Orangutan News: Study Says Endangered Orangutans May Have Hope Yet


(photo : Wikimedia Commons)

(photo : Wikimedia Commons)

by Jenna Iacurci for Nature World News

A new study offers hope for endangered orangutans in Borneo, who are suffering due to deforestation and climate change.

“In order to identify eventual environmental refuges for the animals, we applied bioclimatic model simulations. Therefore, we used satellite images to map deforestation and estimate the changes in forest areas expected in the future. To predict the climate, the projections from four model and emission scenarios were combined. Additionally the land has to be unsuitable for oil palms, a major thread to orangutans,” David Gaveau, a scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia, said in a statement.

Through these projections – made for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s – scientists hope that they can save this endangered species.

“The study highlights the importance of conserving Borneo’s peat swamps, which are a home to large number of orangutans and are vital for climate change mitigation,” added researcher Serge Wich, who was involved in the study.

But hopefully through the methods these researchers used, they can better identify important ways of conserving this valuable species.

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

posted by: Tom


OC Announces our New App for the New Year


If you’re looking to have the Orangutan Conservancy with you on the go, then look no further than right here as we now have our very own app so that you can follow OC on your smartphone throughout the day wherever you are.  The conservation-themed app is totally free and offers orangutan enthusiasts a way to follow our work and news in real time. 

Keep up with current orangutan news on our landing page, learn more about the projects that we help to support, and also link in to Facebook and Twitter too, all in one handy app.  You can even watch videos on this app too, and we’ll be adding a lot of them in 2015.  A quick download of the app is available at the link above.

posted by: Tom


2014 – Our Year in Review

Darwin 2013 - resized

Darwin has his hands (and feet too) full in this photo. So did the Orangutan Conservancy in our 16th year of operation.

2014 proved to be an eventful year for the Orangutan Conservancy, as we forged new paths in our mission of better protecting orangutans on many fronts.  While we continued supporting our core projects, we also began new alignments both in Indonesia and here in America.  Along with helping important on-the-ground projects in Asia through funding and logistical support, we also attended events here in the USA to increase public awareness about the plight of orangutans and their rainforest homes in the 21st century.

apeAPP phonesAs early 2014 kicked off, OC was chosen by Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) as one of the few NGOS to be included on its innovative apeAPP.  With dedicated pages for all of the great apes, we were honored to be picked to represent the orangutan world.  ApeAPP is a clever portal for those seeking on-the-go info about ape conservation, and GRASP will debuting a new and even more exciting design in early 2015.  We also began a new relationship with Australia’s The Orangutan Project (TOP) and started promoting their orangutan adoption program.  The year was off to a fast start.

By March, the Orangutan Conservancy website had been transformed into an on-line location that people can depend on for regularly updated conservation news.  Providing capsulized news stories from outlets and publications around the globe, the OC landing page is a convenient one-stop location to keep up to date on orangutan news, commentary and information.   The third  month of the year was also special for us in that we gave a slew of “Save the Orangutan” wristbands to a third-grade life sciences class in Oregon, whose students have dedicated themselves to studying endangered animals – in particular the orangutan.  These conservation-minded kids have taken it upon themselves to teach P1050830_resizedtheir community about orangutans and the many threats facing these amazing apes, particularly palm oil.

In April, perhaps inspired by Earth Day, we began a new informal alliance here in America  – the California Orangutan Alliance - with the Orangutan Republic.  The purpose of this collaboration is to attend more live events together in the western United States, and increase the public’s awareness of orangutans and the enormous challenges of protecting their ecosystem.  The Orangutan Conservancy always seeks out like-minded collaborations, and we know this joint venture will allow us even more opportunities for face to face interaction with many interested people at gatherings across our state.  One of our first co-sponsored tables was at the WorldFest event in Los Angeles County in June. California Orangutan Alliance

Along with a spring round of project funding – highlighted by our first donation to Orangutan Haven - May found us promoting the first-ever “Rainforest Live” event that was spearheaded by the innovative team at the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop).  The real-time, 24-hour event broadcast across social media provided a fresh and very timely view of the Indonesian rainforest.  Never has Facebook and Twitter offered such an insightful real-time view into the fragile ecosystem and home to orangutans and countless other species as well as some of the world’s most exotic flora and fauna.  We salute OuTrop and everyone involved for this clever combination of technology and conservation.

