Orangutan Conservancy http://www.orangutan.com Orangutans are born with an ability to reason and think. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:12:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 OC Joins the World in International Orangutan Day 2014 http://www.orangutan.com/oc-joins-the-world-in-international-orangutan-day-2014/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-joins-the-world-in-international-orangutan-day-2014/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:08:50 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4911 10491283_670580703036888_2752971857810047567_n

The Orangutan Conservancy  joins forces today with our fellow orangutan advocates around the globe for International Orangutan Day.
Let’s take this International Orangutan Day spirit and build on it throughout the year!  Together we can be a powerful force for change for orangutans and their rainforest homes. 
It’s International Orangutan Day so join us today  by posting on FB and Twitter and remember to tell your friends and family to get involved too to spread the message for orangutans.
There are many things you can do to help orangutans this year - create awareness campaigns, sign petitions, avoid unsustainable palm oil,  hold a local fundraiser, make a donation to your favorite orangutan group, virtually adopt an orangutan, and tell anyone who will listen to learn more about the plight facing orangutans right now.  This is a critical time for us all to take the International Orangutan Day energy and use it as a global springboard to make a bigger difference in the year ahead.


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OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Video http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-veterinary-workshop-video/ http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-veterinary-workshop-video/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 03:30:34 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4908

Enjoy this video of some amazing orangutans and the equally inspiring people that care for them in this short video compilation from OC/OVAG.  Then read more about our annual workshop and other projects that we help to support at the Orangutan Conservancy here.

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OC/OVAG 2014 “The Unofficial Photo” http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-2014-the-unofficial-photo/ http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-2014-the-unofficial-photo/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:13:32 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4899 OCOVG 2014 group photo #3Shortly after taking the official group photo at OC/OVAG 2014, the delegates posed for something a little more informal.  This photo captures the energy, good spirit and great posing ability of this year’s attendees.

Read more about our annual vet workshop on the OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop page and you can see the official photo there too.

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Conservation Commentary: Animal Welfare and Palm Oil in Products We Buy http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-commentary-animal-welfare-and-palm-oil-in-products-we-buy/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-commentary-animal-welfare-and-palm-oil-in-products-we-buy/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:13:48 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4893 photo from the Orangutan Conservancy archives.

photo from the Orangutan Conservancy archives.

by Robert Hii for the Huffington Post

In case you missed Jane Velez-Mitchell’s interview with model Katie Cleary, here it is. Katie made an impassioned plea to the viewers to stop buying products that use palm oil.

So what is it about orangutans that gets animal lovers like Katie Cleary so worked up against palm oil? A big part of it has to be their human-like characteristics which create an instant bond between us and them, and the fact that the baby orangutan is just so darned adorable!

It’s not only orangutans that are being affected by palm oil. Equally adorable apes like chimpanzees are being threatened with extinction as well as the palm oil industry moves into Africa. Scientists are calling great apes like the orangutan and chimpanzee “canaries in the coal mine” as many other species of animals will go extinct if nothing is said or done today.

So what can an animal lover do to avoid buying products that may have caused suffering to animals? You can take up Jane Velez-Mitchell’s suggestion to eat fresh as palm oil is used mostly in processed foods. Her other great suggestion was to send a message to all companies to “do this sustainably” but what does this mean to the average consumer who wants to remove any possibility of causing suffering in their daily purchases?

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Huff Post Green and can be read in its entirety here.

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Conservation News: Study Shows 30% of Borneo’s Rainforests Destroyed Since 1973 http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-study-shows-30-of-borneos-rainforests-destroyed-since-1973/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-study-shows-30-of-borneos-rainforests-destroyed-since-1973/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:40:29 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4887
map courtesy of study authors

