The primary goal of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is the conservation of the Sumatran orangutan, a species currently listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). With only about 6,000 Sumatran orangutans remaining, in increasingly fragmented forest patches, time is running out.
To achieve its aims SOCP is adopting a number of methods
Quarantine and reintroduction
SOCP has already established a purpose-built medical quarantine facility for confiscated ‘ex-pet’ orangutans and has begun reintroducing the species to Bukit Tigapuluh National Park; a forest that hasn’t had any orangutans for over 150 years but now has an entirely new, albeit still relatively small population.
SOCP is also hard at work preparing for their ambitious “Orangutan Haven” project, and we at OC have joined them in this endeavor. Orangutan Haven will provide a long term refuge for unreleasable orangutans currently residing at the SOCP’s orangutan quarantine centre in Sumatra. Please read about more about this important project by clicking the link.
Improving law enforcement
By providing facilities to receive confiscated and unwanted captive orangutans SOCP has already begun the process of improving law enforcement on the island. Many more illegal pet orangutans are now being reported and confiscated by the authorities than were being during previous years.
Educating the public
SOCP has recently begun developing an education and awareness program aimed at getting the conservation message across to the public. Children (tomorrow’s decision makers) are one target of the program, but more importantly, SOCP is targeting adults (today’s decision makers) in cities, towns and villages, especially near the remaining orangutan habitat.
Research and monitoring
In order to conserve the Sumatran orangutan it is imperative that we know as much about them as we can. SOCP has field staff permanently based at the well known Ketambe research station in Central Aceh, continuing important long-term field studies of the Ketambe orangutan population that have now been ongoing for over 30 years! SOCP is also a leading player in surveys and monitoring of the species decline on the island and much of what is now known about remaining numbers and their distribution has been determined by SOCP staff and colleagues.
Conserving habitat is a huge challenge in Indonesia these days but SOCP is actively involved in several initiatives to expand the area under protection and improve protection in locations that are already designated as conservation areas.
Recent Update: SOCP is again on the frontlines, fighting the current spatial plan that the government is trying to impose. Watch this terrific short video from Dr. Ian Singleton that explains the situation in Jantho.
A major environmental battle is being fought in the Tripa forest in Sumatra.
Read about this important area and SOCP’s ongoing campaign to protect the remaining biodiversity there.
Please help the Orangutan Conservancy support SOCP by making a donation today!