Film: Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy


OC Board Member Dr. Robert Shumaker Discusses Orangutans in Podcast

The Orangutan Conservancy’s own Dr. Robert Shumaker recently appeared on a terrific audio podcast hosted by Kristi Lee. 

Along with being an OC Board member, Dr. Shumaker is the Indianapolis Zoo’s Executive Vice President and Zoo Director.  He is regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on primate behavior. 

We hope you’ll listen to Rob discuss orangutans and the current state of the conservation world in this insightful interview.


posted by: Tom


Conservation Commentary: A Bridge To Extinction Of Wildlife

photo from the archives of the Orangutan Conservancy

from Borneo Post online

The clearance of private forested land in Sukau to establish an office for the bridge contractor and store heavy machinery for the construction of the proposed bridge-road has left Danau Girang Field Centre director Dr Benoit Goossens completely distraught.

“Seventeen years ago, the Kinabatangan was called Sabah’s ‘Gift to the Earth’ and in 2005, the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was created to increase forest connectivity along the Kinabatangan River, protect several charismatic species such as the orangutan, the elephant and the proboscis monkey, some of them becoming, over the years, iconic species for attracting eco-tourists to the state,” explained Goossens.

He pointed out that in the Elephant and Orangutan State Action Plans 2012-2016, which were supported by the government, it was clearly stated that any process that would further fragment the habitat of elephant and orangutan populations such as highways and bridges must be prevented. Therefore, the proposed bridge and road in Sukau are directly conflicting with the content of those two policy documents.

This excerpt from an article appeared in and is courtesy of Boreno Post online and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom


Conservation Perspective: Ecosystem Services Are Key To Saving Leuser Say Local NGOs

The truth is that the future of local Sumatrans, the Leuser ecosystem and orangutans, along with industrial agriculture, global commodities investors, and the world’s hunger for palm oil are all intricately bound together.     Photo by and courtesy of Rhett A. Butler at Mongabay

by Colleen Kimmett for Mongabay

Five years ago, there were likely very few people outside of Indonesia who’d ever heard of a place called the Leuser ecosystem. Today, this enormous and besieged tropical rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra is on its way to becoming as well known as the Amazon in terms of its unique wildlife and its worldwide conservation significance.

Leuser has received visits from countless international media crews, been the focus of major global NGO campaigns, and, most recently, was the backdrop of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Instagram and Twitter photos.

Orangutans have, arguably, continued to generate much of this attention. Leuser is one of the last refuges of these Critically Endangered primates, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and the “last place on earth” — as Leuser has been billed in media campaigns — where they exist alongside tigers, elephants and rhinos.

But while these charismatic megafauna have aroused massive global attention, the preservation of their habitat, and their fate, likely rests not just with international NGOs, but is also in the hands of the people who live there. And the locals have a very different perspective and very different priorities.

A growing grassroots environmental movement in Sumatra has made real gains in protecting the Leuser ecosystem. But they’ve achieved their successes not by appealing to their citizens’ love of great apes, but by attending first to the bigger concerns of local people: addressing their desires for clean air, fresh water and a variety of other invaluable ecosystem services provided by undisturbed tropical rainforests.

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

posted by: Tom


Conservation News: Sudden Sale May Doom Carbon-rich Rainforest in Borneo

Highly productive dipterocarp forests dominate much of the Trus Madi and FMU5 highlands. Photo by K. Yoganand (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

by John C. Cannon for Mongabay

The fate of a forest tract in Malaysia may have shifted dramatically in just the last few months.

For three years, a group of conservation NGOs in Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, has been working to keep the forests from an area known as Forest Management Unit 5 out of the sawmills.

And they appeared to be on the cusp of preserving one of the best-protected stands in Sabah harboring an important watershed, as well as orangutans, clouded leopards and gibbons. They had even sought collaboration with the company that owned the rights to exploit the area for timber.

But when that company suddenly sold those rights in October 2016, it took them completely by surprise, say the conservationists, demonstrating just how difficult the transition toward conservation can be.

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

posted by: Tom