FAQ

Here we have tried to provide answers to some questions we commonly receive.

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Thanks!

Thank you for your enquiry about volunteer work with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. Whilst we are grateful for your interest and have no doubts about your commitment to orangutan conservation we are unable to accept volunteers at this time.

The reasons for this are numerous, as are applications. Primarily it is because we aim to maintain as strict a quarantine procedure as possible. This therefore means that we cannot justify any unnecessary personnel at our quarantine or reintroduction stations. Also, it is crucial that the local communities in and around our field and monitoring stations benefit from our activities if we are to continue to be able to count on their support. For this reason, whenever there is work to be done we prefer to employ local people.

We very much appreciate everyone's enthusiasm to help, and regret that we cannot accommodate such requests at this time. Perhaps in the future this might be possible but for the time being we cannot not justify using volunteer assistance.

Whilst we appreciate that people are very interested in this aspect of our work, we cannot accept visitors at the Quarantine Centre.

Primarily this is because we aim to maintain as strict a quarantine procedure as possible. This reduces the risk of disease transmission as well as reduces the amount of exposure of the orangutans to humans - both of which are important factors to consider for successful rehabilitation and an eventual return to the wild forests of Sumatra.  Lastly, this policy allows our local staff and keepers to focus all of their efforts on the orangutans being cared for on-site, as opposed to hosting visitors.

Therefore we cannot justify any unnecessary personnel at the centre.

We strongly suggest interested parties in Sumatra to go and experience the forest for themselves!  There are many different locations across the island (eg. Bukit Lawang, Ketambe, Tangkahan) to visit, each with countless opportunities to observe many different species of fauna and flora in their natural environment!

Since its inception in 2001, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) has been concerned with all aspects of orangutan conservation in Sumatra. In order to achieve its ambitious goals, the SOCP strives to be a leading source of information regarding the behavioral ecology and distribution of the Critically Endangered Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutans. As such, the SOCP regularly conduct orangutan population surveys, in addition to managing numerous monitoring stations, where detailed behavioral and ecological data are currently being collected. Because orangutans can be found in various tropical forest habitat types, SOCP maintains long-term monitoring stations in each of these habitat types, including, dry lowland forest (Sikundur, 2013-ongoing), wet peat swamp forest (Suaq Balimbing, 1994-1998, 2005-ongoing), and upland forest (Batang Toru, 2006-ongoing). The information obtained from the long-term work at these monitoring stations allows conservation biologists to better understand the habitat and behavioural variability of Sumatran orangutans, and as such, helps practitioners to make more informed decisions regarding their future conservation and management of the two species.

We at SOCP are always looking for motivated researchers to come to Indonesia and participate at one of our three long-term monitoring stations in the Sumatran provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra. We invite unsolicited field researchers to contact the SOCP Biodiversity Monitoring Unit (BMU) at [email protected] While we focus our monitoring activities on orangutans, we are always open to have researchers who are interested in other aspects of Sumatran flora and fauna.