Orangutan Foundation International Australia
Orangutan Foundation International Australia’s (OFI Australia) mission is to support and continue the orangutan and forest conservation efforts initiated by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas in Kalimantan, Borneo. Dr Galdikas, who is Patron and a Board Member of OFIA, is an internationally renowned environmentalist, anthropologist and orangutan expert.
Our vision is to be a wildlife charity of choice for Australians.
- Trust, integrity and transparency.
- All species have the right to live safely and securely within their natural environment.
- People, animals and the environment are all interconnected.
- Commitment to sustainable conservation.
- Education and awareness will empower our supporters.
- The power-of-one to make positive change.
Our core campaigns
OFI Australia has two core campaigns; caring for orphaned and displaced orangutans at the OFI Care Centre & Quarantine in Pasir Panjang Village, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo; and, securing habitat for their future release.
OFI Care Centre & Quarantine
OFI currently care for over 340 displaced or orphaned orangutans at their Care Centre. That costs a hefty $1,000,000 a year to run. These orangutans have been orphaned due to the destruction of their habitat for palm oil plantations, illegal logging, & mining. Without the OFI Care Centre, these beautiful, gentle apes would be homeless and most likely dead. The Care Centre is a half-way house for orangutans, providing them with food, shelter, love and the skills they will need when they are old enough to be released back into the wild.
However, for that eventual release to be successful, land needs to be secured to ensure they have a safe place to live.
The Orangutan Legacy Forest
Through The Orangutan Legacy Forest project, OFI Australia aims to purchase, protect and replant forest habitat in Borneo that is vital to the orangutan’s survival – land which is protected from poachers, palm oil plantations, illegal loggers and miners, creating a large, protected and interconnected orangutan habitat ‘sanctuary’, keeping wild orangutans safe and creating this much needed sanctuary for the release of rehabilitated orangutans from the Care Centre.
The Orangutan Legacy Forest is part of a larger OFI plan to purchase and protect a network of parcels of primary and secondary lowland forest located between the one-million-acre+ Tanjung Puting National Park, the 188,000-acre Lamandau Reserve, and the 1,000-acre Pasir Panjang Village Forest, home to OFI’s Camp Rendell ‘soft-release’ facility. OFI envisions a province-wide system of contiguous, biologically intact nature reserves, parks, corridors, and protected areas, which together will help provide essential habitat to ensure the long-term conservation of the endangered orangutan in the region.
For the orangutans currently being cared for by OFI, the Orangutan Legacy Forest truly is ‘the promised land.’ Each month more orangutans arrive at the Care Centre where they enter OFI’s rehabilitation program.
Yet with so little protected forest remaining, and with many national parks off limits to ex-captive animals, this initiative offers a real and tangible future for those animals once they are ready to return to the wild.
It is important to celebrate our achievements and acknowledge the incredible support from our donors, corporate supporters, foster parents, volunteers and followers. Thanks to your extremely generous support OFI Australia has now raised over $1MILLION DOLLARS – an amazing effort!
When deciding what specific projects OFI Australia should fund or support, the OFI Australia Board are always guided by Dr Birute Mary Galdikas, Founder and President of Orangutan Foundation International. Dr Galdikas identifies priority projects based on the needs of OFI and the Orangutan Care Centre at the time. Once funding for a specific project has been agreed upon, a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) is drawn up and signed by both parties.
We are so so proud to list some of our achievements to date…
Orangutan Legacy Forest
- $250,000 contribution to enable the purchase of Rawa Kuno Village Forest, the initial milestone in creating the Orangutan Legacy Forest, thus preventing this precious land from being sold to a palm oil plantation company.
- The purchase of land to create essential forested wildlife corridors connecting parcels of land within the Orangutan Legacy Forest, thus creating a large protected and interconnected orangutan habitat ‘sanctuary’.
- Contribution to finalise the construction of the Kubu Village Forest moat to protect this land from illegal logging and wildlife poaching.
- Infrastructure funding which includes the construction of a house to accommodate rangers and security staff, patrol posts and orangutan feeding stations.
