Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme


The primary goal of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is the conservation of the Sumatran orangutan, a species currently listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). With only about 6,000 Sumatran orangutans remaining, in increasingly fragmented forest patches, time is running out.

To achieve its aims SOCP is adopting a number of methods

Quarantine and reintroduction

SOCP has already established a purpose-built medical quarantine facility for confiscated ‘ex-pet’ orangutans and has begun reintroducing the species to Bukit Tigapuluh National Park; a forest that hasn’t had any orangutans for over 150 years but now has an entirely new, albeit still relatively small population.

SOCP is also hard at work preparing for their ambitious “Orangutan Haven” project, and we at OC have joined them in this endeavor.  Orangutan Haven will provide a long term refuge for unreleasable orangutans currently residing at the SOCP’s orangutan quarantine centre in Sumatra.  Please read about more about this important project by clicking the link.


Improving law enforcement

By providing facilities to receive confiscated and unwanted captive orangutans SOCP has already begun the process of improving law enforcement on the island. Many more illegal pet orangutans are now being reported and confiscated by the authorities than were being during previous years.

Educating the public

SOCP has recently begun developing an education and awareness program aimed at getting the conservation message across to the public. Children (tomorrow’s decision makers) are one target of the program, but more importantly, SOCP is targeting adults (today’s decision makers) in cities, towns and villages, especially near the remaining orangutan habitat.

Research and monitoring

In order to conserve the Sumatran orangutan it is imperative that we know as much about them as we can. SOCP has field staff permanently based at the well known Ketambe research station in Central Aceh, continuing important long-term field studies of the Ketambe orangutan population that have now been ongoing for over 30 years! SOCP is also a leading player in surveys and monitoring of the species decline on the island and much of what is now known about remaining numbers and their distribution has been determined by SOCP staff and colleagues.

Habitat protection

Conserving habitat is a huge challenge in Indonesia these days but SOCP is actively involved in several initiatives to expand the area under protection and improve protection in locations that are already designated as conservation areas.

Recent Update:  SOCP is again on the frontlines, fighting the current spatial plan that the government is trying to impose.  Watch this terrific short video from Dr. Ian Singleton that explains the situation in Jantho.   

A major environmental battle is being fought in the Tripa forest in Sumatra. 

Read about this important area and SOCP’s ongoing campaign to protect the remaining biodiversity there.

Please help the Orangutan Conservancy support SOCP by making a donation today!

Santi and baby orangutan


  1. Hi,
    I want to do a research project on the decline of the Sumatran orangutan population with respect to deforestation/ palm oil production. Do you have any raw data about the decline of the Sumatran orangutan population throughout the years?


    1. Hello Sana,

      The Orangutan Conservancy does not have any data on the subject you are researching. There may be published articles on your topic. We recommend checking out for further information on palm oil and deforestation with respect to orangutans and their rain forest homes.

      Thank you!

  2. Hi I am Indonesian would like to do monthly donation BUT I have no credit card only debit. How I do this thanks

    1. Hello Nalom,

      You can donate at this link

      Thank you for donating to orangutan conservation!

  3. Hola, soy Oriana y me gustaría saber si tienen programas para ir de voluntariado y ayudar con los respectivos proyectos o ya sea todo que ver con los orangutanes u otros animales que salvan.

    1. Hello!

      Please find our volunteer page and application here:

    2. Also, we do not offer volunteer positions with orangutans…you must contact the individual sanctuaries and see what their guidelines are for volunteers…though during COVID there may not be any programs.

  4. Hello my name is amartya im in a school i used this link to help me So i passed the porjected thanks to you

  5. Thank you so much

  6. Hi! I’m Johnny from the Philippines, may I ask what is the status today of the Sumatran Orangutan population is it increasing? I really hope it is ☹️

    1. Hi Johnny,

      The Sumatran Orangutan population is currently estimated to be holding at about 14,000 individuals. Learn more about sumatran orangutans here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.