16 August 2016 - Santa Monica, CA.  To recognize the most iconic victim of the palm oil industry, International Orangutan Day has been set for August 19th, EVERY YEAR! This event is to help encourage the public to take action in preserving this amazing species.

From 1992-2000, the population of the Sumatran orangutan is considered to have declined by more than 50%. Its population has recently been estimated to be only 14,600.  Its relative, the Bornean orangutan population fell nearly 43 percent in the past decade.  It is now believed only 45,000 remain on Borneo, where the species was recently reclassified downward to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED by the IUCN Redbook. The IUCN study that led to this reclassification concluded that "the combined impacts of habitat loss, habitat degradation and illegal hunting equate to an 86% population reduction between 1973 and 2025." 

Something has to be done to save orangutans and that is the reason for International Orangutan Day!  

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5 July 2016 - Mongabay.com.  The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is now critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This change means that both species of orangutan now face an “extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.”

“This is full acknowledgement of what has been clear for a long time: orangutan conservation is failing,” Andrew Marshall, one of the authors of the assessment, told Mongabay. Regardless of any positive outcomes of past conservation efforts, they have not achieved the only meaningful goal: a stable or increasing population.

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2 May 2016 - Santa Monica, CA - OURF Headquarters.  Between the recent devastating fires that have overtaken the country’s natural habitats and celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio making surprise visits to highlight conservation efforts, Indonesia’s orangutan populations have been all over the news lately.  While public awareness is the first step towards making progress, for 10 years the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has been on the ground in Indonesia working to save orangutans and other primates in danger due to unsustainable farming and human-wildlife conflict.  One of OURF’s key programs is the Orangutan Caring Scholarship, aimed at building a cadre of educated Indonesia citizens that will advocate orangutan survival, and OURF is proud to announce that the 100th scholarship will be awarded this June.

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25 February 2016 - Leipzig, Germany - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Re-introduction of genetically distinct subspecies haled to hybridization in aendangerewild population.

 

As their natural habitats continue to be destroyed, increasing numbers of displaced endangered mammals are taken to sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The ultimate goal of these centers is often reintroduction: to return these animals to wild populations. In a new study published today in Scientific Reports, however, Graham L Banes and Linda Vigilant of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, caution that such reintroductions can act as a form of genetic translocation. By using genetic analysis to assess a subset of historical reintroductions into Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, they found that orangutans from a non-native and genetically distinct subspecies were unwittingly released and have since hybridized with the Park’s wild population. As orangutan subspecies are thought to have diverged around 176,000 years ago, with marked differentiation over the last 80,000 years, the researchers highlight the potential for negative effects on the viability of populations already under threat.

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16 January 2016- The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has steadily been building partnerships over the past decade in pursuit of its mission. While the core programs of OURF has focused on formal and informal education in Indonesia, it has also moved into other areas that address the roots of orangutan and wildlife conservation.  OURF plans to continue to expand its portfolio of programs and projects in 2016 as new partnerships are deepened and strengthened.  Such expansion provides opportunities for further involvement by the public and committed individuals seeking hands-on opportunities.

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