Time’s running out for the world’s most critically endangered orangutan

All orangutans are critically endangered but the threats facing the recently discovered Tapanuli orangutan species go beyond words. With only 800 remaining in a fragment of forest in North Sumatra, their survival quite literally hangs in the balance.

But we can protect them from imminent extinction if we act now.

The Orangutan Project has answered an urgent call from our partner, Scorpion Foundation to dramatically increase forest protection for the Tapanuli orangutan.

We’ve been supporting the protection of this isolated population for many years, but with the relentless threats of habitat destruction, land encroachment and poaching for both ‘bush-meat’ and the illegal wildlife trade, we urgently need to increase their Wildlife Protection patrols to keep this rarest of species safe. We’ve pledged to send them $20,000 but we need to raise it first.

How your gifts will help

When you give a gift today, your donation will go straight to on-the-ground patrols protecting Tapanuli orangutans and their habitat.

You’ll be supporting our partners to guard against illegal land encroachment and logging, and resourcing them to infiltrate, expose and bring illegal pet smuggling rings to justice.

Our partners at Scorpion Foundation also need a means for reacting fast in emergency situations and dramatically increasing the range and breadth of the jungle they protect.  

Funds raised will also purchase a second hand, all-terrain vehicle for their Wildlife Protection teams so they can accelerate their patrols with immediate effect.

Your donations will also support awareness campaigns for the communities surrounding the Batang Toru forest, teaching them about the protected status of the Tapanuli orangutan and providing a safe and responsive means for reporting displaced or illegally captured orangutans. This is critical for infiltrating poaching networks.

Tapanuli orangutan facts:

  • Found in North Sumatra, but more closely related to the Bornean orangutan.
  • Likely split from Sumatran orangutans in the north 3.4 million years ago.
  • The Tapanuli orangutan split from Bornean orangutans 674,000 years ago.
  • Distinctive behaviours and diet.
  • Males have a unique, longer mating call.
  • Habitat now covers just 1,100 square kilometres.

 Living in just a fragment of forest in North Sumatra and with a heartbreakingly small population, the Tapanuli orangutan’s survival is at a tipping point.  Their only hope is vigilant wildlife patrols making sure they and their habitat are protected.  Thank you for giving generously.



Your gift is a vital contribution towards The Orangutan Project’s mission to ensure the survival of the orangutan species in their natural habitat, and to promote the welfare of all orangutans. Should the funds raised exceed the amount needed for a particular project being funded, those funds will be directed where most needed, to achieve our mission.

Where your donation goes

  • Summary of Achievements in 2016/2017

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