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

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.

Sumatran orangutans are classified as “critically endangered.”

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

Just Announced: 8th Annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop to be held in Malaysia

Orangutans could be the first great ape to become extinct.

Orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centers are at full capacity in 2016

Sumatran orangutans are classified as “critically endangered.”

Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy

OC Provides New Support to Orangutan Information Centre

photo courtesy of the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC)

photo courtesy of the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC)

The Orangutan Conservancy’s philosophy is that no single project alone can ever possibly solve all of the issues that orangutans face in their daily battle for survival.

We believe in strategically supporting complimentary yet unique projects that together offer pragmatic solutions to orangutan conservation.  Our project support encompasses several areas, including orangutan scientific research efforts, rescue and rehabilitation centers, in situ workshops, educational programs and other endeavors that together can achieve much for our forest friends.

OC is pleased to welcome the well-respected Orangutan Information Centre (OIC)  in Medan, Sumatra as a new project that we are now helping to  support. Specifically, we have just funded their important Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) project that is consistently achieving impressive results in North Sumatra and Aceh.

The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) is an Indonesian organization founded in 2001 by a group of dedicated local conservationists for the conservation of Sumatran orangutans and their rainforest habitat. The OIC restores degraded forests, responds to and mitigates human orangutan conflicts, conducts environmental awareness visits to schools and villages, conduct forest patrol, and provides training to help local people work towards a more sustainable future. The OIC’s programs are conducted by Indonesian conservation professionals from conservation science, forestry and environmental education backgrounds. They have been working on community-based conservation, sustainable development, and forest restoration projects for 15 years, involving more than 20,000 local people throughout the provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh in the development of Conservation Action Plans and establishing sustainable livelihoods that are compatible with the conservation. With nearly one and half million tree seedlings planted across North Sumatra and Aceh, they have extensive experience in conducting forest restoration, environmental education and sustainable development program.

In 2010, OIC established their Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) to tackle the human orangutan conflict fueled by agricultural expansion. This unit is responsible for investigating and mitigating conflict between farmers and orangutans. The team patrols throughout North Sumatra and Aceh, evacuating orangutans from conflict situations and providing training for agricultural communities around the Leuser Ecosystem in safely dealing with human orangutan conflict, helping them protect their crops without harming wildlife. They have successfully conducted the rescue and evacuation of a total of 89 orangutans from conflict situations and assisted the people living adjacent to these areas in mitigating and preventing the effects of conflict. This shows a positive impact on orangutan conservation, as before the HOCRU program began, orangutan conflict issues were simply not being addressed by any agencies.  The HOCRU is the only specialist unit in Sumatra addressing the HOC problem, and administering direct, immediate help to these critically endangered apes in conflict situations. HOCRU serves as a ‘safety net’ in response to the ongoing problem of orangutans being displaced from their shrinking forest homes. 

The Orangutan Conservancy hopes to offer more help in the future to the Orangutan Information Centre and we ask you to help us to do that by visiting our Donate Now page.


posted by: Tom


Malaysia to Host 2016 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop

Orangutans. like this little one at SOCP, are cared for by many of the vets that attend the OC/OVAG Workshop.

Orangutans. like this little one at SOCP, are cared for by many of the vets that attend the OC/OVAG Workshop.

An annual tradition – the Orangutan Conservancy’s OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop – will unfold this summer in a new locale.  The yearly event will move from its permanent home in Indonesia to nearby Malaysia.  The Sabah Wildlife Authority, an organization that oversees the wildlife conservation of multiple species in the northeastern part of Borneo, has generously welcomed and made possible this important 8th gathering of orangutans vets and healthcare workers to their country.

Each year the Orangutan Conservancy brings together the frontline heroes that care for thousands of captive and wild orangutans.  It is the only time these ever-busy orangutan specialists can join together face to face to share their knowledge and experiences.  They’ve told us time and again that it is a gathering that helps them throughout the year as they care for the orangutans at their rescue and rehabilitation centers as well as those struggling to survive in the threatened rainforest.

