The Orangutan Project
Special Partnership with OURF
Registered in Australia, The Orangutan Project (TOP), a Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme Partner (SOCP), is a non-partisan organisation that collaborates with over a dozen orangutan conservation projects, as well as provides habitat protection through its own programs to deter wildlife poaching, illegal logging and land clearing in Indonesia.
The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has joined forces with TOP and SOCP. OURF is now the USA Chapter for TOP and TOP the Australian Chapter for OURF. This joining of forces will:
- increase funding for orangutan conservation,
- allow us to further reduce the combined administration for two of the already leanest charities on the planet today.
Together we will now be saving more orangutans and their habitat so that they can all one day live free in the wild.
Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP)
SOCP’s Batu Mbelin Rescue Center is the only quarantine and care centre for the Sumatran orangutan. It is located near Medan in North Sumatra and was opened in 2002. Illegally held orangutans confiscated in Sumatra are taken to the Batu Mbelin Orangutan Quarantine Centre. Many have been kept as pets or have been injured by palm oil plantation workers. Orangutans are given a full medical check upon arrival and treated for any illnesses and parasites. They undergo a quarantine period before being introduced to other compatible orangutans.
Many confiscated orangutans are very young and require regular milk feeds. Young orangutans have full time carers during the day and night and are also given tree climbing lessons in the grounds. When orangutans are deemed suitable for release they are either sent to the Bukit Tigapuluh release site in the province of Jambi or to the Jantho Reintroduction centre in the province of Aceh.
SOCP’s Janto Release Site is located in the east of the Aceh province, Sumatra, the Pinus Jantho Nature Reserve is one of only two release sites where Sumatran orangutans are now being released into the wild. Orangutans that are released at the Jantho site have been previously confiscated and housed at the Batu Mbelin Orangutan Quarantine Centre in North Sumatra. Staff choose orangutans to be released based on their health, behaviour and potential to survive in the wild. All orangutans in the release programme are given a full health assessment and have a small transponder inserted between their shoulder blades so they can be tracked using telemetry equipment well after their release to check on their progress. The orangutans must also be able to show signs of natural orangutan behaviour including nest building and eating a range of foods before they are considered for release.
The Orangutan Project (TOP)
The Orangutan Project (TOP) is the world's foremost not-for-profit organisation supporting orangutan conservation, rainforest protection, local community partnerships and the rehabilitation and reintroduction of displaced orangutans back to the wild, in order to save the two orangutan species from extinction.
TOP is a non-partisan organisation that collaborates with several orangutan conservation projects, as well as providing habitat protection through its own programs to deter wildlife poaching, illegal logging and land clearing in Indonesia.
The organisation provides technical and financial assistance directly to conservation projects and orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres. This includes much needed resources for the day-to-day care needs, the reintroduction of orphaned orangutans and the locating and securing of release sites.
TOP’s main project is Bukit Tigapuluh, Sumatra where the Indonesian government has granted us the management license for two ecosystem restoration concessions adjacent to Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in the Thirty Hills landscape as an opportunity to save one of Sumatra’s last rainforests that is home to critically endangered tigers, elephants and orangutans, as well as two forest-dwelling tribes.
Since 2002, more than 175 Sumatran orangutans have been transferred to and released into the BTP ecosystem. Orangutans entering the release programme have usually been orphaned and kept as pets, often in horrendous conditions.
The Wildlife Protection Units (WPUs), entirely funded by TOP, are responsible for patrolling the Bukit Tigapuluh. The main aims of the WPUs are -
- Establish, train and maintain ranger units to secure wildlife populations and their habitat at Bukit Tigapuluh.
- To stop and prevent illegal logging as the major threat to wildlife habitat.
- To actively assist the reintroduction/translocation of orangutans at Bukit Tigapuluh.
- To collect wildlife data in order to produce baseline data for a buffer zone management plan and a wildlife data base as an evaluation tool for ecosystem conditions at Bukit Tigapuluh.
The WPU have been highly successful in deterring illegal activities including logging. They are responsible for educating local people about laws against poaching orangutans, gathering information about illegal activities and reporting these to the Forestry police and collecting wildlife data as an evaluation tool for ecosystem conditions.