As farmlands continue to expand into forests, conflict between farmers and orangutans is increasing. The Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) are the only active orangutan rescue team in Sumatra, and are working to turn this situation around.
Large areas of orangutan habitat have been lost or degraded due to agriculture and logging. As a result, the apes are pushed into the areas where forest and farmlands meet. With natural food hard to find, crop raiding - a key cause of conflict - becomes increasingly likely.
Human-orangutan conflict (HOC) is bad news for both sides. For the farmers, raided or damaged crops can have a real impact on income. But for orangutans, the outcome can be catastrophic. These charismatic animals, which need to roam to find food, are exposed to higher levels of hunting and poaching. As a critically endangered species, these are risks the Sumatran orangutan could well do without. The rescue team are regularly involved in frontline protection operations -
- evacuating orangutans from condemned forests that are being torn down by bulldozers and releasing them into safe habitat;
- translocating orangutans that are trapped in isolated fragments of forest surrounded by farmlands, that are at risk of starvation or being attacked in retaliation for crop-raiding;
- confiscating orphan orangutans from the illegal pet trade.
As a critically endangered species, every life is precious. Please help the team continue their vital work to reach more orangutans in danger.