Together We Can Save Them

It's estimated that there may be only 45,000 orangutans left in the wild

Orangutans spend most of their time in trees.

“Orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" (person) and "hutan" (of the forest).

Orangutans exist only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

Orangutans are classified as “critically endangered.”

Orangutans are extremely intelligent and make their own tools.

8th OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop starts next week in Malaysia

Orangutans could be the first great ape to become extinct.

Orangutan rescue centers are at near full capacity in 2016

Orangutan Heroes Coming Together Soon

Pre-Workshop dispatch from OC’s Raffaella Commitante

Raff 2016 at Samboja Lestari

Hello All,

Yes, it is that time of the year again – time for the OC/OVAG 2016 Veterinary Workshop – our 8th event! 

Before I head of to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (northern Malaysian, Borneo where we will have the workshop) I visited my very good friends at the BOSF Samboja Lestari Orangutan Reintroduction Program. 

Here I am with the team in the forest showing off our coveralls sporting the Orangutan Conservancy logo. 

And here’s another shot of a very happy, hardworking team! 

Raff at Samboja Lestari 2016 3

In case anyone is interested, it is time again for some new coveralls for the 160 workers in Samboja Lestari.  So if anyone wants to donate to OC so we can once again get the workers outfitted – please send whatever you can – it all adds up – remember, it is not important how much you give, but that you give!

I am off now to Sabah for OC/OVAG pre prep – then on July 24th we will begin the workshop – so stay tuned as regular updates will be coming soon. 




posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Baby Orangutan Rescued From Illegal Owner in Aceh

photo courtesy of: ANTARA FOTO/Irsan Mulyadi

photo courtesy of: ANTARA FOTO/Irsan Mulyadi

from the Jakarta Globe

A rescue team consisting of activists and provincial conservation officers evacuated a Sumatran orangutan baby from an Army post in East Aceh on Sunday.

As reported by environmental news website Mongabay Indonesia, the one-year-old orangutan female was found badly malnourished with several wounds on her body, possibly caused by a blunt object used to paralyze the animal.

After giving her food and vitamins, the rescue team will send the orangutan to the Batu Mbelin Quarantine Center in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, for medical treatment due to her critical condition, said Panut Hadisiswoyo, director of the Sumatra Lestari Orangutan Foundation-Orangutan Information Center, as quoted by Mongabay.

The website also reported that Abu, a resident of Simpang Jernih district, kept the orangutan baby on his estate for a year after claiming that she had been abandoned by her mother. He later left the youngster at the Army post.

“It’s impossible for orangutan mothers to leave their babies,” said Krisna, a representative of the Orangutan Information Center, as quoted by Mongabay.

Orangutans are easily captured and hunted in the Mount Leuser National Park due to massive deforestation, stranding orangutans in ever shrinking habitats, limiting their movements and making them vulnerable to hunters.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of the Jakarta Globe and can be read in its entirety here.

The Orangutan Conservancy is pleased to be able to help support the work of the Orangutan Information Center in Sumatra.

posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Bornean Orangutan Declared ‘Critically Endangered’ As Forests Shrink

A Bornean Orangutan in Sabangau Forest, Indonesia. Photo by Bernat Ripoll Capilla courtesy of OuTrop

A Bornean Orangutan in Sabangau Forest, Indonesia. Photo by Bernat Ripoll Capilla courtesy of OuTrop

by Loren Bell for Mongabay

The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is now critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This change means that both species of orangutan now face an “extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.”

“This is full acknowledgement of what has been clear for a long time: orangutan conservation is failing,” Andrew Marshall, one of the authors of the assessment, told Mongabay. Regardless of any positive outcomes of past conservation efforts, they have not achieved the only meaningful goal: a stable or increasing population.

Published this week, the new IUCN assessment finds that hunting, habitat destruction, habitat degradation and fragmentation are the biggest drivers behind the population loss.

In 2010, only 59.6% of Borneo’s forests were suitable for orangutans. And, while much of this land is technically protected by the Indonesian, Malaysian and Brunei governments, illegal logging and uncontrolled burning are still continual threats.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of and can be viewed in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom


Conservation Perspective: Can Oil Palm Plantations and Orangutans Coexist?

Photo Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images

By Melati Kaye  for Scientific American

I have been hiking through an oil palm plantation in Borneo for hours but have yet to see a single oil palm. Instead, mahogany and other native tree species tower overhead. Mushrooms, flowers and huge pitcher plants line my trail, uniquely adapted to the island’s peat swamp forests. This lush portion of the plantation should be ideal habitat for orangutans. I have not spotted any, but according to Hendriyanto, my guide from the plantation’s conservation team, an estimated 14 of the red apes do indeed live here.

But one step outside this refuge lies a very different scene: blistering tropical heat and regimented rows of spiky oil palm trees spread over miles of ochre mud that turns to deep, rutted puddles after a drizzle. Borneo’s forest-to-plantation ratio has plummeted in recent decades.

From an ape’s point of view, the plantation vista presents an uninhabitable hellscape. From an industry standpoint, it is a prospect of burgeoning revenue.

Orangutan-friendly forests once provided contiguous habitat for the tree-dwelling apes throughout South and Southeast Asia, from India to China to Indonesia. Human settlement shrank and fragmented the forest range, and with it the orangutan population.

These peatlands were once deemed too remote and nutrient-poor for agriculture. With the advent of large-scale logging and plantations, however, they started getting cleared for development. The oil palm boom of the 1970’s kicked deforestation into hyperdrive.

This excerpt from an online article appeared in and is courtesy of Scientific American and can be read in its entirety here.


posted by: Tom