When deciding what specific projects OFI Australia should support as part of our work, 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 proud to list some of OFI Australia’s achievements…
Saving the Habitat
- $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, an important part of our work.
- 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
The Reforestation Project
- Since the devastating forest fires of 2015, OFI Australia has continued to raise funds through an ongoing Reforestation Appeal. The funds enable Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) to employ and train local Indonesian staff to travel to remote forest areas to forage for seeds and seedlings from the forest. Seeds and seedlings of 19 different species of pioneering swamp and fruit bearing trees have been collected.
- A nursery to house the seedlings was constructed at the OFI Herbarium from locally sourced timber and netting. This nursery has the current capacity to house a total of 50,000 seedlings.
- Reforestation staff work at the OFI Herbarium to cultivate the seeds and seedlings of key plant species.
- This work continues … sourcing, planting and nurturing saplings and seeds, and when mature, replanting them in the burnt out area of The Orangutan Legacy Forest.
- From June to December 2018, the OFI reforestation team planted over 130,000 trees of 12+ species, including swamp and fruiting trees, in 8 different locations within The Orangutan Legacy Forest and OFI wildlife corridor.
- We are so happy to report that out of the over 350,000 trees that have now been planted since the inception of OFI’s Reforestation Project, there has been a survival rate of over 85% with some trees now over 2.5 metres tall.
OFI Care Centre and Quarantine
- Construction of new infant orangutan sleeping enclosures in the nursery section.
- Construction of steel enclosures for adult male 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 10,000-watt Generator to provide permanent electricity to the Care Centre, hospital and local village, in the case of the very regular power outages, along with the funds to build the shelter to house and “orangutan-proof” the generator.
- 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.
- Donation of X-Ray, ultrasound, autoclave and blood testing machines to the Care Centre Hospital, along with many other hospital supplies.
- Air conditioning for the Care Centre hospital.
- Vast amounts of vitamins and essential medical supplies are donated on a regular basis.
- 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.
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 provided 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, as well as funds to help complete construction of Montana’s Haha.
- Funds to construct a 2-hectare Haha (an area of forest surrounded by a dry moat and concrete wall) providing a large enclosed and safe space for the daily release of orangutans. This huge area will be used as a training ground to give rehabilitated orangutans the freedom to fine tune their forest skills and be assessed for permanent release.
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.