Tag: Go Orange for Orangutans
In 2016, scientists officially announced Bornean orangutans as ‘Critically Endangered’, making the birth at the zoo extra special. Chester Zoo plays a vital role in helping save wildlife from extinction through conservation breeding programmes; which are becoming more and more important in the survival of threatened species.
Chester Zoo’s curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:
“Bornean orangutan numbers are plummeting at a frightening rate. A major threat to the survival of these magnificent creatures is the unsustainable oil palm industry which is having a devastating effect on the forests where they live. They are also the victims of habitat loss and illegal hunting.
“Those who are responsible for their decline have pushed them to the very edge of existence – and if the rate of loss continues, they could very well be extinct in the next few decades.
It’s therefore absolutely vital that we have a sustainable population of Bornean orangutans in zoos and every addition to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme is so, so important.
“It’s also imperative that we continue to tackle the excessive deforestation in Borneo and show people everywhere that they too can make a difference to the long-term survival of orangutans. Simple everyday choices, such as making sure your product purchases from the supermarket contain only sustainably sourced palm oil, can have a massive impact.”
It has been proven that the number of Bornean orangutans will decline by about 80% between 1950 and 2025. To put that into perspective – an 80% decline is like losing four out of five people you know! Over the past 40 years, a total of 17.7million hectares of forest has been destroyed in Borneo, mainly due to make way for oil palm plantations. Half of which used to be prime orangutan habitat.
It’s predicted that a further 15 million hectares of forest will be cleared and converted to plantations by 2025! This isn’t the only threat this incredible species is facing; it’s being hunted for its meat and to stop crops from being raided.
We’ve been working with our partners, HUTAN – Kinabatangan orangutan conservation programme for over 10 years to protect the forests and wildlife of the Kinabatangan region of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Our partnership has grown over the years and despite the challenges that remain in the field, we continue to work hard to help make a difference.
We won’t stand back; now is the time to act for orangutans.
Dan Bentley ran 14 events to raise funds for ape conservation. Here he tells us what made him run for wildlife and how his Nan’s inspiring words kept him going. Why walk when you can run?
‘Over the past year I’ve been running quite a bit…
I launched a campaign called ‘Great Runs For Great Apes’ in late 2015 with the aim to motivate myself to run over winter, possibly inspire some other human apes and raise a few quid along the way for something I ape-solutely love.
I couldn’t decide which charity to go with so I split 50/50 with The Aspinall Foundation, and Act for Wildlife led by Chester Zoo – both awesome. These charities have been really supportive by sending me good lucks before and thank yous after every event and I really recommend running and raising for them. Thanks Donna and Hannah.
Why apes? Apes are ace.
Running is also ace. It will change your life. Some of these events really picked me apart. Probably a bit silly to run a half marathon, 50 mile ultra and a couple of marathons within the final month, but having £1000 as my target I needed to do try and do something impressive to try and reach that.’
‘Kindly supported by everyone at Dockside Runners, Saturday Morning Jog Club, friends and family we managed to get the target in donapetions! YESSSS! Thanks to you I’ve raised a final total of £1,567.77 ! ! !
Nan was giving her famous iron-fist to cancer at 89 years young earlier this year and together we had planned in a few events that she was going to recover and be at the finish line for. Within the last month of her life I was helping her down the stairs for the very first, and last time. We took one step at a time, quick breather, next step, little break, next step. Nan being proud Nan got fed up and decided to try and take two steps, left and then right… falls backwards onto her bum and chuckles. Telling her again to take her time she shrugs it off and replied, “Why walk when you can run?” Stuck with me, that. Some events listed below Nan paid for, and I wish she could’ve made the finish line, but she was truly there in spirit at every one and in every hard step.
I am proud of myself doing Great Runs For Great Apes, and I couldn’t thank you all enough. 100% of the raised money will contribute towards a positive change in the lives of great apes and the support has positively changed mine. There is so much more to running around the block than you might think…’
Dan’s achievement in the name of great ape conservation is incredible.
