every acre of orangutan habitat counts!

Two hundred and fifty acres of forest seems a large area – roughly 160 football pitches – but surprisingly, it only supports a small number of orangutans, perhaps two to five individuals. This critically endangered species needs vast areas of intact tropical forest to thrive.

Between 1990 and 2015, 67.9 million acres of forest were lost in Indonesia, with Central Kalimantan experiencing one of the highest rates of deforestation. In 2017, Indonesia’s deforestation rate slowed for the first time in decades, with just over one million acres lost.

Orangutan Foundation guard post and river portal monitoring the forests.

Orangutan Foundation guard post and river portal monitoring the forests.

Orangutan Foundation’s Habitat Protection Programme focuses on two extensive conservation areas, Tanjung Puting National Park and Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. These areas combined total over half a million acres of prime habitat supporting close to 5,000 orangutans.

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The tropical forests of Borneo and Sumatra provide far more than a home for orangutans. They are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth, providing livelihoods for local people and playing a vital role in mitigating climate change. On average, one acre of tropical forest in Indonesia stores 326 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e), the amount generated by about 69 passenger vehicles being driven for one year.

For all these reasons, we must ensure tropical forests stay standing. For approximately £2 an acre, per year, we can continue our vital work to protect these forests:

Fire-fighting team extinguishing fires in 2018.

Fire-fighting team extinguishing fires in 2018.

  • Employing more than 25 local people on our Habitat Protection Programme. They are trained in fire-fighting and SMART-technology forest patrolling.

  • Maintaining our network of ten guard posts, built in strategic locations, to prevent and monitor access to the protected areas. Each post is a base from which forest and river patrols are launched. Each post patrols a 5 km radius (approximately 20,000 acres per post).

  • Ensuring our guard posts are fully equipped with fire-fighting gear and our staff are ready to tackle illegally lit fires preventing further habitat degradation and loss.