Unique Orangutan Scholarship Program Reaches Major Milestone
2 May 2016 - Santa Monica, CA - OURF Headquarters. Between the recent devastating fires that have overtaken the country’s natural habitats and celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio making surprise visits to highlight conservation efforts, Indonesia’s orangutan populations have been all over the news lately. While public awareness is the first step towards making progress, for 10 years the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has been on the ground in Indonesia working to save orangutans and other primates in danger due to unsustainable farming and human-wildlife conflict. One of OURF’s key programs is the Orangutan Caring Scholarship, aimed at building a cadre of educated Indonesia citizens that will advocate orangutan survival, and OURF is proud to announce that the 100th scholarship will be awarded this June.
‘Cocktail’ orang-utans leave researchers shaken and stirred
25 February 2016 - Leipzig, Germany - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Re-introduction of genetically distinct subspecies has led to hybridization in an endangered wild population.
As their natural habitats continue to be destroyed, increasing numbers of displaced endangered mammals are taken to sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The ultimate goal of these centers is often reintroduction: to return these animals to wild populations. In a new study published today in Scientific Reports, however, Graham L Banes and Linda Vigilant of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, caution that such reintroductions can act as a form of genetic translocation. By using genetic analysis to assess a subset of historical reintroductions into Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, they found that orangutans from a non-native and genetically distinct subspecies were unwittingly released and have since hybridized with the Park’s wild population. As orangutan subspecies are thought to have diverged around 176,000 years ago, with marked differentiation over the last 80,000 years, the researchers highlight the potential for negative effects on the viability of populations already under threat.
2016- OURF Providing an Avenue for Further Involvement in Saving Orangutans
16 January 2016- The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has steadily been building partnerships over the past decade in pursuit of its mission. While the core programs of OURF has focused on formal and informal education in Indonesia, it has also moved into other areas that address the roots of orangutan and wildlife conservation. OURF plans to continue to expand its portfolio of programs and projects in 2016 as new partnerships are deepened and strengthened. Such expansion provides opportunities for further involvement by the public and committed individuals seeking hands-on opportunities.
Orangutan Caring Week – 8-15 November 2015
Annual event raises awareness concerning orangutans and their endangered status as their forest home on Borneo and Sumatra is threatened by agricultural conversion and fires. The theme this year is “Working together toward sustainable solutions."
The theme for OCW this year is “Working together toward sustainable solutions”. The theme drives home the need for organizations and people to get together and to harness limited resources to implement conservation solutions for the betterment of the species, which is still on the brink of extinction. That would include acquiring and managing large tracks of forests as conservation concessions.
2nd Annual Pongo Environmental Awards and Fundraiser
26 September 2015 - Santa Monica, CA - Notable environmental achievements and the people behind those accomplishments were honored during the Second Annual Pongo Environmental Awards and Fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA on September 26, 2015.
Among this year’s recipients of the 2015 Pongo Awards include, Dr. Jane Goodall for her lifelong chimpanzee passion studying, protecting and educating people about this great ape; Panut Hadisiswoyo for leadership in fearlessly conserving orangutans and rain forests in North Sumatra; Bradford Schmidt of GoPro for creating "Our Orangutan Brethren", as part of his series of unique and compelling cause-related video stories about endangered animals from the species' perspective; Paul Salaman of Rainforest Trust whose organization has secured the future of over eight million acres of rain forest around the world; and Alexandra Saunders whose company, Nuubia San Francisco, produces award-winning, palm oil-free chocolates that does not threaten orangutans or other wildlife. Finally, Ed Begley,Jr., environmental activist and actor, received a Pongo Award for his lifelong commitment in support of many environmental causes and for leading by example to promote sustainable living The theme for this year’s event was “Free to be Wild.” The theme represents the foundation's vision of a time when orangutans will be free to wander in the wild rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra as they did before humans became a threat to them.