The orangutan population is disappearing more quickly than you could probably read this sentence. These gentle, furry apes are losing their natural habitat largely due to human industry, and as a result their endangered status is becoming more and more urgent. Palm oil production plays the biggest hand in the disappearance of the orangutan, as it is literally eating up the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. These two Indonesian island nations make up the orangutan’s native habitat. Sadly, deforestation for palm oil production and illegal logging operations has lead to the loss of 90 percent of this precious orangutan habitat.
There are only about 41,000 Bornean orangutans and 7,300 Sumatran orangutans left on the face of the earth. This species of ape is at great risk of being lost in the wake of the human-induced “sixth extinction,” making the work of the organizations who fight to protect them ever so important.
These outstanding organizations work day in and day out to make sure that the orangutan survives. Since orangutans can’t speak (although they can use sign language!) we wanted to thank these amazing organizations on behalf of the world’s orangutans. These are only 10 of many dedicated groups, so for orangutans everywhere: thanks!
1. Borneo Orangutan Survival
This outstanding organization is located in Australia and works to help the orangutan species through rescue, rehabilitation and release programs. This organization is the favorite of amazing kid activist, Jonah Cameron, and works diligently to not only save orangutans but to educate the public about their plight and how our consumer choices impact the well-being of these mammals.
2. Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation
This organization was founded in 1991, and works closely with the local communities that reside in proximity with the orangutan. BOSF works closely with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry to protect the orangutan habitat. They are currently caring for 750 orangutans thanks to the help of nearly 400 staff members.
3. Orangutan Conservancy
The Orangutan Conservancy works to provide funding for a variety of orangutan conservation efforts. Specifically, this organization helps carry out wildlife research programs, workshops for orangutan vets, provides emergency funding for forest fire remediation, and also works to educate the public about the importance of protecting the orangutan.
4. Orangutan Outreach
This stellar organization works with orphaned orangutans, helping to rehabilitate them and ensure their shot at being introduced back into the wild. Orangutan infants are a lot like human infants and rely on their mothers for care and even transportation until the age of two.
5. Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
This wonderful orangutan-centered organization specializes in the Sumatran orangutan. Working to protect existing populations through conservation efforts, SOCP also works to rehabilitate confiscated orangutans that had been illegally kept as pets. They also work to educate the public on animal welfare, and sustainable development.
6. Orang Utan Republik
The mission of this organization is two-fold: saving the orangutans through conservation education, and also performing outreach initiatives and collaborative programs that will inspire people to act. Orang Utan Republik believes that saving the orangutan begins with saving their wild habitat.
7. Center for Great Apes
This organization is unique in that they special in caring for orangutans that have fallen prey to the entertainment industry. Due to the loss of their native habitat, orangutans are forced into close proximity with humans and can be sold into the entertainment and exotic pet industry. CGA specializes in giving these mammal a chance for a happy life and freedom after serving for years at the will of humans.
8. Save the Orangutan
Save the Orangutan is a UK based charity that aids in the rescue and translocation of displaced orangutans. Founded by Lone Dröscher Nielsen, Danish conservationist, this organizations specializes in the Borneo orangutan.
9. Orangutan Foundation UK
This organization was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Orangutan Foundation UK’s approach to save the Indonesian orangutan species by engaging the public through worldwide media efforts, and also working in collaboration with corporate and governmental organizations.
10. International Animal Rescue
IAR is an organization that works to protect many animal species, including the orangutan. This organization specializes in rescuing young orangutans that have been captured from the wild and sold as pets. The orangutans who are rescued by IAR go to live at their Orangutan Rescue Center where they learn how to be wild orangutans in a three-year long orangutan school, how cool is that!