistant back in the US. So she will add some images from my GP archives to this newsletter and I’ll look forward to sharing new images when I can. 

Have a good summer everyone, and if you you want to learn more about our conservation work here and don’t already follow us, please check out