About Orangutans

The orangutan is Asia’s only great ape and is only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra

The orangutan is Asia’s only great ape and is only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra as two co-generic species, Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii.  The majority of orangutans (90%) are situated in Indonesia (Indonesian Borneo-Kalimantan and Sumatra), while the remaining 10% can be found in Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia.

As one of our closest living relatives orangutans are highly intelligent, sentinent beings. They are an iconic species of Indonesia and an important umbrella species. By protecting orangutans in their natural habitat, a whole plethora of other flora and fauna are also protected. Protecting their forest habitat is as important to humans as much as it is to wildlife.


Today, both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are threatened by extinction due to habitat loss and hunting

It is estimated that the Bornean orangutan population has decreased by more than 80% within the last three generations. The World Conservation Union (IUCN Red Data List 2007) classifies both species of orangutan as Critically Endangered. Both species are also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Orangutans are legally protected by national and international law, however laws and regulations alone are clearly insufficient to actively protect this charismatic species. Orangutan conservation requires comprehensive and integrated efforts by all stakeholders, both in the field and in the political arena, to ensure its success.

In 2007, the first National Strategy and Action Plan for Orangutan Conservation 2007 – 2017 was signed by the Ministry of Forestry and announced by the Indonesian President at the Bali Climate Change Conference, December 2007. This plan is due to be reviewed and updated in the near future.

All orangutan conservation in Indonesia – including activities that we do at BOS Foundation – are based on this Action Plan.