Join Team Act for Wildlife today and find out what you can achieve.
Dan’s Great Runs For Great Apes included:
Whistle Stop Tour of Wirral / Sept 11th, 12th
Wirral Half Marathon (part of Whistle Stop) / Sept 13th
Chester Marathon / Oct 4th
HellRunner Half Marathon / Oct 17th
RunTheRed Half Marathon / Dec 23rd
Parbold Hill race / Feb 13th
Liverpool Half Marathon / March 13th
Canalathon 50k / March 27th
Port Sunlight 10k / May 15th
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge / Aug 21st
The Great North Run / Sept 11th
Ladybower 50 miler / Sept 18th
Chester Marathon / Oct 2nd
York Marathon / Oct 9th
A huge THANK YOU to Dan and everyone who supported his Great Runs for Great Apes!
We want to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has been taking part in Go Orange for Orangutans this year.
In the name of great apes, you got off to an energetic start! From 100ft abseils to running marathons, we saw Go Orange get active at the start of October. And it’s not just been the physical challenges; Go Orange brain teasers have been popular too. Reaseheath Conservation Society held an orangutan-inspired quiz, scoring them a hat trick of going orange for three years in a row. Thank you!
Meanwhile, Clare Mount Specialist Sports College have been cooking up a treat with their Go Orange bake off.
£340 raised for orangutan conservation and a beautiful poem too (see below). A great job again this year!
Orangutan by Class 7C
Kind brown eyes.
A tree dweller,
Large in size.
Picking fruit to eat,
Making a nest to sleep.
Harming no one,
Their homes almost gone.
Deforestation must stop,
Before it’s too late.
They never hurt us.
We should not hurt them.
Caterpillar Music’s Go Orange was fun-filled, including a raffle and everyone in orange of course. Engaging the little conservationists of the future, their grand total is set to be over £170. Well done!
“We’ve had a great few days going orange! I think I can speak for us all when I say what a wonderful fun time we have all had this week. We had a fantastic turn out – 99 little ones!” – Tracey Moretta, Caterpillar Music Ellesmere Port
Don’t worry if you haven’t planned your Go Orange day yet, there’s still plenty of time to get involved. And we’re here to help!
If you’re ready to submit the funds that you’ve raised, it’s usually easiest to either make the donation online or send a cheque to ‘Act for Wildlife’ in the post to: Go Orange, Development Office, Chester Zoo, Upton, Chester, CH2 1LH.
SCHOOLS! Don’t forget, if you get your funds in by 30 November 2015 you have the chance to win one of our prizes for top primary school and top secondary school.
Thank you to everyone for getting involved in Go Orange for Orangutans! 100% of funds raised will go directly to orangutan conservation in the wild.
Felicity Oram, programme advisor and PhD student with the orangutan research unit of our project partners – Hutan, sent us the below message following the birth of our Sumatran orangutan at Chester Zoo. We’re currently supporting Felicity with her research around accurately ageing orangutans.
“Sending best wishes from all the orangutan team here to the orangutan team on the arrival of Subis’ new baby! By the way of a birthday card I’m sending a recent photo taken of Manja with her first born daughter Mamai…
“Mamai has just turned one year old. The photo was captured so wonderfully by Mohd. Daisah Kapar and represents a great spirit of hope for us. Manja essentially grew up with our project, so in this sense, the birth of Mamai is the first ‘second generation’ of sorts – an orangutan that grew up over the past 17 – 18 years with observers from the field team.
“It is also our first opportunity to witness how a first time mum copes in the wild in our study site. Manja is doing a great job as is evident by the healthy and relaxed baby you can see in the photo.
“We hopefully will also have some genetic results soon to confirm just how close a relative she is to Jenny, our ‘matriarch’ and wild Bornean parallel of sorts to Chester Zoo’s Subis!