map courtesy of study authors

Borneo’s forests are being destroyed at twice the rate of the rest of the world’s rainforests.
by Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
More than 30 percent of Borneo’s rainforests have been destroyed over the past forty years due to fires, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study that provides the most comprehensive analysis of the island’s forest cover to date. The research, published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, shows that just over a quarter of Borneo’s lowland forests remain intact.The study, which involved an international team of scientists led by David Gaveau and Erik Meijaard, is based on satellite data and aerial photographs. That approach enabled the researchers to separate industrial plantations from selectively-logged natural forests, while also mapping the extent of logging roads for various elevations, distinguishing between highly endangered lowland forests and inaccessible high-elevation forests.The results are sobering for conservationists: intact lowland forests, which house the highest levels of biodiversity and store the largest amounts of carbon, declined by 73 percent during the period. 34 percent of those forests were selectively logged, while 39 percent were cleared completely, usually converted to industrial plantations to supply the world with palm oil, paper, and timber. Sabah, the eastern-most state in Malaysia, had the highest proportion of forest loss and degradation, with 52 percent of its lowland forests cleared and 29 percent logged. Only 18 percent of the state’s lowland forests remain intact, according to the study.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Mongabay.com and can be read in its entirety here.
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Conservation News: Drones Bring Fight And Flight To Battle Against Poachers http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-drones-bring-fight-and-flight-to-battle-against-poachers/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-drones-bring-fight-and-flight-to-battle-against-poachers/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:12:32 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4885 Lian Pin Koh and Serge Wich prepare their drone for flight.  photo for the OC archives.

Lian Pin Koh and Serge Wich prepare their drone for flight. photo for the OC archives.

by Michael Casey for Scientific American

Tracking endangered orangutans was no easy feat a scant three years ago. It required counting treetop nests in places like the Leuser Ecosystem on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island to gauge the health of a population that was under fire from poachers and palm oil barrens. Aerial surveillance using remote sensing satellites was often too expensive for local conservation groups and, even when affordable, the views were routinely obscured by cloud cover.

“I was thinking it would be a lot easier if we had a camera somewhere up in the sky that would take pictures of the canopy of the forest and allow us to determine where orangutans are and how many there are,” says Serge Wich, a primate biologist at Liverpool John Moores University and an expert on orangutans.

A year later he and his colleague, Lian Pin Koh, chair of the Applied Ecology and Conservation Group at the University of Adelaide in Australia, launched their first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—aka drone. Weighing a few kilograms with a wingspan of about two meters, the battery-powered and remote-controlled drones look more like model airplanes as they fly above treetops snapping geotagged photos or video during preprogrammed flights that last about an hour and a half. The project drew so much interest—8,000 views on their first YouTube video—that they set up an organization, ConservationDrones.org, that promotes scientific use for UAVs worldwide. “I think it will revolutionize part of how we do conservation and rainforest ecology work,” Wich says. The group has provided upward of 40 drones globally to conservation groups studying everything from illegal fishing in Belize to destruction of elephant habitat in Indonesia to fires from bush meat hunters in the Congo.

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

The Conservation Drone Project is one of the efforts that the Orangutan Conservancy helps to support.  Read more about them here.



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Orangutan News: Depleting Forest Forces Orangutans To Nest In Palm Oil Estates http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-depleting-forest-forces-orangutans-to-nest-in-palm-oil-estates/ http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-depleting-forest-forces-orangutans-to-nest-in-palm-oil-estates/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:24:49 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4880 photo from the OC archives

photo from the OC archives

SANDAKAN: A new landmark study based in Sabah’s east coast has shown that orangutans in Kinabatangan have no choice but to nest in oil palm plantations as they travel from one forest patch to another.

“These findings have long term implications for the oil palm industry and those working in conservation as we have to look at a larger landscape rather than concentrate only on forested areas,” said Dr. Marc Ancrenaz, the lead author of the findings published in Oryx, the international journal of conservation.

This study was carried out by research based non-governmental organisation, HUTAN – Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (KOCP) and the Sabah Wildlife Department.

It began in 2008 with aerial surveys, followed by years of ground surveys and interviews with oil palm workers to investigate why the population of orangutans in the forested areas in Kinabatangan was dropping.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Borneo Post online and can be read in its entirety here.

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Representatives of Indonesian Presidential Candidates Discuss Environmental Agenda http://www.orangutan.com/representatives-of-indonesian-presidential-candidates-discuss-environmental-agenda/ http://www.orangutan.com/representatives-of-indonesian-presidential-candidates-discuss-environmental-agenda/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:07:08 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4876 Environmental-Debate-July-3-2014

Indonesia’s presidential candidates expressed aspects of their environmental agenda through their representatives during an evening gathering of news media reporters and nongovernmental organizations. Sponsored by five orangutan advocacy groups (Orang Utan Republik Foundation, The Orangutan Project, The Orangutan Conservancy, Orangutan Outreach, and Orangutan Land Trust), the discussion/debate took place at Café Resto, Complex Ismail Marzuki, Cikini, Central Jakarta, Thursday (03/07) and featured Wahyu Widodo, representing the presidential candidate team of Joko Widodo/Jusuf Kalla, and Syamsul Bahri, representing the presidential candidate team of Prabowo Subianto/Hatta Rajasa.

