The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, together with program partners, are saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations.
The mission of SAFE is to combine the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners to save animals from extinction.
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS.
The Orangutan SAFE (OSAFE) program focuses its efforts on a number of strategies both directly and indirectly supporting orangutan conservation.
From creating corridors between fragmented forest patches to extending outreach education efforts in school classrooms, the program and its partners are leading the way in a worldwide conservation movement to save the species.
OSAFE supports the CREATE (Corridor Restoration for Animals Threatened and Endangered) project, which carries out habitat restoration at the Lower Kinabatangan floodplains in Borneo, where flora and fauna (such as orangutans) are abundant but threatened by diminishing habitat. The CREATE team is responsible for tree planting work, conducting proper maintenance to increase the saplings survivability, monitoring the progress of the tree growth, and conducting surveys on the wildlife present on the reforestation sites. As of May 2021, 15,470 saplings have been planted, covering about 30 acres of riparian area, with the ultimate goal of restoring the fragmented forest in this area.
Anti-poaching & Trafficking Prevention
In partnership with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and the Orangutan Species Survival Program, OSAFE is committed to providing veterinarian and financial support to assist with orangutan confiscation and translocation to safe, viable areas using guidelines provided by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). OSAFE additionally supports Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project (GPOCP). which has a wildlife crime investigation unit. In collaboration with local authorities and citizens, GPOCP tracks and investigates cases of wildlife crime. And in conjugation with International Animal Rescue (IAR), confiscated orangutans are safely rescued and rehabilitated.
Community-based conservation programs are critical approaches to intersecting society with the fight in protecting natural resources and flora and fauna species. All field projects supported by OSAFE prioritize local community involvement in conservation efforts by championing for community empowerment through holistic conservation approaches, partnering with diverse stakeholders, creating income opportunities benefiting both the community and conservation efforts, capacity building, education and outreach, supporting the improvement of relevant legislation, and securing a future for wildlife by designing and implementing ways for people and wildlife to co-exist peacefully.
OSAFE supports the BOS (Borneo Orangutan Survival) Foundation, an Indonesian non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and reintroduces orangutans and other critical protected species (such as sun bears). BOSF works to obtain governmental permissions and approvals for reintroduction sites, translocation activities and post-release and translocation monitoring. As of today, 500 orangutans have been released and 27 wild born babies have been birthed from rehabilitated and reintroduced orangutan parents.
Our education efforts utilize public engagement to raise awareness and inspire meaningful, diverse, equitable, and inclusive actions. OSAFE works to combine the power of people and organizations around the world with the collective expertise of AZA members to save orangutans from extinction. These education initiatives raise awareness and foster empathy regarding the plight of orangutans while inspiring conservation action and providing tools and resources to empower people and organizations to take conservation action. Check out one of the many examples of our work, the I Heart Orangutans Toolkit, which features a variety of fun and educational activities that can be delivered at a zoo or at home, released every year around International Orangutan Awareness Day.
OSAFE raises funds to support orangutan conservation primarily through donations made by official AZA program partners.
Additionally, we host unique fundraising events, which have included functions such as an art auction in conjunction with International Orangutan Awareness Day. The funds from the auction, as well as other fundraising ventures, go directly toward supporting OSAFE’s conservation priorities.
Check out OSAFE's current field partners by selecting the logo links below.