Together We Can Save Them: Join the OC Team Today

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 held in Malaysia

Displaced orangutans are being rescued nearly every day

Orangutans could be the first great ape to become extinct.

Orangutan rescue centers are at near full capacity in 2016

Film: Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy


OC Announces Support for Last Place On Earth Challenge

If helping to save the Leuser Ecosystem is as important to you as it is to the Orangutan Conservancy then we invite you to learn more about the 2017 Last Place on Earth Challenge. With your support we all might help protect this vulnerable, beautiful and very important habitat. 

At around 2.63 million hectares, the Leuser Ecosystem really is a world unto itself—a rich expanse of tropical lowland rainforests, cloud covered mountains and swampy peatlands.  And Leuser needs help now more than ever before.  Participating in the Last Place on Earth Challenge is one way to do that.

Donations to help are always welcome or you might want to actually step to the front of the line and join in the Challenge event itself.  Currently eight very lucky people are going to trek, climb, raft and, as LPOEC’s website notes, “survive” the wilds in an amazing multi-day journey across the region.

LPOEC has welcomed the Orangutan Conservancy to their team to help recruit at least two new adventurers from the US to take the 2017 Challenge.  We hope you’ll take this once in a lifetime opportunity to join the August 19-September 5 event in Sumatra and help us save this habitat for the elephants, tigers, rhinos & orangutans that call it home.

Have a look at the Last Place on Earth Challenge website to learn more.

This short video from LPOEC will tell you much more about the current situation in Leuser.


posted by: Tom


OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Report Released

The Orangutan Conservancy is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 OC/OVAG Workshop Final Report, which was just published and highlights the proceedings at the 8th annual workshop, which was held this summer in Malaysia.  OC. along with our partners,  coordinates, stages and funds this yearly gathering of vets from Indonesia and Malaysia that specialize in caring for orangutans.  Their attendance combined with international primate experts makes the workshops a pivotal time of the year for those who care for both captive and wild orangutans in Borneo, Sumatra and Sabah.

We hope you enjoy the report.

If you’d like to help support OC as we prepare for the upcoming 2017 workshop, please visit our How to Help page to make your donation.

posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Orangutan Squeaks Reveal Language Evolution, Says Study

photo courtesy of Tim Laman

from BBC News

Scientists who spent years listening to the communication calls of one of our closest ape relatives say their eavesdropping has shed light on the origin of human language.

Dr Adriano Reis e Lameira from Durham University recorded and analysed almost 5,000 orangutan “kiss squeaks”.

He found that the animals combined these purse-lipped, “consonant-like” calls to convey different messages.

This could be a glimpse of how our ancestors formed the earliest words.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

“Human language is extraordinarily advanced and complex – we can pretty much transmit any information we want into sound,” said Dr Reis e Lameira.

“So we tend to think that maybe words evolved from some rudimentary precursor to transmit more complex messages.

“We were basically using the orangutan vocal behaviour as a time machine – back to a time when our ancestors were using what would become [those precursors] of consonants and vowels.”

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy BBC News online and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom


RSPO Releases Impact Report on Palm Oil and Orangutans

Photo credit: RSPO & Jonathan Perugia

by Tom for the Orangutan Conservancy

There are certainly no shortage of smiles in the recently released Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) 2016 Impact Report.  And while those smiles hint at real progress, we at OC hope to see more lasting improvements in sustainable agroforestry around the world, especially in the home of orangutans across Indonesia and Malaysia.

Palm oil plantations continue to swallow up huge swaths of land. The RSPO and its nearly three-thousand and counting members (200 US-based) are all focused on the issue at hand – seeing this cash crop produced in a way that won’t destroy the earth’s remaining pristine forests as the vegetable oil makes its various ways from plantations to supermarket shelves across the globe.

While currently only 32 members are comprised of environment or nature conservation organizations (NGOs), the increasing presence of these groups at the table is a good sign for RSPO’s most forward-thinking growers, manufacturers, processors, investors and retailers who by being part of RSPO are saying they are committed to making sustainability a reality not just a wish.

The extensive report states that palm oil can only be sustainable if it:  fulfills increasing global food demand, supports affordable food prices, supports poverty reduction, safeguards social interests, communities and workers and protects the environment and wildlife.  All are important and necessary, and our orangutan friends are counting on the last item for their very survival.

Please read the full RSPO report in the link above.

And much more will need to be done to achieve a truly sustainable future on the oil palm landscape. There are still numerous illegal growers who have no interest in partaking in forward thinking, eco-friendly business practices.  That and inconsistent governmental positions often further cloud the issue.  Palm oil is not going anywhere, but hopefully the movement to produce it sustainably will only strengthen.  The Orangutan Conservancy asks our supporters to only purchase products that contain palm oil that are sustainably sourced.  A great way to learn about some can be found in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Palm Oil app.


posted by: Tom