Our vision is to prevent the extinction of the Sumatran orangutan. We endeavor to contribute to the long-term protection of wild Sumatran orangutan populations and safeguard their habitat.
The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme is endeavoring to conserve viable wild populations of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). We do this by habitat protection, rehabilitation and reintroduction of ex-captive orangutans to the wild, education, survey work and scientific research.
- To ensure all remaining viable wild Sumatran orangutan populations and their habitat are fully protected and safe from destruction
- To establish new viable populations of the species in the wild via reintroduction of confiscated illegal pets, serving as a safety net for the original wild population.
- To increase knowledge of wild orangutan distribution, status, threats, behaviour and ecology.
- To change perceptions among Indonesian citizens in terms of animal welfare, understanding of sustainable development, and natural resource management.
How we started:
The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) first began activities in 1999 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the PanEco Foundation, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation. One of its first targets was to establish a modern, state-of-the-art quarantine facility for confiscated illegal pets and a reintroduction programme to release these animals back to the wild. In 2002 the Batu Mbelin orangutan quarantine center was finally completed near Medan in North Sumatra.
Since the start of SOCP over 250 orangutans have been brought to the quarantine center and more than 220 have already been transferred to the rainforest for reintroduction. SOCP continues to take a leading role in surveying and monitoring the status of all remaining wild orangutan populations in Sumatra using remote sensing and field surveys to record presence or absence, density estimates, and threats and population trends.
Furthermore, we are also looking in to the increasing problem of human-orangutan conflict, where orangutans at the forest edge are increasingly persecuted for raiding the fruit crops of local farmers, by supporting research into the precise costs this incurs for the local communities.
SOCP is seen as the foremost authority on the status and distribution of remaining wild Sumatran Orangutans, and we are increasingly active in the battle to save the species remaining wild habitat.
SOCP is a collaborative programme of PanEco Foundation (Switzerland), Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (Medan, North Sumatra), and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation (Ditjen KSDAE). Currently close to 70 local staff assist with implementing the various SOCP programmes in Aceh and North Sumatra.
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To counteract the explosive extinction of the Sumatran rainforest, the Orangutan Coffee Project supports coffee farmers in the highland of Gayo, Aceh province to manage their plantations in an ecological and sustainable way.
Special premiums from Orangutan Coffee reward both local coffee farmers and also support the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.