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.”

OC Announces Project Support for 2015

 orangutan 2 with color revision 2

 

Along with offering our future support for conservation projects that may require emergency assistance, the Orangutan Conservancy is pleased to announce the projects that we’ll be supporting throughout 2015.

 

    • The OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop

    • The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP)

    • The Orangutan Kutai Project

    • The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop)

    • Orangutan Haven

 

Please read more about these important and much-needed projects that collectively are working to ensure a better future for orangutans in the wild.

We’ll also be adding two new ventures to this group in the near future. 

 

posted by: Tom

 

Conservation Commentary: What’s Good for People Is Good for Orangutans

Photo Courtesy of Nardiyono

Photo Courtesy of Nardiyono

by Erik Meijaard/The Jakarta Globe

As if life isn’t hard enough already for the orangutans of Borneo and Sumatra. Hammered by loss of their forest habitat and outright killing, they now face an additional man-made threat.

New research published in the journal Global Change Biology and in a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has mapped areas of Borneo that could be affected by climate or land-cover changes this century, finding that up to 74 percent of present-day orangutan habitat could become unsuitable for this endangered species.

The study, led by scientists at the University of Kent and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany, discovered that from an estimated 260,000 square kilometers of Bornean orangutan habitat in 2010, 63 percent could become climatically unsuitable by 2080, but when also considering the effects of deforestation, up to 74 percent of habitat could be lost.

I assume that this news will not generate much interest. People will just consider it another bit of negative environmental information in a world that is already facing enough problems. Why worry about it?

But how different would it have been if the study had focused on people instead of orangutans and shown that 63 percent of Borneo would no longer be able to support human populations in the foreseeable future? Surely someone would have noticed (or at least screamed that the scientists were totally wrong). What I wonder though is whether this study of Bornean orangutans isn’t just as relevant to the people of the island.

This excerpt from a commentary piece is courtesy of the Jakarta Globe and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom

 

Gober’s wild release on video

This video, supplied by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), follows the preparations for and release of Gober and her twins into the forest, which happened just last week.  See accompanying story below.

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: Challenging return to wild for formerly blind Sumatran orangutan

Gober

A formerly blind orangutan mother of twins was returned to a life in the wild in Aceh, Sumatra Indonesia as part of the work of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP).  The release of Gober took place in the conservation forest of Jantho, in Aceh, Indonesia.

Gober’s release was only possible due to groundbreaking cataract surgery in 2012 that restored her eyesight.   The twins are totally unique as they were born to parents who were both blind. Their father Leuser, who we wrote about in 2014 on the Orangutan Conservancy news site, lost his eyesight when he was shot at least 62 times with an air rifle.

Sadly, the plan to release Gober and both of her twin infants together did not work out as hoped. All three were released at the same time, but Ganteng did not take well to the forest environment and Gober struggled in the trees with two infants to watch out for. It was not long before she seemed to give up trying, and poor little Ganteng was left behind.

Gober and Ginting coped perfectly well, travelling through the canopy, finding food and building a huge nest for the night, little Ganteng spent his first night in the forest alone and afraid, cold and wet.

The following day, after seeing that his mother and sister where not coming back for him, SOCP staff were able to give Ganteng food and managed to usher him back to the safety of the onsite cages later that afternoon.

Speaking from Jantho on Wednesday, Dr. Ian Singleton said “The last couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster ride, for all of us but especially for Ganteng, and presumably for Gober and Ginting too. No one believed she would leave one of her twins behind, at least not so soon after release. We’re all a bit stunned at just how quickly it happened. Gober and Ginting are doing fine and it remains to be seen if they will try looking for Ganteng again or not.  In the meantime the most important thing is that all of them are safe.”

Video of the release can be seen in the post above.

Gober was originally rescued by the SOCP from an isolated patch of forest surrounded by palm oil plantations in 2008. As she was blind, she was raiding farmer’s crops to survive and would surely have been killed if left where she was. She was then cared for at the SOCP orangutan quarantine centre near Medan, North Sumatra.

Leuser, the father, will soon call Orangutan Haven home.  Orangutan Haven is being built by SOCP as a semi-wild home for unreleasable orangutans.

The Orangutan Conservancy helps to support the work of SOCP.

posted by: Tom