This week is Orangutan Awareness Week - don't forget to wear orange on Wednesday for Orange for Orangutan Day. So it's a great opportunity to let you know that if you're looking for a gift membership for a wildlife lover, you could give them a membership to the Orangutan Foundation.
The UK registered charity is based in the UK and they work in collaboration with The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (BKSDA) to manage their programmes in Indonesian Borneo, in Central Kalimantan.
Their mission is:
"to save orangutans by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education."
But as they point out, it's more than that - they also recognise the role orangutans have to play in the biodiversity of the region. Conservation is more than protecting a species - it's about protecting nature for all of us and our wellbeing.
They are helping to conserve:
- 393,800 acres of habitat in the Tanjung Puting National Park, home to 4,400 critically endangered orangutans and they also managePondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station there, which studies the park's fauna and flora, which includes monkeys and crocodiles.
- 600 critically endangered orangutans in 158,000 acres of habitat in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, one of the few protected areas where orangutans who've been rescued are released back into the wild
What are the threats to orangutans?
Their habitat is being destroyed by our demand for palm oil, not aided by the expanding bio-fuel market. Orangutans and most of the biodiversity supported by tropical rainforests cannot co-exist with oil palm plantations. Illegal logging, forest fires and illegal mining are also destroying the rainforest. Fires kill and orphand displace many orangutans; they are caused by the dry debris from logging, the use of fire by palm oil companies and the El Nino effect which has caused longer than usual dry seasons.
© Orangutan Foundation
Recent estimates suggest that there are less than 54,000 Bornean orangutans
(pictured above) left
Give a Membership to the Orangutan Foundation and help orangutans
Memberships are really important to charities like the Orangutan Foundation. They form a secure and ongoing support base for the work they do, and that means they can help and reintroduce orangutans back into the wild and also protect their rainforest habitat. This year, the Orangutan Foundation is 30 years old and to celebrate, new members can receive a free copy of the charity's limited edition 30th Anniversary Booklet.
How is the Orangutan Foundation making a difference to orangutans?
- Habitat Protection and Re-Forestation
If the forests are not safe, neither are the orangutans. The Foundation supports the training, equipping and deployment of fire-fighting teams in areas of critical orangutan habitat. The use of guard posts and patrols to protect a wildlife reserve and national park have been very effective.
- Translocating and releasing orangutans
Orangutans found isolated in remnant patches of forests or in oil palm plantations need rescuing. Many are released in the wild. A veterinary clinic can provide care.
- Education and awareness
To encourage children to have a greater interest in the natural world and help them to understand the importance of looking after it.
- Scientific research
This enables key conservation decisions to be made on important habitats
- Capacity building and sustainable livelihoods
It helps to develop the capacity of Indonesians to play a role in the conservation of the orangutan. The work of the charity also encourages sustainable practices and livelihoods that generate an income without destroying the forests.
The Orangutan Foundation runs its own programmes in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.
© Orangutan Foundation
It is estimated that there are 6,600 of the Sumatran species of orangutan left.
Memberships support this work, and you'll find there are a number of different memberships available, mostly for one year but also for lifetime. There are memberships for Junior, Family, Individual, Student and Senior Citizens, Patron, Life and Corporate.
Members receive a subscription to the bi-annual newsletter, Red Ape. This keeps you up to date with the work the charity is doing. Junior and family members also receive a copy of Pongo, the junior newsletter.
Join today and support the work the Orangutan Foundation is doing.
By the way, other gifts for an Orangutan lover may be