Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutans are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. With just over 13,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild, and approximately 800 Tapanuli orangutans individuals, both species are at severe risk of extinction.
Researchers have studied Sumatran orangutan behavioral characteristics for years, such as: how they live, what they eat, how they reproduce, and other unique things about them as populations and individuals.
Orangutan populations, just like humans, are known for having unique forms of culture. Orangutans in different areas have varying traditions, specific “ways of doing things”, either from what they have learned from their parents and peers, or from having developed new and innovative ways to adapt to their individual environments and situations – which itself may then be learned and taken up by other orangutans!
The single biggest threat to orangutans in both Sumatra and Borneo is the loss of rainforest habitat. However, although it is strictly illegal to capture or keep them, young orangutans are also still highly valued as pets by some. Because orangutan mothers are incredibly protective of their offspring, this means the worst for them, as they would never allow their babies to be taken. This means the loss then not just of one orangutan from the wild, but also a mother that has the potential to raise many more of the species.
We aim to conserve the natural rainforest ecosystem of orangutan habitat across the island, and maintain monitoring, rehabilitation and reintroduction stations in key sites throughout Sumatra.
For more details, you can check more about orangutan distribution by clicking the button below.
You can help and do your part in saving orangutans in Sumatra by virtually sponsoring an orangutan under our care or donating to our work.
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