Orangutan Conservation Sumatra

project image
Total donations 15 181 CHF
Domain of project :Environment
Region of project :Asia and Pacific
Country of project :Indonesia
Languages : English

Project summary

We are fighting for the survival of the last remaining 6600 Sumatran orangutans. Because of the ongoing destruction of the remaining rainforests in Sumatra, they are on the brink of extinction. One of the main reasons for the deforestation is the allocation of palm oil concessions. The large scale draining, clearing and transformation of rainforests into plantations has resulted in the loss of livelihoods for local communities as well as a continuous loss of its unique biodiversity, including the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan.

Most orangutans live outside of protected areas, within potential logging ranges and conversion forests. As a result of the felling of trees for new palm oil plantations, wild orangutans were cut off from their natural living environment and trapped in isolated forest areas. When they enter in search of food in the plantations, they are often captured or shot. Despite it’s illegal to kill, capture, keep or trade orangutans in Indonesia, many do still find their way to people's homes as pets or into the black market animal trade.

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme SOCP is a collaborative programme of the PanEco Foundation in Switzerland, working with the Indonesian Government's Department of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation PHKA, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari YEL (Foundation for a Sustainable Ecosystem) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

The SOCP tackles all aspects of Sumatran orangutan conservation including:

  • Confiscation, quarantine and reintroduction of illegal pet orangutans or isolated wild orangutans
  • Habitat conservation and protection
  • Conservation education and awareness raising
  • Surveys and monitoring of wild orangutan populations

Illegal captive pet orangutans are normally confiscated by local representatives of the Government in cooperation with an SOCP veterinary and operational staff. The rescued animals have to undergo extensive medical checks and a minimum 30 day quarantine period to ensure that they carry no illnesses. After their socialisation in the quarantine station, healthy orangutans are transferred to the SOCP's reintroduction centers.

Here, the orangutans begin to learn, step-by-step, how to survive in the forest – a process, that takes several months. They have to learn everything again, often from scratch in the case of those captured from the wild as very young infants. One of the most important things to figure out is which plants are edible, what constitutes food and where and when they can find it. Another essential survival skill is how to build a comfortable sleeping nest in the trees. Wild orangutans are adept at making springy platforms in the trees to sleep on by bending and weaving leafy branches together and it is their best way of avoiding ground dwelling predators and soil borne parasites and pathogens.

Since 2003 the first successful reintroduction was made by SOCP, over 286 orangutans have been received by SOCP. Already more than 218 red apes have been reintroduced successfully. The overall goal of the reintroduction of the orangutans is primarly to provide an appropriate life in the wild nature for the rescued apes that were held in very poor conditions previously. The reintroduction of orangutans in their native habitat in the long term will lead to the creation of a new, viable population in the Jantho nature reserve. Currently there are only four stable orangutan populations in Sumatra. Every additional population increases the chance of a long-term survival of this species greatly.

Budget and sources of financing of this project

Budget for SOCP-related commitment of PanEco 2015

Quarantine station Batu M'belin: CHF 240'700.–

Reintroduction station Jantho: CHF 149'500.–

Research stations: CHF: 133'540.–

Habitat protection: CHF 52'960.–

Total CHF: 576'700.–


Financing sources:

The SOCP is financed by PanEco. To carry on our urgently needed work, we depend on the continuing support of our donors. Only with your financial contribution we can successfully continue to reintroduce orangutans.

Help as well and support the SOCP with your donation! With a donation of 50.00 CHF an orangutan can be fed for two months. 100% of what PanEco receives here will contribute to the Sumatranorang Utan Conservation Program. Thank you very much!

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