emin and first born crop

The name orangutan cames from the Malay “orang” meaning person and “hutan” meaning forest, so the orangutan is literally a “person of the forest.” The Dayak tribes of Borneo traditionally regarded the orangutan as a type of human, one that pretended to be mute so as to avoid being put to work. Indeed, the orangutan shares 97% of its DNA with humans, making it one of our closest relatives, and along with humans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas, are one of the Great Apes. Other than humans, they are the only Great Ape living in Asia, and today are confined to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. An orangutan infant typically spends from 7-9 years with its mother learning what it needs to learn about survival in the forest entirely from her. It is said that orangutans enjoy the strongest and longest mother-infant bond in the animal kingdom, with the exception of humans. This long learning period makes the orangutans one of the most intelligent animal species on the planet (Scientists continue to debate whether this accolade belongs to the chimpanzee or the orangutan.)

leaf umbrella

In the wild, the orangutan lives a semi-solitary existence. Infants and youngsters travel with their mothers, and adult males, who have nothing to do with the raising of offspring, tend to travel long distances on their own. This solitary existence is determined by the distribution of their food sources. In Sumatra, where fruit is in more abundance, orangutans enjoy a slightly more social existence, congregating on more occasions when there are mast fruitings. And in Sumatra, scientists have documented numerous examples of culture amongst orangutans, the spread of which is perhaps made possible by this more social lifestyle. The largest arboreal mammal on the planet, the orangutan makes nests high in the forest canopy, sometimes incorporating leafy roofs to keep out the rain in rainy season. (They also use enormous leaves as umbrellas! ) The forest canopy is their home; there, they find all their food, avoid predators, travel along aerial highways and even give birth. And as much as the orangutan needs forest, the forest needs the orangutan. The orangutan serves as a major seed distributor. Using their strong jaws, they can open fruits that other animals cannot, and many seeds pass through their gut undigested. Some of these seeds can only germinate when deposited in the dung of the orangutan. In their role as gardeners of the rainforest, they also are responsible for essential pruning. As they travel through the upper canopy, they break off branches, allowing the sunlight to reach the forest floor to permit new shoots to grow.


The single greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan is the conversion of their forest to agriculture and other degradation of their habitat.  Therefore, the solution to ensure their survival is to minimize this impact on their habitat. In Indonesia, close to 80% of orangutans exist OUTSIDE of protected areas.  And in both Malaysia and Indonesia, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, Kalimantan and Sumatra, relatively new frontiers are being targeted for oil palm development, logging and mining. It just so happens that these are precisely the areas where the last wild orangutans on earth reside. In order to save these species, as well as the rest of the immeasurable biodiversity that shares their habitat, development must only proceed in the most sustainable way possible.

Latest News on Orangutans

Stephenson Personal Care Join Forces with Orangutan Land Trust

From http://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com/blog/2015/01/19/stephenson-personal-care-join-forces-with-olt-orangutan-land-trust/ It’s a complex and expanding environmental issue and we continue to be asked about the palm oil in our soap bases. And rightly so – deforestation and illegal clearing is causing devastation to tropical rainforests and ecosystems. Leaders involved in the palm oil industry, from growers to producers to end-use manufacturers, are aware of the challenges […]

Cleaning your Conscience with Deforestation-Free Soap

It’s an item found in every home and is used every day. From basic, fragrance-free white bars to triple-milled, gold-flecked luxury bars, soap is something we simply can’t live without. Yet, every time we wash, we are in a position to affect the lives of people and wildlife thousands of miles away. Orangutan Land Trust […]

Fruit is Scarce in Batikap | Going Back to the Forest

Similar to all natural forests, there are certain seasons and cycles when fruit is more abundant than others.  During this particular time of the year fruit in Bukit Batikap is less abundant and like wild orangutans, our orangutans are already adapting and consuming other food types found in the forest, such as termites and the […]

Orangutan Mother and Child Rescued from Massacre in Oil Palm Plantation and Released into an Ecosystem Restoration Area, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan

Two orangutans (mother and child) were rescued on January 22, 2012 and released on January 25, 2012 in Kehje Sewen Forest, in the Regency of East Kutai, East Kalimantan. Kehje Sewen is a forest ecosystem restoration concession (HPH-RE). The right to manage this area has been awarded to PT RHOI.

Orangutans in rehabilitation to get new homes in Kalimantan

Orangutans in rehabilitation to get new homes in Kalimantan The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 08/24/2010 9:19 AM | National With a permit already in hand, PT Orangutan Habitat Restoration Indonesia (ROI) is preparing to release orangutans into Borneo jungles after years of being held in rehabilitation centers.The Forestry Ministry awarded a ROI license to […]

Orangutan: Status Symbol Of The Wealthy In Indonesia

Aug 23, 2010 Sally Kneidel, Ph.D Pet trade threatens orangutan survival “Having a pet orangutan is a status symbol,” I was told by my Indonesian friend Ria, who lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Doesn’t matter if the animal lives in a small, dirty cage behind the house, which most do; it’s still a […]

Indonesia project boosts global forest CO2 market

24 Aug 2010 11:50:58 GMT Source: Reuters * Likely to be first fully validated REDD project under VCS * Approval of methodology boost for REDD projects By David Fogarty and Sunanda Creagh SINGAPORE/JAKARTA, Aug 24 (Reuters) – An Indonesian project aimed at saving a vast tract of rainforest has past a milestone seen as a […]

Free At Last: First rehabilitated orangutans in 9 years to be released into the wilds of Borneo

Indonesia Forestry Ministry issues decree allowing orangutan release in restored timber concession forest Bogor, Indonesia, 20 Aug 2010: The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) announced today that it would, for the first time in 9 years, release  rehabilitated captive orangutans  back into the wild.  The long-awaited release was finally facilitated by the issuance of a […]

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