A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
27th October 2011
Plans to make four new islands in northern Sumatra to accommodate orang-utans that are unable to be reintroduced into the wild have been announced
Dr Singleton – a UK conservationist who is behind the plans – believes the islands would free the sick or injured orang-utans from the life-long confinements of a cage. The islands will be specially designed to imitate the animal's natural habitat, with plenty of grass, shrubs and trees, and would allow the orang-utans to roam independently.
The procedure of securing the land is currently under-way. Local contractors will be employed to operate diggers carving up the ground in order to create moats thereby surrounding the land in water.
"Depending on the site, it shouldn't take us too long to create the islands, as long as the moats don't leak," Singleton told the Guardian. "The biggest challenge is finding the right land that has the right security and a water supply that isn't full of effluent."
Based in Sumatra since 2001, Singleton leads the country's Orangutan Conservation Programme and is funded by a Swiss NGO, PanEco. With the help of his team, he has successfully reintroduced more than 150 orang-utans into the wild over the past decade.
The project's principal aim is to protect and rehabilitate the captive orang-utans, although Singleton also hopes an education centre and guided walks will help improve the local population's understanding of these shy creatures.
The most serious threat to orang-utans is deforestation. In the last 20 years an estimated 80% of their habitat has disappeared, and only around 2% of what remains is legally protected. Listed as endangered, it is thought that approximately 65,000 orang-utans remain in the wild, limited to rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra.
"I fluctuate between cautiously optimistic (and) very pessimistic," Singleton added.
"One minute the government will say that it wants to protect the forest and then they will grant a permit to clear 15,000 hectares of forest. Very few people are prosecuted for keeping an orangutan as a pet."
Lake Toba and orang-utans in Sumatra | Destinations... More
Exploring Malaysian Borneo | Destinations... More
West Indonesia: Bali and beyond | Destinations... More
Volunteer on your career break | Advice... More
Don't miss our Borneo travel guide for advice on where and how to see orang-utans | Plan a trip... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Volunteer and conservation travel guide, including info on voluntourism, how to give back on your travels, how to get started with travel volunteering and more
Wildlife and safaris travel guide, including wildlife and safaris travel advice, where to go on safari in the world
Every spring and autumn, starlings take to the skies over southern Jutland – creating one of Denmark's finest natural spectacles
Vast and varied Virunga National Park is often off-limits due to conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But Martin Fletcher discovers that when it is open, some of Africa’s most magical moments are found inside
Home of over 10 million animals, tiny Kangaroo Island – 13km off the coast of southern Australia – is a thrilling conservation hot spot
These impressive organisations are leading the way in Thailand's sustainable tourism industry
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre opened to the public in January 2014 and has since been visited by Sir David Attenborough
Key states along the illegal ivory trade route have committed to a series of measures designed to protect Africa's 'vulnerable' elephant populations
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
25% discount on our 8 day Spring Hiking Trail in the West Fjords of Iceland
Save 5% on travel insurance with Insure & Go
First 50 brochure orders get free Shackleton book
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too