The theme for the evening discussion was, “Following the 2014 Presidential Election: The Future of Indonesia’s Environment.”

A variety of topics were discussed during the evening during which time Wahyu Widodo and Syamsul Bahri explained the vision and mission of their respective candidates for the nation’s highest office.

Syamsul Bahri for Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa, said the environmental problems that exist in Indonesia are due to land degradation, loss of genetic resources in the natural environment (germplasm) and diminishing public concern about the environment.

Syamsul Bahri said that if Prabowo was elected President, he would continue the environmental policy of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as it promises to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent or 41 percent with international assistance in 2020. “But the government Indonesia needs to strengthen the climate negotiations in international forums, “he said.

Wahyu Widodo discussed a Jokowi-Kalla approach to managing the environment.  It needs to be extraordinary, and necessary institutions for the fields of environment management and natural resources are needed provide a deterrent for environmental crime.   He said, Jokowi-Kalla will take extraordinary law enforcement actions against violations in the fields of forestry and marine resources in Indonesia.

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





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Conservation News: Indonesia Overtakes Brazil In Clearing Tropical Forests http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-indonesia-overtakes-brazil-in-clearing-tropical-forests/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-indonesia-overtakes-brazil-in-clearing-tropical-forests/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:47:28 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4872 photo: Reuters

photo: Reuters

from ABC/Radio Australia

Scientists say Indonesia has now overtaken Brazil in clearing tropical rainforests, putting wildlife and habitat at risk.

Satellite images have found that Indonesia has surpassed Brazil in clearing tropical forests, and losses are accelerating, scientists say.

That’s despite a 2011 moratorium meant to protect wildlife and combat climate change.

Between 2000 and 2010, Indonesia’s loss of virgin forests totalled 60,000 square kilometres, an area almost the size of Ireland, partly to make way for palm oil plantations and other farms, researchers say.

In 2012 alone, deforestation in Indonesia was estimated at 8,400 square kilometres, compared with 4,600 square kilometres in Brazil.

This excerpt from a news article is courtesy of ABC/Radio Australia and can be read in its entirety here.

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OC Joins With Several Orangutan Organizations to Sponsor Indonesian Debate http://www.orangutan.com/oc-joins-with-several-orangutan-organizations-to-sponsor-indonesian-debate/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-joins-with-several-orangutan-organizations-to-sponsor-indonesian-debate/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:46:46 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=4867 The future for orangutans will be on the agenda at the discussion/debate

The future for orangutans will be on the agenda at the discussion/debate

Collaboration of Orangutan Organizations Support Debate/Discussion of Environmental Position of Candidates for Next President of Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia.  

In advance of the upcoming Indonesian presidential elections on July 9th, OC has joined a group of nonprofit organizations with a focus on orangutan conservation to co-sponsor a debate and discussion on the environmental position of the two candidates for Indonesia’s highest office. Representatives for the president/vice-president teams of Prabowo Subianto/Hatta Rajasa and Joko Widodo/Jusuf Kalla will face off on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at the Gallery Cafe Taman Ismail Marzukiin Jakarta.

The debate/discussion was suggested by members of the Indonesian group, Yayasan Inisiatif Pendidkan Orangutan Indonesia (YIPOI)  to their sister organization, Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) during a recent visit to Indonesia by OURF president Dr. Gary Shapiro. Shapiro was able to enroll other orangutan organizations to help sponsor the debate/discussion in an effort to better clarify how each presidential team plans to address the environmental and natural resource challenges facing Indonesia over the coming years.

“The Indonesian people deserve to know how their future president will prioritize the environment, natural resources and wildlife issues in addition to the usually discussed topics of development, jobs, law, and the economy,” stated Shapiro.  

The organizations sponsoring the educational event with OURF are The Orangutan Project (Australia), Orangutan Conservancy (USA), Orangutan Outreach (USA), and Orangutan Land Trust (UK). All organizations have been supporting conservation and education programs in Indonesia for many years in an effort to save the orangutan from extinction. 

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