The islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia are home to some of the oldest and most diverse rainforests in the world. Orangutans and thousands of other unique species live in these forests; from the charismatic pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos to the distinctive looking hornbills.
But orangutans and other species on these islands are being pushed to the edge of extinction as tropical rainforests are cleared. Conversion of forest habitat for agricultural use such as oil palm plantations is the main threat to orangutans living in Borneo and Sumatra.
Only 60,000 Bornean and 6,600 Sumatran orangutans are thought to remain in the wild and numbers are in decline; most populations are also found outside of protected areas. We need to work hard and quickly to save Asia’s Great Apes.
We support conservation projects fighting to protect the forest ecosystem and the many species that exist within them, working with several partners on both islands. Our major focus is on the highly important Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah State; home to the largest orangutan population in Malaysian Borneo.
Find out how you, your school or organisation can get involved this October and help save orangutans in the wild.
Our partners in this region, HUTAN-KOCP, approach conservation holistically, combining scientific research with protection and management of wildlife habitat. Inclusion of the local community is paramount, which is why capacity building, awareness campaigns and community outreach, as well as development projects, are foremost in the implementation of their work.
Using our staff expertise, we assist our partners in conservation activities and are actively involved in work targeting the issue of unsustainable palm oil. But the threats continue to persist, and to protect these islands and their amazing biodiversity in the future we need your help.
At the end of October we ventured into the world of theatre to raise awareness of the growing palm oil industry and how it’s affecting wildlife around the world.
We want to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has been joining in Go Orange for Orangutans this year...
Following on from the blog update we shared with you from Hutan’s Dr Marc Ancrenaz, we have another post from our project partners – this time we’d like to introduce you to Dr Isabelle Lackman, co-director of the project alongside Marc.