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Borneo and Sumatra Stories

Feri, a honey famer from Talang Mamek tribe in Thirty Hills, Sumatra

How sustainable honey helps a community and precious forest in Sumatra

The Talang Mamak have been harvesting honey and a host of other natural products from these forests, located in a region known as Thirty Hills, for generations. But they just began collaborating with a PT Alam Bukit 30 (ABT), a new business aiming to help them improve their production and profits--while also keeping the trees standing.
  • Orangutans in Sumatra learn to live in the wild

    August 17, 2018

    At the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, orangutans are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Rescued orangutans learn how to feed and fend for themselves in the lowland rainforests of central Sumatra—skills they never had the chance to pick up from their mothers.

    sumatran orangutan willy Neil Ever Osborne 3797
  • Legendary undercover investigators protect forests

    August 09, 2018

    The men in question can’t be named or pictured, because they’re undercover investigators for a deforestation watchdog group called Eyes on the Forest (EoF). And they’re routinely putting their safety on the line to protect Thirty Hills, one of the last great swaths of rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

    EoF1 Neil Ever Osborne WW257110
  • Conservation on the move

    February 07, 2018

    Through games. a mobile library, and a series of lessons, WWF's Mobile Education Unit helps students learn how to protect forests and prevent conflict with elephants and tigers. 

    children gathered for mobile education unit in Sumatra
  • Looking out for orangutans in Sumatra

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    Thanks to a groundbreaking agreement between a WWF-founded company and the residents of a rain forest village, Sumatran orangutan habitat is more secure than it was just a few years ago.
    orangutan spring2018
  • Protecting the elusive Sumatran rhino

    The Sumatran rhino is so rare and elusive that even the most senior of the rangers have never seen the animal in the wild. But just because you don’t see something doesn't mean it’s is not there.

    Sumatran rhino
  • New species of orangutan announced

    November 02, 2017

    A new great ape species—the Tapanuli orangutan—was officially announced by an international team of scientists today. With 800 or fewer individuals, the Tapanuli orangutan is the rarest of all great apes.

    Tapanuli orangutan
  • Borneo offers big adventure on a wild island

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    Borneo has suffered some of the greatest habitat destruction on Earth, but there are still pristine wilderness areas like this one left. Its magical forests rarely disappoint.
    herd of elephants
  • Arrival of baby orangutan is a symbol of hope for conservation in Sumatra

    November 30, 2016

    One of the last great stands of rain forest in the deforestation hotspot of the Indonesian island of Sumatra has welcomed an exciting new addition: a baby female orangutan. The infant is the first orangutan born in the Thirty Hills conservation concession since WWF and its partners began managing the 100,000-acre forest in 2015.

    Orangutan Violet with her newborn baby
  • Endangered species threatened by unsustainable palm oil production

    The world’s most popular vegetable oil—palm oil—is produced in tropical rain forests everywhere. While it can be produced sustainably, palm oil made with conventional production methods can lead to unchecked agricultural expansion that threatens forests and wildlife.

    orangutan
  • Saving Thirty Hills

    August 12, 2015

    The Indonesian island of Sumatra—one of the most biodiverse places on the planet—has lost more than half of its forest cover in the last thirty years. But there are stands of amazing, still-intact forest in Sumatra, and Thirty Hills is one of them.

    Thirty Hills, Sumatra
  • 11 of the world’s most threatened forests

    April 27, 2015

    The Amazon, central Africa, the Mekong. These are home to some of the world’s most species-rich, culturally significant and stunningly beautiful forests. But large swaths of these forests, and many others around the world, may not be there in 15 years if we don’t do more to save them.

    miombo woodlands
  • Learning to Live in Harmony with Asian Elephants

    August 12, 2014

    WWF works in a number of countries in Asia to prevent and mitigate human-elephant conflict. In addition to monitoring elephant movement to understand where they travel, what they encounter and their habits as they pertain to crop raiding, we help communities employ a variety of methods to keep elephants out of human settlements and safe in the wild.

    elephant patrol
  • Elephant Flying Squad Calf Turns One

    August 07, 2014

    We’re celebrating a year since Betino’s birth at the Flying Squad in Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo National Park! This lively little female calf was born on Aug. 9, 2013, to a critically endangered Sumatran elephant trained to help reduce human-elephant conflicts.

    betino turns one
  • Can Indonesia's Notorious Deforesters Turn Over a New Leaf?

    February 06, 2014

     Just over a week ago, the second-largest pulp and paper manufacturer, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) announced a change of practices and new conservation initiatives.

    drainage canal
  • Understanding the Plight of the Sumatran Rhino

    October 10, 2013

    With possibly as few as 100 animals left in a handful of small, isolated populations, the Sumatran rhino is arguably one of —if not the most— threatened large mammal in the world. 

    Sumatran Rhino
  • Protecting Elephant, Tiger and Orangutan Habitat in Sumatra

    September 12, 2013

    Every minute on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, five football fields of rain forest are cleared for timber and replaced with pulpwood, rubber and palm oil plantations.

    orangutan with baby
  • Illegal Palm Oil Plantations Threaten Protected Forests

    June 26, 2013

    Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo National Park is one of the last safe havens for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and Sumatran tigers. But many of these forests have been cleared to develop palm oil plantations and meet worldwide demand for pulp and paper. 

    truck carrying away palm oil plant in tesso nilo forest
  • In Borneo's Forests, Impacts and Opportunities

    June 03, 2013

    WWF is working to reduce deforestation in Borneo through promoting Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of wood and paper products.

    Borneo orangutan
  • Protecting a Turtle Paradise in Indonesia

    May 21, 2013

    The biggest threat to the turtles in Indonesia has been the decades of egg poaching by locals, who can turn a high profit from illegal trade across the border with Malaysia.

    Turtle release in borneo
  • Honey that Helps People and Orangutans

    In Indonesia’s Danau Sentarum National Park on the lush island of Borneo, critically endangered orangutans share the peat swamp forests with local human residents. But the orangutan populations have dropped by over 50 percent during the past 60 years, in part from poaching, and also because of habitat destruction from illegal and unsustainable forestry.

    Bornean orangutan
  • Communities Find a Voice through Photography

    July 23, 2012

    A new program lets local villagers in Indonesia use photography to capture remarkable scenes of the natural world.

    Wrinkled hornbills are often found on the banks of the Kapuas River.
  • The Story of Baim, a Rescued Baby Orangutan

    February 01, 2012

    Baby orangutan lost in the forest of Borneo is brought to safety.

    Biam