- Ongoing contribution towards the Orangutan Legacy Forest Reforestation appeal to help grow and replant over 2.5 million trees to replace the trees burned in the 2015 forest fires.
Orangutan Care Centre & Quarantine
- Construction of new infant orangutan sleeping enclosures in the nursery section.
- Construction of steel enclosures for male adult orangutans within the Care Centre.
- Construction of steel enclosures in the Care Centre Quarantine Section for orangutans being prepared for release back into the wild.
- Purchase of land to expand the OFI Care Centre, to protect forest school areas and stop encroaching housing developments.
- Purchase of a large truck equipped with two huge water bins and pressure pumps so it can be used as a “fire engine” during the next and future fire seasons. The truck is also used for a myriad of purposes including the delivery of fruit and other supplies. The best bit is that the truck fits two large adult male orangutan transport cages at a time so it can be used when translocating rescued orangutans and also for rehabilitated orangutan releases.
- Funding towards providing essential food and nourishment for orangutans.
- Funding for full-time care for special needs orangutan Hockey so she receives the quality of life she deserves including daily forest visits and the physiotherapy she needs.
- Donation of enrichment items such as nursery swings and Kong balls. Enrichment is a crucial part of caring for the physical and mental health of the orangutans.
- Funding contribution towards very successful life-changing surgery for rescued Malayan Sun Bear, Selina, to help improve her quality of life.
- Donation of an ultrasound machine and a blood testing machine to our Orangutan Care Centre Hospital.
- Vast amounts of nappies, vitamins and essential medical supplies have also been donated.
2015 Fire Appeal
- Purchase of crucial fire-fighting equipment including walkie talkies, water knapsacks hoses, buckets, masks, protective clothing and shoes.
- Building of two guard posts – one to replace a guard post lost in the fires and one to build a new guard post; and the rebuilding of lost feeding stations.
- Funds to prepare and equip OFI for future fire seasons.
- Funds to build a self-sufficient staff camp adjacent to Montana’s Haha to include a concrete house with four bedrooms, separate kitchen, water storage and tower, bore well, generator and solar power.
Tanjung Puting National Park
- Purchase of land to protect vital wildlife habitat corridors running along the Sekonyer River from being bought by palm oil plantations.
We simply cannot thank you enough for your support – we could not have achieved any of this without you.
On behalf of the orangutans of Borneo and all at OFI Australia, we extend our huge appreciation and sincere gratitude.
About Orangutan Foundation International
The mission of OFI is to support the conservation, protection, and understanding of orangutans and their rain forest habitat while caring for ex-captive orangutan orphans as they make their way back to the forest.
Established by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas and associates in 1986, OFI operates Camp Leakey, the orangutan research centre within Tanjung Puting National Park. OFI also manages the orangutan population within the national park, which includes supplying food to the feeding stations throughout the park, security patrols, research activities, veterinary care and fire protection. OFI also helps manage the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, where rehabilitated wild born ex-captive orangutans were released into the wild
OFI runs the Orangutan Care Centre & Quarantine facility in the Dayak village of Pasir Panjang near Pangkalan Bun, which is home to over 340 orphaned and displaced orangutans.
OFI is profoundly committed to the welfare of all orangutans, whether captive, ex-captive, or wild. OFI also supports research on orangutans and forests, education initiatives, both local and international, and brings awareness concerning orangutans wherever it can. Through its field programs, OFI also provides employment at these facilities for over 200 local Indonesians.
The top five priority issues OFI works on in Indonesia, particularly Kalimantan, include:
- Stopping illegal logging, mining, and forest conversion as well as trying to ameliorate the greatest threat of all, the establishment of palm oil plantations.
- Increasing sustainable economic alternatives for communities surrounding critical orangutan habitat
- Assuring sustained funding for long-term in-situ orangutan research vital for effective conservation efforts
- Educating the local public, politicians, and government agencies about the threat of palm oil and helping palm oil and pulp and paper companies establish zero tolerance policies on the killing, harming, and capturing of endangered species, especially orangutans, by training their managers and staff
- Releasing ex-captive orangutans into suitable, protected habitat so that they return to the wild.