9 Oct 2014

This year our Go Orange for Orangutans campaign will be raising money to replant the rain forest home of endangered orangutans in Borneo.

We will be planting and taking care of native tree species in places where the trees just cannot grow without our help.

Before we drift off to sleep we tend to make sure we’re comfortable and snug before laying our head down. Some of us have a bedtime routine.

Orangutans use the rain forest canopy not only for food but for shelter and rest. Nearly every night they build a new nest using the branches from the trees, which they will use to sleep in. Sometimes they do this during the day too for when they want a quick nap!

orangutan nest
Orangutan nest. Credit: HUTAN

Orangutans have their own ‘bedtime routine’, as building a nest consists of a number of things:

Choosing a tree – orangutans are selective in what tree they will choose.

Building the foundation – once they have selected a suitable tree they will use large branches to make a foundation.

Orangutan nest Serge wich
Credit: Serge Wich

Making a mattress – once the foundation has been built orangutans will then use smaller branches to create a layer. The small branches they use tend to have many leaves on them.

Locking – Orangutans ‘braid branches’ while on the nest and intertwine with the ‘mattress’ and will do this to make the nest stronger.

orangutan nest Serge Wich
Credit: Serge Wich

Orangutans may also make additions to the nest to enhance their comfort, including a pillow made out of small leafy twigs, a blanket made out of leafy branches, a roof made out of ‘braided branches’ or a second bunk, which is built a few metres above the nest!

orangutan nest Serge Wich
Credit: Serge Wich

Occasionally orangutans improve or reuse an old nest to use at night or during the day.  Day nests are usually built faster and simpler.

Trees mean shelter, food and freedom for orangutans. Help us save orangutans and their habitat before it’s too late. Restoring tropical forest isn’t easy but with your support, our conservation partners don’t have to do it alone.