Our blog & news: Get involved to help wildlife


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead, American anthropologist, 1901-1978

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  1. Sumatran orangutan spotted in the Singkil Swamp Wildlife Reserve!

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    The Sumatran Orangutan Society kicked off 2021 with some great news!

    Restoration staff have been working to restore the Singkil Swamp Wildlife Reserve.

    It’s a vital area, locally and critically, because it’s home to breeding populations of Sumatran orangutans and other critically endangered species.

    And the great news is that staff working to restore the area spotted a Sumatran Orangutan there!  So their work is paying off – it’s great when wildlife move into an area that’s been restored!

    The area is important for people as well – hundreds of thousands people rely on the deep carbon-rich peatlands – they are vital as natural carbon sinks.   If they were drained, dangerous levels of pollution would be released into the atmosphere. This makes the area important to all of us as well.

    This is not the first time recently that orangutans have returned to restored forest - in December 2020, SOS reported that as land had been reclaimed and restored, so orangutans had returned!

    The ecosystem restoration programme is operated by the Orangutan Information Centre, with local staff and farmers.  The sites being restored are sited in the Leuser Ecosystem which is a protected area, and the sites being restored have been damaged by illegal activities, mostly the clearing of forests for palm oil plantations.

    This Sumatran orangutan is in one of the trees planted by the restoration team at the Cinta Raia III restoration site. 

    You can help by planting a tree!  Click here for more information

    And there are other ways to help - read more about the campaigns SOS run, help them fundraise or simply learn more about orangutans and the issues facing them.  Or you could make a donation, either a one off or monthly. 

    Visit the Sumatran Orangutan Society




  2. Orangutan Foundation's 30 Year Anniversary Appeal

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    The 8th to 14th November 2020 is Orangutan Caring Week.

    That gives me a great reason to tell you about a very special appeal which is being run by the Orangutan Foundation and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

    The Orangutan Foundation celebrated their 30th Anniversary in October 2020 so it would be wonderful to see this appeal completed in the same year!

    They are looking to raise £300,000 for conservation work that’s really vital.

    In doing so, they want to save three species of orangutan:  The Bornean, Sumatran and  Tapanuli orangutans.  They are all critically endangered and are all suffering from a severe loss of tropical forest habitat.   As a result, their population numbers have plummeted by an incredible 90%. 

    What will the £300,000 be used for?

    In Borneo, it will be used for the following (and I’m kind of quoting):

    • Protecting habitat in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and the Tanjung Puting National Park
    • Protection the operation of 8 guard posts in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and two in the Tanjung Puting National Park
    • Monitoring the health and behaviour of orangutans who have been released
    • Supporting the veterinary and monitoring operations at 5 release camps
    • Restoring degraded lands in the reserve
    • Supporting the reforestation programme to increase the extent of habitat that’s suitable for the orangutans
    • Conserving orangutans in landscapes outside conservation areas
    • Collaborating with stakeholders across 2.5 million acres of prime forest habitat

    In Sumatra,

    The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme needs funds urgently to:

    • Manage peatlands in the Leuser Ecosytem
    • Protect carbon-rich peatlands with the highest orangutan densities
    • Protect the Tapanuli orangutans in the Batang Toru Ecosystem
    • Increase protected status of their habitat and connecting fragmented forests 
    • Build up newly established wild populations in Jantho and Bukit Tigapuluh
    • Support SOCP’s reintroduction of rehabilitated ex-captive orangutans.
    • Transfer ‘unreleasable’ orangutans to the new Orangutan Haven
    • Care for disabled or sick orangutans that cannot be released back to the wild.

    So you can see that the £300,000 will be very well spent and really help make a difference to orangutans (and a lot of other species living in the area who also call the forests home).

    Both organisations have done a great deal of work in the time they have been looking after orangutans and now they need to do more to help them.  The Tapanuli species of orangutan was only found in 2017.

    If we could get 60,000 people to donate £5 or its equivalent, that would hit the target!

    Visit the Orangutan Foundation’s website to find out more and donate.




  3. Be an Orangutan Guardian during October 2020 and help the Sumatran Orangutan Society protect orangutans!

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    Knowing regular funds are coming in makes a huge difference to wildlife charities.  It can help in all sorts of ways.

    It can enable the charity to respond to situations demanding urgent action – they don’t have to wait until they have raised the money.  In the case of wildlife conservation, this could enable a charity to rescue an animal (or a group of them) or put a deposit on a piece of land to save it from loggers, or restore it.  It can also help them plan for the future whilst carrying out their current work.

    The Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) are looking for Orangutan Guardians. 

    What does the Sumatran Orangutan Society do?

    The society supports high impact frontline projects and also deliver hard-hitting campaigns to ensure a good future for Sumatra’s orangutans, forests and people.  They rescue orangutans, they save forests and so protect their homes, and they work with local communities so that they understand why the forests are important and embrace them in the role of protecting them.

    Orangutan Guardians are critical because they help SOS do all these things mentioned above.

    Become an orangutan guardian and you could win a limited edition Lush soap

    And if you sign up for a monthly donation of £10 or more during October 2020 you will be entered in a draw.  The lucky winner will win a limited edition Lush orangutan soap.  10 winners will be drawn at random and will receive their soap shortly after that.

    This could be a great way to help save orangutans who currently need all the help they can get.

    • £10 a month could support SOS’s longer-term goals of training local people to become guardians of the forest
    • £20 a month could support SOS’s campaigns to tackle the root causes of deforestation.

    Swing over to SOS and donate for Orangutans!

    You could also treat a loved one to something from SOS’s online and rainforest friendly shop


  4. International Orangutan Day 2020

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    The 19th August is International Orangutan Day and there are some very good ways in which you can help orangutans.

    Why?  Because the orangutan’s forest is being destroyed so that palm oil plantations can be created in their place.

    The Iceland advert was banned for being too political but it’s worth looking at because it shows exactly what we are doing to orangutan’s habitat.

    1. Donate

    The Orangutan Foundation are looking to save 300 acres for orangutans and you can donate to help them do this here.

    The Orangutan Foundation International based in Australia is also looking for donations.

    2. Change your buying habits

    The Orangutan Foundation International has information on palm oil and how to spot when it is in products you might buy. I’m doing this and looking to decrease my use of palm oil as much as possible.

    Look at your normal shopping list and then take a look at  Ethical Consumer’s guide to palm oil – they have a list of the worst offenders when it comes to palm oil.  If you currently buy from the list of worst offenders, you don’t have to go without – just swap them for another product made by a different company. 


  5. The Sumatran Orangutan Society has launched an appeal

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    The Sumatran Orangutan Society have launched an appeal to help guides in Sumatra.

    These guides normally take tourists through the national parks but because of COVID-19, the Indonesian government has closed the parks to tourists.  This means that the income supporting the guides’ families has vanished overnight.   Food security is tenuous. 

    Visit the Sumatran Orangutan Society

    Visit the Sumatran Orangutan Society

    These guides are normally at Bukit Lawang, Tangkahan and Ketambe – these sites are in the precious Leuser Ecosystem.  There’s no idea of when the parks will open up again.

    So SOS launched an appeal to help the guides.   Thus far, over £6,000 has been raised.  All donations are going to Nature for Change and OIC and they have started to buy and distribute food supplies already.

    You can donate here.

    Find out more about SOS here