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Orangutan Foundation (Established 1990)
Conservation Agency
Web Site:

Director: Ashley Leiman OBE
Phone: 44 (020)7724 2912   Fax: 44 (020) 7706 2613   E-Mail:
7 Kent Terrace, London, England NW1 4RP UNITED KINGDOM

Mission: The Orangutan Foundation is the world's foremost orangutan conservation organisation. We are saving Asia's endangered great apes by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education.

The approach of the Orangutan Foundation goes beyond that of purely protecting the orangutan. Critically it also includes a recognition that orangutan habitat is unique in its richness of biodiversity and crucial for local communities, who are as dependant on the forest as is the orangutan.

Conservation is more than protecting a species, it is about saving nature which includes us, 'the fifth ape'. The efforts of all of us to prevent global warming will be seen as a defining moment in history, for humanity's sake and for the health of the whole planet. Tropical forests can play a significant role in guarding against climate change.

Principal Research Programs: Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo is a high priority site under the most recent Orangutan Population, Habitat and Viability Assessment and nine of Borneo’s 13 primate species are found at the site. The Indonesian government has designated Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve as an official orangutan release site. In cooperation with the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Orangutan Foundation operates six orangutan release camps.

The Orangutan Foundation, Yayorin (Yaysan Orangutan Indonesia) and the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources initiated an EC funded programme ‘Promoting the conservation and sustainable management of the lowland forests of south Central Kalimantan’. The programme, which began in 2007, has a strong emphasis on the involvement of the local village communities that surround the Reserve. Orangutan Foundation has also implemented a network of guard post and patrols.

Belantikan Hulu Region is home to an estimated 6,000 orangutans, the largest population outside of a protected area. Working with Yayorin, a local Indonesian N.G.O. and with funding from UNEP/EC we have established the Belantikan Conservation Programme. This programme is designed to help conserve this important region though engagement of the local people, district Government and the logging concessions.

Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan, has more than 4,000 orangutans making it one of the largest remaining populations in Borneo. The Park is one of Southeast Asia’s largest protected areas of tropical peat swamp and heath forest. Orangutan Foundation work with the Park Authority to protect the Tanjung Puting against illegal activities such as logging, mining or the expansion of oil palm plantations. Since 2000 we have funded park patrols and guard posts throughout the Park.

Orangutan Foundation support the education programme and mobile education units run by Yayorin in Central Kalimantan. We also providing guides and educational inputs to ecotourism study tours run in Tanjung Puting National Park.

Sebangau National Park has the largest orangutan population in Borneo. We are working with the Centre for International Cooperation in Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP) to protect the globally important peat swamp from fire, to prevent illegal activities and increase the capacity of local communities.

The Orangutan Foundation is the UK representative of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project (SOCP). SOCP is a multi-faceted programme tackling all aspects of the conservation of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). Our recent support has focused on their projects in Aceh’s west coast swamp forests.

All employees in the field are Indonesian with the exception of one Malaysian Programmes Manager.

Training Opportunities: The Orangutan Foundation Volunteer Programme offers 6 week placements conducting conservation work in the field. For further information, visit

Education Programme in the UK aimed at primary school level.

Financial Aid: The Orangutan Foundation offers two annual research grants worth £1000 each. For further information, visit

Number of Staff: 6 (UK office)

Associated Field Sites: Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station lies within Tanjung Puting National Park. Around Pondok Ambung is an established trail network of mixed riverine, peat swamp and dry-land habitat. The research station is only four kilometers downstream from Camp Leakey where, in 1971, Dr Biruté Galdikas began her long-term study of orangutans. Pondok Ambung provides excellent facilities for visiting researchers and The University of Reading holds its annual tropical biology field course at the station. The facilities are also used by the National Park officials and by students from the local schools of Pangkalan Bun. Pondok Ambung has hosted numerous studies of the Tanjung Puting’s fauna and flora

Supported Species: Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutan), Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutan)

Publications: "Red Ape" (biannual) "Pongo" (junior - biannual)
"Tanjung Puting National Park, Orangutans and their Habitat" (published in 2007 by Orangutan Foundation and partner organisation Yayorin).

Last Updated: 2009-08-27

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