Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme

To develop and implement innovative solutions to conserve orang-utans, elephants and other iconic species in Malaysia


HUTAN is a grassroot non-profit organisation that was initially created to administer the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project, with a special aim of studying to which extent orang-utans could survive in degraded forests in Sabah (Borneo, Malaysia). Since 1998, we are developing and implementing innovative solutions to conserve orang-utans, elephants and other iconic species found in the forests of the State. Over the years, we have developed a holistic approach combining scientific research, community engagement, education and capacity building.


The objectives of the project are:


  • Enhanced scientific knowledge of orang-utan and elephant ecology and conservation status (current populations and area of viable habitat in Sabah are maintained and connected).
  • 100% of the Sabahan orang-utans and elephants live within protected forests or in secure and sustainably managed forests.
  • Improved policy framework for wildlife management within and outside of protected areas.
  • Reduced level of human–wildlife conflicts (especially elephants and orang-utans).
  • Enhanced community engagement in the conservation of the orang-utan and its habitat.
  • Economic development in Kinabatangan and other key areas is compatible with the conservation of orang-utans and elephants.


WAZA Conservation Project 11005 is implemented by HUTAN, with support provided by Apenheul Zoo, Chester Zoo, Cheyenne Zoo, Cleveland Zoological Society, Columbus Zoo, Houston Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Pittsburgh Zoo, Saint Louis Zoo, Hogle Zoo Utah, Zoo la Palmyre, Zoo Parc de Beauval and Zoos Victoria. Other stakeholders involved in the project include Sabah State Government agencies, Danau Girang Field Centre (University of Cardiff and Sabah Wildlife Department), University of Indiana, Danum Valley Field Centre (Royal Society of Great Britain), Land Empowerment Animals People, Partners for Community, GRASP, IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group – Section on Great Apes and Ape Alliance.




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