Half of the wild orangutan population has been lost since 1950.

There are only 40,000 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.

Sumatran orangutans are classified as “critically endangered.”

Orangutans are extremely intelligent, and have been observed to make tools.

6th annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop held in Indonesia

Orangutans could be the first great ape to become extinct.

Orangutans spend most of their time in trees.

Sumatran orangutans are classified as “critically endangered.”

Orangutan News: Four Bornean Orangutans Rescued in Ketapang

One of the rescued orangutans, named “Bob” by a GPOCP investigator, looks out from a cage.  He was recently rescued.

One of the rescued orangutans, named “Bob” by a GPOCP investigator , looks out from a cage. He was recently rescued.

Based on information gathered by Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program (GPOCP) investigators, a team comprised of officers from the Ketapang Police Department, the Ketapang Natural Resources Conservation Authority (BKSDA), and International Animal Rescue (IAR) have successfully rescued four Bornean orangutans that were illegally held as pets by members of the local community. The Bornean orangutan  is an endangered species and legally protected by Indonesian law.

The orangutans were rescued from four different counties, all in the Ketapang district of West Kalimantan, Indonesia.  GPOCP investigators initially gathered and reported the evidence, which was followed up on by the Ketapang Police Department and BKSDA, who then coordinated the rescue operations with IAR.

The rescue of one of the orangutans in Manis Mata is an especially significant accomplishment, as GPOCP initially reported this case to BKSDA over a year ago. On October 18, after receiving information and photographic proof that the orangutan was still chained up and that he was given cigarettes and arak (a local type of rice wine), GPOCP media staff wrote an expose that was published on Mongabay Indonesia.

The rescues this month represent a concerted and ongoing effort by a team of orangutan conservationists, including GPOCP and IAR staff as well as local authorities, to address the problem of poaching orangutans for pets in this area of West Kalimantan. GPOCP has been working in the Ketapang district since 1999, with additional conservation programs in the district of Kayong Utara to the north, to protect and conserve the Bornean orangutan populations in and around Gunung Palung National Park.

GPOCP is one of the projects that the Orangutan Conservancy has helped to support.  Read more about them here.

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: Will Corporations and Activists Join Forces to end Deforestation in Indonesia?

Chelsea OKP

by Richard Schiffman for Earth Island Journal

September brought good news for the world’s forests with the unveiling of the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit. The Declaration, which pledges to end global deforestation by 2030, was signed by 130 governments, including the US, Germany, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Perhaps most significantly, it was also backed by commitments from 40 major food corporations to eliminate palm oil grown on deforested land from their supply chains

That’s a big deal, given that palm oil has been the single largest driver of tropical deforestation in recent years. When the medical establishment deemed trans-fats heart-unhealthy in the mid-1990s, demand for the supposedly more benign palm oil soared, increasing nearly six-fold since the year 2000. Palm oil is now used in nearly half of all foods on supermarket shelves, added to everything from breakfast cereals to margarine to potato chips. It is also an ingredient in shampoo, soaps, cosmetics, toothpaste, and laundry detergents, and is used as a feedstock for biofuels.

Palm oil is cheap. It is the highest yielding oil crop in the world, and the most abundant. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that every hour, an area of rainforest the size of 300 football fields is cleared to make way for new palm oil production — mainly in Indonesia, the country with the highest rate of deforestation in the world.

At this breakneck and still accelerating pace, 98 percent of the Indonesian rainforest will be gone by 2022, and along with it one of the greatest remaining biodiversity treasure troves on Earth. The palm oil boom has been a disaster for the orangutan, the Sumatran tiger, the clouded leopard, the pigmy elephant, and countless lesser known endangered species whose homelands are rapidly being converted to large-scale plantations.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Earth Island Journal.  Read the full article here.

Photo from the Orangutan Conservancy.

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan Commentary – Call of the Orangutan: Injuries and Their Limitations

Siboy_4605by James Askew for Scientific American

This last month has been extremely stressful for all of us at Sikundur research station in North Sumatra while we’ve been following two of our favorite orangutans, Suci and her 3-year-old infant Siboy. As I mentioned in a previous blog, while I was in Medan for a break the boys sent me a text saying Suci had some injuries on her back, which I assumed she’d received from Brutus, an unflanged male who was following her around trying to engage in copulations the last time we followed them. However, once I got back to camp, it became apparent an orangutan probably didn’t inflict the injuries. It’s more likely they came from air-rifle pellets and they were causing Suci serious discomfort, which was having a knock-on effect on Siboy’s quality of life too.

On my first day back, we headed out at 5:30 a.m. to Suci’s night nest, in the center of the grid, not too far from camp. I knew from the previous day’s data that Brutus was still following the pair, along with an adolescent male, Kundur, so I expected it would be a fairly lively and interesting day. However, while the two males were up and active at 6 a.m. on the dot, Suci stayed in her nest until nearly 9 a.m., which although not unheard of, is generally a sign that the orangutan isn’t feeling well. The reason we all like Suci and Siboy so much is that they’re very well habituated, often coming close to us observers, giving us lots to see and record from their behavior. This also meant that once she finally woke up, I very quickly got a good look at the injuries, which were terrible!

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

posted by: Tom

 

OC/OVAG 2014 Veterinary Workshop Report

OCOVAG photo from 2014 workshop

The Orangutan Conservancy is pleased to announce the release of the 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary report from this year’s annual workshop. The extensive report offers an in-depth vision of the recent workshop – covering discussions,  presentations and case studies.  There are also a lot of great photos  from the annual workshop  that was held this summer in Jogjakarta.

To view the report please click here.

 

OVAG 2014 logo

posted by: Tom