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Orangutan & Habitat Conservation Orangutan Foundation

Orangutan Foundation

4 Project reviews of Orangutan Foundation

Project Details

Our goal is to save orangutans by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education.

Our History:

Founded in 1990, Orangutan Foundation is the foremost orangutan conservation organisation working actively across the entire range of the orangutan species. Our overall mission is to conserve the orangutan and the biodiversity of their habitat through the protection of the tropical forests of Borneo and Sumatra.

Orangutan Foundation is a small organisation operating a diverse range of programmes that reflect the challenges involved with successfully conserving a highly threatened species and ecosystem. At the heart of our conservation strategy is the involvement of local communities who live close to areas of orangutan habitat. We have come to learn that through education, awareness and inclusion, our projects have greater success and sustainability.

The Orangutan Foundation plays an active part in international networks to promote the conservation of orangutans and their habitats, and is on the Executive Committee of UNEP’s Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP).

Increasing the area of orangutan habitat under protection:

In 2015, the Orangutan Foundation were instrumental in securing an extension, the size of Guernsey, to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, an increase of 15 per cent. The wildlife reserve and surrounding forest are vital ecosystems providing habitat to many threatened or endemic species for example, Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey, White-bearded Gibbon, Sunda Pangolin, Bornean Clouded Leopard and Storm’s Stork. The Reserve is also one of the few sites where rescued orangutans and other wildlife can be released back into the wild. Increasing the area of forest under protection was a major conservation achievement.

Rescuing and releasing orangutans and other wildlife:

The Orangutan Foundation provides excellent veterinary care and monitoring for rescued and released orangutans and other wildlife in need.

Safeguarding critical orangutan habitat:

In the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, an 8,000 hectare oil-palm plantation was stopped with crucial input by the Orangutan Foundation. Since 2003, the Orangutan Foundation has been actively helping to protect Tanjung Puting National Park and its wild orangutan population (estimated 4,000 orangutans) with guard posts and forest patrols.


Conserving the largest population of orangutans outside of protected areas. 85-90% of Bornean orangutans live outside of protected areas. The Orangutan Foundation is the first international organization to work in the biologically rich and unique forests of the remote Belantikan region, home to the largest population of orangutans outside of designated conservation areas. The Orangutan Foundation, its Indonesian partners, Yayorin and Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) are working on improving forest management.

Orangutan & Habitat Conservation
The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Sophie Hanson
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Our Mission Statement

The Orangutan Foundation is the foremost orangutan conservation organisation. We are saving Asia's critically endangered great ape by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education.

The approach of the Orangutan Foundation goes beyond that of purely protecting the orangutan. Critically it also includes a recognition that orangutan habitat is unique in its richness of biodiversity and crucial for local communities, who are as dependant on the forest as is the orangutan.

Conservation is more than protecting a species, it is about saving nature which includes us, 'the fifth ape'. The efforts of all of us to prevent global warming will be seen as a defining moment in history, for humanity's sake and for the health of the whole planet. Tropical forests can play a significant role in guarding against climate change.

What we do to help

The contributions our volunteers make to local communities depend on the needs of our field operations at the time. Volunteers have worked in TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK (ex-orangutan release site), the LAMANDAU WILDLIFE RESERVE (current release site) and BELANTIKAN, home to the largest remaining population of orangutans in an unprotected area. Past projects have included the construction of Guard Posts, an orangutan release site, and building dams to supply villagers with clean drinking water.

Our work involves

  •   Habitat protection & reforestation
  •   Orangutan translocation & release
  •   Capacity building & sustainable livelihoods
  •   Education & awareness
  •   Scientific research

Challenges for the Future

  •   Ensure protected areas stay protected
  •   Create new conservation areas to protect all critical wild orangutan populations
  •   Help mitigate climate change by preventing deforestation
  •   Secure long-term funding for valuable orangutan habitat

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals