The Orangutan Legacy Forest
The Orangutan Legacy Forest Region is a very special place, worthy of OFI’s hard work to ensure its permanent protection. Vast and biologically diverse, it includes ancient peat swamp forest, dry ground forest, secondary forest, swamps and lakes. Contiguous with other undeveloped rainforest fragments and far from human settlements, it is a perfect home for endangered orangutans.
More than two hundred wild orangutans (already forcibly evicted from much of their historical habitat by forest destruction) have found refuge in the Orangutan Legacy Forest region. Orangutan presence is readily visible within the peat swamp areas where the verdant forest canopy is festooned with orangutan sleeping nests. An exemplary Southeast Asian biodiversity hotspot, this forest is also home to sun bears, clouded leopards, wild pigs, mouse deer, rusa deer, long-tailed macaque monkeys, pig-tailed macaque monkeys, proboscis monkeys, red leaf-eating monkeys, and agile gibbons—some found nowhere else in the world.
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 our region.
Take a virtual tour of the Orangutan Legacy Forest
A Future Home for Rehabilitated Orangutans
As Borneo’s rainforests are cleared for palm oil plantations, orangutans are left homeless and vulnerable to starvation, disease, and predation by humans. Mother orangutans are killed and their infants fall victim to the cruel and illegal pet trade industry. If they are lucky, they eventually find their way to an orangutan rehabilitation facility, such as OFI’s Care Centre and Quarantine. For the 330+ orangutans currently being cared for by OFI, the Orangutan Legacy Forest truly is ‘the promised land’. Each month orphaned orangutans enter OFI’s rehabilitation program. Yet with so little protected forest remaining (and with many national parks off limits to ex-captive animals), it is extremely difficult to find suitable release sites for those ready to return to the wild.
OFI is working hard to change that by purchasing, protecting (via forest patrols), and replanting the region’s forestland. Portions of the Orangutan Legacy Forest damaged by devastating fires in 2002 and 2015 will be reforested through an aggressive, long-term tree planting projects carried out by OFI staff and volunteers in the years ahead.
This will transform existing open swampy grasslands back into lush tropical rainforests capable of supporting an expanded population of orangutans. A vast, wild, and fully reforested ecosystem, the Orangutan Legacy Forest will become home to many orphaned and rehabilitated orangutans, giving them a second chance to grow up and be wild.
A Unique Conservation Opportunity and a Special Fundraising Challenge
For OFI, the Orangutan Legacy Forest initiative is a race against time in a must-win battle against the powerful forces of wealthy and influential palm oil and timber industry leaders. Keenly aware that the vast majority of land sold by local landowners is converted to palm oil plantations or pulp and paper concessions, we have made a firm promise to our many stakeholders that we will purchase and protect critical orangutan habitat.
We need your help to continue “growing” the Orangutan Legacy Forest. Please donate to help us purchase, permanently protect and maintain more critical orangutan habitat, thus leaving a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren…and for the many wildlife species that depend on us for their survival.