A new species of orangutan - Pongo tapanuliensis!!!

A team of Indonesian and international scientists have described a new species of orangutan, in a paper published on November 2nd in the scientific journal Current Biology.

The orangutans residing in the Batang Toru Ecosystem, where the SOCP has worked since 2005, are distinct from the Bornean (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii), and are therefore a separate species, the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).

Read more about Batang Toru and the new species here and also at www.batangtoru.org!

Who We Are

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is a collaborative initiative between the Indonesia-based NGO the Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL; Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation), Swiss-based NGO the PanEco Foundation, and the Indonesian Government’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation. The SOCP works on all aspects of conservation of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).

What We Do


The SOCP collaborates with the Indonesian Government’s Conservation Authorities (Ditjen KSDAE) to locate and confiscate orangutans kept illegally as pets and to assist them in prosecuting actors involved in the illegal trade of orangutans.


Confiscated orangutans are brought to the SOCP’s purpose built Orangutan Quarantine Centre outside of Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia where they undergo extensive medical checks and are rehabilitated in socialization groups and on-site 'forest schools'.


Once deemed mature enough and fit for returning to the wild, orangutans are transferred in groups to one of our Reintroduction Centres. Here they will be released to form new, genetically viable populations in extensive, protected forest blocks.


With regional, national and international universities and institutions, the SOCP conducts essential surveys and monitoring of wild and reintroduced Sumatran orangutan populations and their habitat, and continues the long-term studies of their behaviour and ecology in the wild.

Habitat Protection

The SOCP advocates for the expansion of conservation areas as well as the improvement of protection in existing areas. Working closely with local and international partners, we are working to prevent and mitigate threats to the species and to strengthen protection of orangutan habitat.

Orangutan Haven

The Orangutan Haven is the solution for those orangutans under our care that can't be returned to the wild. Here they will live on naturalistic islands, as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, where they will be instrumental in improving visitor perceptions and attitudes of nature and wildlife.

Latest News


End the air rifle terror on orangutans!

The misuse of air guns for hunting has become increasingly uncontrollable. Based on data from COP and other NGOs working in orangutan conservation, at least 40 orangutans have been recorded as victims in Borneo and Sumatra. The recent discovery that has seized international attention is about an orangutan killed with 130 shots in the Kutai […]

Rambo Aprilia

Six ex-captive orangutans reintroduced at Jambi

The new year 2018 has brought a new hope for the orangutan in Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). Six orangutans from the quarantine center had been released to Jambi reintroduction site two weeks ago. These young orangutans were ready to be released back into the wild forest after they passed their quarantine and rehabilitation phase. […]