Our new arrival has been named Siska, after Indonesian vet Siska Sulistyo who has spent the past three months working at the zoo. Read more about her visit here. The six week old orangutan was named after our guest as she was the first one to spot her with her mum Subis.
Back in August, you may remember we asked for all budding artists to help us with a sculpture our artist in residence was creating to help us raise awareness of the impact palm oil is having on wildlife. This is just a part of our Palm Oil Challenge campaign.
Visitors taking part in craft activities at Chester Zoo in August
Thank you to all who took part. If you missed taking part in summer, we have another opportunity for you to get involved this October half term (Mon 26 – Fri 30, between 1-4pm): find out more here.
With your help, Angela Sidwell (the artist) aims to highlight the conservation issue and how the demand for this plant is impacting wildlife. Angela tells us a little more about how the creative workshops at the zoo went:
“I spent three days at Chester Zoo in my ‘mini studio’ developing ideas for sculptures I’m making for Chester Zoo – which will be exploring themes around the production of palm oil, loss of habitat and also the promotion of sustainable palm oil.
“It was a great opportunity to immerse myself in the project, work with zoo staff, meet visitors to talk about the project and of course be surrounded by the most amazing animals!
“I already had some ideas for the sculptures I intend to make for the project which I had drawn on paper. Being at the zoo enabled me to work through these ideas by making maquettes (small scale models) based on my drawings, whilst talking to staff and visitors, some of whom helped to create the models. We worked with clay and packaging taken from products that contain sustainable palm oil.
“The next stage is to work from these models to create large scale sculptures that will be on public display at the zoo for several months. These will be made predominantly with recycled packaging and fabrics and will feature Orangutans, an emerging palm oil plantation and a deforested area.”
Not only has Angela been working with Chester Zoo’s visitors to create this piece of artwork, she has visited a number of schools with our safari rangers.
Carrie Littlehales, one of our safari rangers, tells us more about the Palm Oil Art school visits, below:
“The first school visit for our palm oil art day was at St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School. I visited all the classes to help them create a palm leaf craft. Each student can take the leaf home, which has the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) logo on it.
“Whilst I was going around the school, many of the students said ‘Hi Carrie!’ as I’d been to visit two weeks before, explaining what palm oil was and asking them to collect palm oil packaging for the sculpture that was being made at their school on this art day.
“Angela was getting a number of students from the school to help her make the sculpture. These students seemed to enjoy getting messy!
“Everyone loved their palm leaf – some made it into a fan, some a bracelet and even a hat! All were pleased they could take them home to show their families and tell them about palm oil. It’s been a great success!”
Mini orangutan sculpture
We also have a couple of informal chats taking place at the zoo. These talks provide you with the chance to meet Chester Zoo staff members and learn more about our Palm Oil Challenge, how we’re leading the way for zoos with this campaign and the work we’re doing out in the field to protect orangutans. We look forward to seeing you there!
Talk one: Sustainable Palm Oil Challenge – meet the conservation officer (Mon 19th October, 2.30pm at Jaguar coffee house)
Talk two: Sustainable Palm Oil Challenge – meet the vets (Thu 22ndOctober, 2.30pm at Jaguar coffee house)
With over 200 of you getting ready to Go Orange for Orangutans this October, we’ve already heard some great fundraising stories from you.
We know many of you have been busy going orange or getting your great ape plans in place.
Thank you all for getting involved!
Oakwood Avenue Community Primary School was the very first school to Go Orange this year. Year One organised a Go Orange fair during their ‘Make a Difference’ week with wristbands and a bake sale, to raise a grand total of £346.05! This is enough to plant and nurture 34 new trees in the Bornean rainforest or keep a wildlife warden in action for over three weeks in Sumatra.
Here are Oakwood Avenue pupils looking suitably proud of their fantastic achievement:
After a successful sponsored silence, 8-year-old Olivia McCabe went on to do her first ever outdoor climb and abseil reaching 100ft to raise £377 for orangutans.
