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Wild Migration Projects

Wild Migration Projects is our programme to build the capacity of wildlife scientists, wildlife policy experts and non-governmental organisations in developing regions to utilise international processes for migratory and transboundary wildlife conservation.


Endangered Borneo orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) live now on the precarious margins of human society and may become extinct in Indonesia within the next two human generations.

Government management of logging, mining and the rapid spread of oil palm plantations is rapidly reducing orangutan habitat. Illegal hunting and trade is incentivizing the use of destructive and illegal practices. The loss of traditional resource access for Dayak communities is increasing poverty and forcing the abandonment of traditional communities and livelihoods. Unless rapid action is taken, Borneo orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) will become extinct in Indonesia within the next two human generations.

Orangutans survive only in the dwindling tropical rainforests of Borneo and northern Sumatra, being dependent on the forest for food and nesting sites. Orangutan populations are seriously affected when their forest are destroyed or logged by illegal logging for timber, pulp, paper and plywood; conversion to industrial timber and crop plantations, such as oil palm; mining; clearing for small-scale shifting cultivation; and fire. Trade in wood products and palm oil is largely driven by multinational networks based in Asia, Europe and North America. Illegal hunting and trade of Orangutan is also incentivizing the use of destructive and illegal practices by local communities. The impact of all these activities are equally devastating from the local Dayak communities of Borneo who are being pushed by the same economic forces to abandon their traditional communities and livelihoods.

The Bornean orangutan is classified as Endangered by the IUCN, indicating that it has a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

To conserve the priority populations of orangutans identified as crucial for the species’ survival, it is critical to tackle the loss of forest cover within their range. Although some major populations are found within the network of protected areas existing in Borneo, it is now well established that the vast majority of Bornean orangutans live outside protected forests. New mechanisms to ensure their long-term survival outside protected forests are urgently needed Indonesia has made international commitments to address the loss of wildlife and forest biodiversity issues under the CBD and REDD+, but there is significant conflict with powerful economic interests. Building the capacity of local civil society to make use of the policy pathways that these international agreements provide can ensure sustainable and perpetual support for the interests of local communities and the wildlife that surround them.

Wild Migration Programme Goal

Wild Migration strives for a future where at least one sub-population of Borneo orangutans in Kalimantan are secured and their numbers are gradually increasing. In delivering this goal we also seek to return traditional resource access to the Dayak community who lives in close association with this sub-population. We will use our policy and negotiation experience to pressure for change in government management practices that will then legally secure these traditional communities and their livelihoods, by containing the impact of logging, mining and oil palm plantations on orangutan habitat in this important region of Borneo.

Wild Migration Policy Target

Wild Migration will strategically work with local NGOs who have a close working connection to Dayak communities in Kaimantan to develop a model community-driven and designed Orangutan habitat conservation plan that addresses these concerns from the perspective of the local community living in close association with the Bornean orang-utan. Our approach will be to harness community knowledge, traditional wisdom and experience, connecting this effectively with the national and international policy pathways.

All Wild Migration Projects
Elephants in West Africa
Manatee in the Gambia River
Orangutans in Borneo
Marine species of the Solomon Sea
Polar bears in the Arctic Circle
Australian sea lions and marine noise
Increasing the role of NGOs in CMS and Ramsar

Wild Migration Projects contact details

RSD 426 Newland Service,
Via Kingscote, 5223, Australia
Phone: +618 8121 5841
Fax: +618 8125 5857
Email: projects[at]

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Wild Migration Relationships

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