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This site provides in-depth information and resources for people dedicated to facilitating the reintroduction of orangutans to
their natural habitats.  Foremost, these pages are intended to aid professionals and researchers involved in conservation

management at orangutan rehabilitation sites and sanctuaries.  This web site belongs to Dr. Anne Russon.

Anne E. Russon is a Professor of Psychology

at Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Canada. 


Since 1989, she has been studying intelligence and learning in ex-captive Bornean orangutans rehabilitated

and released to free forest life.  Studies have been affiliated with orangutan projects in Tanjung Puting National

Park, Central Indonesian Borneo, and Orangutan Reintroduction Projects in East and Central Indonesian Borneo.

She has published numerous research and popular articles on orangutan intelligence, scholarly and popular

books on great ape intelligence. She has contributed to several documentaries on orangutans as scientific

advisor and participant.


She serves on advisory boards for several orangutan support organizations (Alchemy Films, Borneo Orangutan

Survival Foundation–Indonesia, the Orangutan Conservancy, Orangutan Network) and is the Executive Director

of the Borneo Orangutan Society ofCanada.


Publication list


Preview   Anne Russon's popular book, Orangutans:  Wizards of the Rainforest  






Orangutan water innovations.  New Scientist photo gallery on orangutan swimming, fishing, etc. (Mar. 19, 2010)

Even orangutans love a dog.  National Geographic video item, friendship knows no (species) bounds.....

Point for chimpsABC news video item, chimps outclass humans in the intelligence game.

Saving Sumatran orangutans:  see this CNN news item on rehabilitation, from Nov. 22, 2009

** Now available **:  All issues of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group newsletters and Primate Conservation have

been uploaded to the PSG website and are now available for download.  Click here for free open access.


IUCN Panduan Reintroduksi Kera Besar, 2007.  Click here to down load pdf


New evidence, unreported orangutan population  Sankulirang orangutans  (The Guardian, Apr 13)


From Cages to Conservation.  American Zoos: Inside Out

          click "listen" on the left menu to hear the whole documentary


The Whistling Orangutan


Orangutans:  Geographical Variation in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation. 

    Wich SA, Utami Atmoko SS, Mitra Setia T & van Schaik CP (ed.) (2009). 

    New York:  Oxford University Press. 


*  Synthesis of orangutan biology from all existing study sites, adopting a novel comparative approach.

*  Analysis and comparison of the latest data, developing a theoretical framework to explain demographic and

   behavioral variation.

*  Emphasis of the crucial impact of human settlement on orangutans and the future prospects for the survival

   of natural populations.

*  Contribution of top names in the field.


    Supplementary material:  All known orangutan foods, compiled from 15

    long-term research sites in Sumatra and Borneo


Orangutans Compared, a lecture by Dr. Serge Wich, presented by BOS Canada, Oct 28, 2008 (watch on youtube)

Recent genetic and morphological work suggests orangutans are not one species but two, with at least three

subspecies: Pongo abelii on Sumatra and Pongo pygmaeus on Borneo with three subspecies - P.p.

pygmaeus, P.p. wurmbii, and P.p. morio. Genetic data indicate that the two species diverged over 1,000,000

years ago and the three Bornean subspecies over 860,000 years ago. Possibly because of differences in fruit

availability on the two islands, the two species (and perhaps the subspecies) show several differences in

behavior and development. ranging. from density, to diet, interbirth intervals and culture. I will provide an

overview of these differences and attempt to provide a framework in which to understand them. I will also

discuss the conservation implications of these differences.

Dr. Wich has been studying orangutans in Sumatra since 1995 and in Borneo since 2003. Recently, he has

been studying orangutan cultures in two populations, one on Sumatra and one on Borneo, editing an

important book on orangutan differences across Borneo and Sumatra, and developing a new site to study the

southernmost orangutan population in Sumatra. He is a research scientist at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa.

Suhud, M. & Saleh, C. (2007).  Dampak Perubahan Iklim Terhadap Habitat Orangutan, Jakarta: WWF-Indonesia

            important report on the impact of climate change on orangutan habitat.  See also 



Government of Indonesia (2007).  Orangutan Action Plan 2007-2017 (in Indonesian) Check this out.  A communication forum for human-wildlife conflict issues providing: 

            innovative approaches to resolving conflicts, exchange of information between field projects, and a network among

            experts, managers,institutions and the people affected.  See also





Orangutan photos by:  Anne Russon

Site credits:

Last updated:  April 25, 2008