Here’s Olivia, along with Abigail Briggs and Dan Bentley who have each set themselves different challenges for the great orange ape, including the Leeds Primal Stampede and Chester Marathon!
However you choose to Go Orange for Orangutans, we’re here to help you all the way! We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned. Keep in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or social media via Twitter,Facebook or Instagram.
It’s not too late to join Go Orange for Orangutans – register now for your FREE fundraising pack and more!
Orangutans are one of the flagship species that we are working to protect at Chester Zoo. Not only do we support and participate in hands-on field conservation activities, like building rope bridges in Borneo, but we also support education programmes, such as the one being run in the Batang Toru forest of Sumatra.
The project is being run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project (SOCP) and focuses on protecting the last remaining habitat of this genetically unique population of orangutan, with education playing an important part to raise awareness amongst the surrounding communities.
The forest itself consists of roughly 136,000 hectares of primary forest which is thought to be home to a population of 400 to 600 critically endangered Sumatran orangutans.
The local name for the orangutans found in the Batang Toru forest is ‘Juhut Bottar’ which literally translates to ‘white meat’. Seemingly little details such as this give us a small insight into the perception of orangutans amongst the local people. Through school visits, field excursions with school children, church collaboration and distribution of awareness materials in public spaces and at public events, the project aims to raise environmental awareness and change perceptions. Hunting is just one of the problems that the orangutans of the Batang Toru forest face.
Deforestation and environmental exploitation are also jeopardising the survival of these important populations. As such, the project focuses on the conservation of the orangutans habitat.
Last year was an extremely productive year for the project with two new school partnerships, allowing the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project to help with development of an environmental curriculum. Furthermore, awareness and education work was executed in many schools near the forest edges and an environmental education book was finalised in collaboration with the church – the first of its kind in the local language of Nias islanders, landless immigrants that threaten the forest by opening up new areas for agriculture.
The project continues to develop this year and Chester Zoo are very proud to be involved.
You can help us to continue our work with projects like the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project. Together we can protect these amazing animals and stop them from going extinct.
Make a donation by either texting ‘ORNG15 £3′ to 70070 to donate £3 to Act for Wildlife through JustTextGiving* or make an online donation here. 100% of your donation will go directly to help orangutans.
We also have some free learning resources available for schools to download to help your school get involved in Go Orange for Orangutans. There’s plenty of ways in which you can get involved and help protect orangutans.
*Our Text to Donate service is delivered through Just Giving. Texts are charged at your mobile phone operator’s standard rate. We will receive 100% of your donation. You MUST be 16 or over and must have the bill payer’s permission. For full Terms of Service please visit Just Giving.
Last year’s Go Orange for Orangutans campaign raised a magnificent £19,150 to plant 1,950 trees in Borneo by HUTAN, our partners working on the frontline of orangutan conservation.
Your support and donations really do help us to make a difference!
So, we asked Dr Marc Ancrenaz, co-director of HUTAN – Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project (KOCP), to update us on how your support is helping orangutans in the wild.
“The KOCP Tree Planting Unit is working hard to rehabilitate several areas in the Lower Kinabatangan. The forest in these areas has been destroyed either by logging or for illegal palm oil development.
“The team chooses only areas where natural forest regeneration doesn’t happen, either because the soil is too compacted or because creepers entangle the young treelets and suffocates them.
Trees planted in 2010 at one of the planting sites. This place was completely opened up all the way to the river illegally and was cutting off two patches of forest. Today a continuous corridor of trees, allow for safe dispersal by orangutans, proboscis monkeys and many other species, has been re-established. Photo credit: HUTAN
“Other threats jeopardize the survival of the seedlings: insects and caterpillars, rodents, wild boars or deer, etc. In order to ensure a better survival rate, the team monitors and maintains the plots every few weeks. This work is very demanding in terms of efforts and time, but it is necessary to achieve a survival rate that is more than 80% after three years of maintenance.
