This International Day for Biological Diversity, be #PartOfThePlan! - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society

This International Day for Biological Diversity, be #PartOfThePlan!

On 22 May we celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity, where we’re calling on everyone - from governments and local communities to individuals - to show how they’re being ‘part of the plan’ to protect and increase biodiversity around the world.

An orangutan in a tree. Text overlaid reads 'Orangutans: #PartOfThePlan #BiodiversityDay

Biodiversity is integral to all our conservation work – it’s never ‘just about the orangutans’! Wild orangutans need healthy rainforest homes in order to thrive, and this means keeping rainforests healthy, vibrant and full of life. Biodiversity is essential here!

Photos of plants Balanophora sp and Anggrek Macodes sp

Just two of the species of plant found on a recent biodiversity survey of a reforested area.

Rainforests are vast networks of thousands, even millions, of different species whose activities come to mutually support a thriving ecosystem. All of them are needed, and all have a part to play in making a forest that can support all sorts of animals and plants, not to mention the local communities who rely on them.

Rainforest ecosystems rely on connectivity. Species must be able to move around within, and between, them in order to play their part. If they can’t do this, the forest can become compromised. The more rainforests become fragmented, the harder it is for their ecosystems to stay healthy. This makes it harder for species, especially larger ones like orangutans, to thrive.

A rope bridge is installed across a stretch of road in the rainforest

Team members from Vertical Rescue Indonesia and TaHuKah install a canopy bridge to keep the rainforest connected.

This is why we and our frontline partners do the work we do. By protecting, connecting and restoring vital parts of the rainforest, we can be part of the plan to increase biodiversity. By working with local communities and government to build solutions that benefit people as well as nature, we ensure these solutions will be lasting.

And orangutans themselves are be #PartOfThePlan! As the ‘gardeners of the rainforest’, they play an important part in ensuring that the rainforests of Sumatra stay biodiverse.

Orangutans are a ‘keystone species’. This term describes species whose impact on their local ecosystem makes a great impact. Other keystone species in rainforests include elephants and tigers. The interactions they have with other animals and plants can create a cascade of positive effects, keeping their ecosystem healthy and thriving.

And orangutan mother in a nest, with a younger orangutan hanging in a tree nearby. Copyright Suzi Eszterhas

An orangutan beds down in a nest it’s just made.

Here are some of the ways orangutans support biodiversity:

Orangutans build a new nest every day. This creates holes in the forest canopy, letting light reach lower vegetation. This keeps the forest plant life diverse, and ensures younger trees can take the place of older trees as they die.

Orangutans also spread seeds around the forest – when they eat fruits, they carry the seeds with them and then disperse them in their dung. This helps create a mix of plants, fertilises the soil, and, by helping plants to migrate, makes the forest more resilient to climate change.

They also eat bugs and mushrooms, helping to keep the food chain in check!

How’s that for being #PartOfThePlan?!

You can be Part of the Plan too!

All of the work we and our frontline partners do is made possible through your support – please donate to protect wild orangutans and their rainforest homes.

An adult sumatran orangutan

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