Knowledge, support and friendship are three components of the workshop

Knowledge, Support and Friendship are three components of the workshop

June is our busiest month at the Orangutan Conservancy, because it’s when we fund, stage and host the annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop in Indonesia.  Hard working veterinarians that care for thousands of captive and wild orangutans come together just this one time a year to share their field knowledge and a full year’s worth of experiences. The event is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and provides an ongoing support system for the frontline heroes that care for so many injured and ill orangutans due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and human encroachment into their forest world.  The 6th Annual Workshop was the largest yet and was held at our new permanent home in Jogjakarta.  Our supporters make this event a reality each year and as you can see by the photo, the vets are very thankful for the opportunity to be in attendance.

In July, OC, along with four other orangutan groups, co-sponsored a debate/discussion in-situ that focused on the environmental positions of the candidates for the next President of Indonesia.  We are all hopeful that new President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, will honor the pledge his representative made at the debate to “take extraordinary law enforcement actions against violations in the fields of forestry and marine resources in Indonesia.”


The late days of summer found OC joining several organizations to promote and take part in International Orangutan Day.  The need for NGOs to join together and collectively share our strengths to benefit our forest friends was in ample view in August.  Following that, in September, we introduced our very first Orangutan Conservancy app.  The free conservation-themed software program offers a convenient way to keep up with us on our website, Facebook and Twitter all in one spot on your smartphone. The end of September started our association Amazon Smile.  For every purchase that shoppers make on Amazon Smile the internet sales giant gives a small donation to our work at the Orangutan Conservancy.  The month was capped off by OC’s participation in the International Day of Action for the Leuser Ecosystem, on the eve of the UN Climate Summit.


Dr. Russon and some of her team at the Orangutan Kutai project.


October had us energized as we funded no less than three projects. One of them, the Orangutan Kutai Project, which is headed up by our own Board member, Dr. Anne Russon, was featured in a terrific New Yorker article that same month, titled “An Orangutan Learns to Fish.”  As one of the world’s top primatologists, the portrayal of Dr. Russon’s orangutan ranging work in Kalimantan was fascinating and fun at the same time.  Other October highlights included; seeing our first ever orangutan scholarship recipient, Reza, receive his university degree in Environmental Sciences; introducing the Chester Zoo’s “Go Orange For Orangutans” campaign, which will help support our annual vet workshop, and joining a concerned coalition of conservation NGOs to draft a letter that was delivered to outgoing President SBY of Indonesia to encourage him to honor his as yet unrealized pledge to protect orangutans before his tenure expired.   We finished off this busy month by rushing emergency funding to OuTrop to help  their team fight the dry-season forest fires that were burning out of control near their Bornean site in the Sabangau Forest.


By November, the OC team had signaled our future commitment to being there for the team at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme  (SOCP), and in particular for their future semi-wild home for orangutans in Sumatra, Orangutan Haven.  Unreleasable, injured or ill, orangutans will soon have pristine island homes built for them that will offer a sense of complete freedom. This special group of great apes, who would never survive alone in the wild, will find a green paradise and have room to spread out and feel as free as they should.  Ground has already broken for Orangutan Haven, with Dr. Ian Singleton and a large team of dedicated heroes working around the clock to bring this vision to reality.

Thanksgiving is held in America in November, and we couldn’t have been more thankful than to help support the evolution of this important project then and in the future.

The future semi-wild home for unreleasable orangutans is now being built

The future semi-wild home for unreleasable orangutans is now being built.

December still left time for some end-of-year business and we were glad to be able help the team at the Samboja Lestari/BOSF rescue and rehabilitation center in East Kalimantan, Borneo.  Caring for 200 orangutans there means a lot of staff and plenty of wear and tear on the coveralls.  As the giving season quickly approached, OC added a new Board member – Betty Dunbar – sent out our holiday cards in the mail – or rather, through email – and looked forward to the coming year and to what we can do in 2015 to help orangutans in bigger and better ways.  While we can’t predict where the calls will come from in the New Year, we are dedicated to being there to help give orangutans and their rainforest homes a fighting chance for survival.    We can only do that with you on our team, so please considering supporting our work by visiting our How To Help page, and help us in our mission in 2015.  Happy New Year!

Leuser, a blind orangutan, and recent dad, will be one of the future residents of Orangutan Haven

Leuser, a blind orangutan, and recent dad, will be one of the future residents of Orangutan Haven

OC provided new uniforms for the entire team at Samboja Lestari rescue center

OC provided new uniforms for the entire team at Samboja Lestari rescue center


posted by: Tom


Tis the Season…

holiday card

orangutan 3 with color revision



posted by: Tom