“After three years, we stop maintaining the sites where some of the treelets are already more than five meters high. At this stage the main threat is elephants; when they pull or push down some of our planted trees.
“The year 2015 has been very dry to date, with very little rain from February to May. Consequently nearly half of the young seedlings that were planted since the beginning of the year died already. The team is currently replacing these seedlings with new ones.
A member of the planting team shows a young seedling planted in 2014 at the Avicess plot. We see the palms behind the trees that provide some shade and protection cover to the seedlings. Photo credit: HUTAN
“This year, some of the trees that were planted in the past by our team started to produce fruits: ficus tree, mallotus, payung payung, dillenia, etc. We have seen an afflux of trees, squirrels, monkeys and other fruit eater species during period of fructification in these plots. Orangutans started to roam in these plots as well, but no nests have been identified in our plot yet. Maybe next year…?
The planting team on the way to the planting sites. Photo credit: HUTAN
“The funding allocated by Go Orange has been used to restore a 30 acre plot that had been illegally planted with oil palms in the past. So far nearly 10,000 seedlings from about 30 species have been planted here.
“The team monitors the growth and the survival rate of all these seedlings in order to determine what species grow better in this type of soil and tree cover conditions. We found out that removing the palms is not necessary for the seedlings to grow. In the contrary, mature palms provide some shade that benefit the seedlings and make them more resistant to dry periods.
The team assessing the overall health of this seedling through a pre-established scoring system. Photo credit: HUTAN
“The results are analyzed every year. This information is used to issue recommendations for forest restoration initiatives that are currently undertaken in Kinabatangan and in other areas that were encroached by the oil palm industry and other types of human activities.
A young strangling fig tree that is growing out from a mature palm. Strangling figs are keystone species in Kinabatangan and their fruits sustain a wide diversity and abundance of species. Mature palms can offer efficient support that will allow these strangling figs to grow faster and better in the plots. Photo credit: HUTAN
“The work of the Reforestation team is an eye opener for many about the value of the forest. Throughout the year, the team welcomes school children who can plant their own trees in order for them to become more aware about the importance of trees in our lives.
A seedling planted this year – mature palms are visible in the back of the picture. Photo credit: HUTAN
“Last June, we also welcome two groups of students from the American-based Dragonfly programme. One of these students wrote the following:
“After speaking with many of the other Dragonfly students, it became clear that amongst all of the amazing experiences we had while traveling, many people felt most moved, motivated, and inspired by planting a tree in the rainforest. It seems this ‘simple’ act has permanently impacted their lives and really energized their desire to do more for orangutan conservation efforts. I myself even wrote about working with the Reforestation Unit as the most impactful moment of my trip and I still smile when I think about the trees I planted being watched over by such a dedicated group of women in hopes that they will someday support orangutans and much of the other amazing biodiversity in the area.”
This really captures what the KOCP Reforestation team is trying to achieve through their hard work: inspiring people to care more about trees and their environment!
Let’s beat last year’s fundraising efforts and reach £50,000 for orangutan conservation! It’s time to Go Orange for Orangutans!
Can you believe it’s been nearly two months since we celebrated International Orangutan Day? One day is just not enough for us, so we’re celebrating all things orangutan throughout the whole of October!
It’s time to Go Orange for Orangutans!
The campaign, which is in its third year, raises money to help save the magnificent orangutan and its forest home. We managed to raise an amazing £19,500 last year thanks to your fantastic support.
This year we’ve raised the target to £50,000!
Despite the fact that orangutans are our closest relatives – we share over 96% DNA with them – we’re destroying their homes. Their numbers are falling fast and we’re at risk of losing them forever. But we can ALL do something to help.
It’s really easy to Go Orange for Orangutans – just pick a day and choose your way to ‘Go Orange’, and donate what you can. We’ve put together aFREE fundraising and information pack to help you get started or you canregister here and we’ll get in touch – we’ll support you all the way!
