Sumatran Orangutan Society
Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered. As their rainforest habitat is cleared for farmlands and roads,
these gentle apes, one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, is being pushed to the edge of extinction.
SOS is dedicated to turning this situation around.
SOS works to protect orangutans, their forests and their future.
They do this by:
1) Supporting grassroots projects that empower local people to become guardians of the rainforests. SOS and their partners help communities living adjacent to orangutan habitat to understand and embrace their role in protecting the forests. They have built a network of ‘conservation villages’ in Sumatra – communities who are taking action to support the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem. Working closely with them to develop bespoke ‘conservation action plans’, these forward-thinking communities have identified ways to help save orangutans and create sustainable livelihoods at the same time. Examples include agroforestry, permaculture, and tree nursery management.
2) Restoring damaged orangutan habitat through tree planting programmes. Working with local communities since 2008 to restore and protect this precious habitat, undoing the damage caused by illegal conversion for agriculture, especially oil palm plantations, they have planted more than 1.5 million tree seedlings to date, and wildlife is returning to these once-barren landscapes.
3) Orangutan rescue, rehabilitation and release: As a critically endangered species, every orangutan life is precious. SOS established and support the orangutan rescue team in Sumatra, who evacuate isolated orangutans, trapped in condemned forests that are being targeted by bulldozers, and return them to safe forests, as well as rescuing orangutans from the illegal pet trade. Orphaned or injured orangutans need longer-term care and rehabilitation before they can have a second chance at life in the wild, so they also support this vital work.
4) Campaigning on issues threatening the survival of orangutans in the wild. SOS are committed to finding genuine solutions which break the link between development and deforestation, and their campaigns tackle the critical issues which are threatening orangutans and their last remaining habitat, especially deforestation by the palm oil industry and the illegal pet trade.