This year’s 8th Workshop will be held July 24-28 in Sabah, Malaysia at the SOLUXE Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, and we expect it to be the largest group in attendance yet.

As Orangutan Conservancy Board member and co-founder of the workshop, Dr. Raffaella Commitante, explains, “We have been invited by the Sabah Wildlife Authority, an organization that oversees the wildlife conservation of multiple species in the northeastern part of Borneo.  This year the workshop will cover orthopedics, ophthalmology and new research into the use of anesthetics.  We are even including a session on orangutan behavior to better understand issues relating to health.  We will continue to discuss ongoing issues such as parasites, disease load and management, and of course, case studies from our vets at various centers.”

You can see some video from the 2015 OC/OVAG Workshop here.

Please help the Orangutan Conservancy continue our work of providing these orangutan experts a place and opportunity to be together by visiting our How to Help page.

Vets at an earlier OC/OVAG Workshop

                                         Vets at an earlier OC/OVAG Workshop


posted by: Tom


OC Helps Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme Water Upgrade Project

Vet team care for one of the many orangutans at SOCP quarantine facility. photo courtesy of SOCP

Vet team care for one of the many orangutans at SOCP quarantine facility. photo courtesy of SOCP


by Tom for the Orangutan Conservancy

OC supporters will recognize the longtime support that we’ve provided to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) near Medan in Sumatra.

The long-running quarantine, rescue and rehabilitation center for orangutans is an amazing operation run by Dr. Ian Singleton and a large and dedicated staff. 

Having visited SOCP last year, OC witnessed an ever-busy facility that is overloaded with orangutans that one day hope to be released into the wild.  Every cage at SOCP was filled with new arrivals and more enclosures were being built to temporarily house those animals that have been pushed out of the rainforest due to logging, palm oil and the illegal pet trade.  Luckily for these orangutans SOCP never turns away another arrival at their doorstep.

A key element to take care of the non-human and human primates at SOCP is clean, ever-flowing H20.  Water is essential for the health and well-being of the center’s inhabitants.  As such, SOCP is in the early stages of upgrading all of their water supply facilities at the quarantine station, with a new borehole and eventually some UV purifiers on the main cages.  The Orangutan Conservancy last week jumped in to help SOCP get moving on the endeavor, and we’ll be there for them as this process continues.

As Dr. Singleton noted, “With so many orangutans these days compared to when we started its time we did upgrade things to minimize risks of any unecessary health problems for the orangutans.”

Please join us in supporting this important project at SOCP by visiting our Donate Now page.

posted by: Tom


Conservation Perspective: Good News for the Only Place on Earth Where Tigers, Rhinos, Orangutans and Elephants Live Together

Sumatran orangutans have lost huge areas of forest habitat. photo courtesy of: Richard Whitcombe

Sumatran orangutans have lost huge areas of forest habitat. photo courtesy of: Richard Whitcombe

by Bill Laurance for The Conversation.com

Conservationists and environmental scientists are used to bad news. So when there’s some really good news, it’s important to hear that as well.

While the battle is far from over, there has been a series of breakthroughs in the long-running battle to protect the imperiled Leuser ecosystem in northern Sumatra, Indonesia – the last place on Earth where tigers, orangutans, rhinoceros and elephants still live alongside one another.

The government of Aceh Province – which controls most of the Leuser ecosystem and has been subjected to withering criticism for its schemes to destroy much of the region’s forests for oil palm, rice and mining expansion while opening it up with a vast road network through the forest – has agreed to a moratorium on new land clearing and mining.

This is huge news, and it’s clear that both the international community and Indonesia’s federal government have played big roles in making this happen. Indonesian President Joko Widodo deserves a great deal of credit for this accomplishment, which he has been pushing for many months, not just in Aceh but elsewhere in Indonesia too.

This excerpt from an article appeared in and is courtesy of theconversation.com and can be read in its entirety here.

Conservation Perspective are articles, essays and first-hand accounts that the Orangutan Conservancy culls from around the world that we feel are must-reads.


posted by: Tom