Don’t forget to share your orange activities with us – we’d love to see what you’re up to. And you could even help inspire others to Go Orange by sharing your story.
If you’re fundraising at your school, check out these free learning resources especially designed for you. Plus you could win one of our fantastic prizes as the primary or secondary school to raise the most – just make sure you get your donations to us by 30th November 2015.
Can’t wait to Go Orange? Make a donation by either texting ‘ORNG15 £3′ to 70070 to donate £3 to Act for Wildlife through JustTextGiving* or make anonline donation here.
100% of your donation will go directly to help this unique and endangered animal in the wild.
Don’t forget to spread the word too – the more people we get behind the campaign the more orangutans we’ll be able to save. So join us on Twitter,Facebook or Instagram (#GoOrange4Orangutans) and share our updates with friends and family to help raise awareness. One small act can make a BIG difference!
Keep an eye on our blog throughout October to learn how the money we raise is helping to save orangutans in the wild. We will share an update from our partners Hutan – who have been busy planting the 1,950 tree you raised funds for during last year’s campaign. You’ll find out what they’ve been up to over the past 12 months, as well as hearing more from our Chester Zoo staff and the work they’re doing to help protect orangutans in the wild.
So, let’s Go Orange!
*Our Text to Donate service is delivered through Just Giving. Texts are charged at your mobile phone operator’s standard rate. We will receive 100% of your donation. You MUST be 16 or over and must have the bill payer’s permission. For full Terms of Service please visit Just Giving.
In our last blog we introduced you to Steve Unwin, veterinary officer at Chester Zoo. Steve is part of an in-house team of vets and nurses that provide clinical care to the animals at the zoo. In addition to this the team support some of our field conservation projects and are also committed to sharing their skills and training other organisations based here in the UK and overseas.
One of the projects Steve is involved in is working towards becoming a major force in shaping conservation medicine work across Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Orangutan Conservancy – Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group (OC/OVAG) is a network of experts working in orangutan conservation. Initiated by Orangutan Conservancy and supported by Chester Zoo, the group aims to bring together those working with orangutans in order to share expertise, knowledge and the exchanging of ideas to move forwards with effective orangutan conservation.
Communication between conservationists and scientists is crucial to moving forwards with orangutan conservation. The many projects working to protect this endangered animal are doing an amazing job and to strengthen their work, contact between field projects, sanctuaries, zoos, academia and government in a range of countries is crucial in moving forwards.
The veterinary staff members involved in OC/OVAG are at the frontline of addressing the welfare and conservation needs of orangutans and other wildlife. Enhancing their knowledge and skills will help them to ensure the best outcome for each individual animal.
Today OC/OVAG places tremendous emphasis on the animal health standards in orangutan projects and provides a service ensuring that staff are fully trained with the most modern and effective techniques.
It is vital that we work together as an international community to prevent the only great ape found outside of Africa from disappearing. By continuing to broaden collaborations in-situ and ex-situ, OC/OVAG members and affiliates are contributing to the orangutan species’ longevity and well-being.
This year, through the project, Chester Zoo is providing expert training on disease investigation techniques and an understanding of conservation management on a global scale for two members of OC/OVAG. This programme is an additional tool to empower the participants to take the lead in conservation medicine in their own country.
This will result in an increase in the number of wild orangutans able to be released through immediate and appropriate conservation management, medical treatment and rehabilitative care. The two members that will be spending three months in the UK are Winny Pramesywari from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project and Siska Sulistyo from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
Steve Unwin, Chester Zoo vet, with Siska Sulistyo at a previous OVAG workshop
They will also work with other organisations to enhance their skills and knowledge across a range of disciplines – including primate husbandry and health, conservation management, disease risk analysis, marketing, fundraising and social media – which they can then take back and practice in order to improve the work they’re doing in their day to day jobs.