Introducing Orangalerts! Our new Orangutan Habitat Loss Detection Service

Most of us have seen dramatic footage of destitute orangutan infants stranded in tiny patches of forest surrounded by the charred remains of their former home.

Oil Palm Concession in Riau, Sumatra (Hayden)

It is arguably these images that have galvanized consumer boycotts of palm oil and made it the most demonized agricultural commodity.

Leuser orangutans (michael hoefner /

Despite public concern, orangutan habitat monitoring remains opaque. Orangutans have been caught up in the minutiae of policy discussions around High Conservation Value and No Deforestation No Peat, No Exploitation commitments. The extent to which palm oil is a driver of orangutan loss, where it is an ongoing threat, and which companies are responsible is only reported on an ad hoc basis.

What are Orangalerts?

Palm Mills and Orangutan Habitat in East Kalimantan

To bring clarity and actionable information, we are launching Orangalerts to provide actionable intelligence for commodity traders, buyers, and watchdogs who want to monitor orangutan habitat loss in areas of concern. We will be releasing a range of Orangalerts reports focusing on not only palm oil but fiber plantations, logging, and infrastructure risks to orangutan habitat. We also offer bespoke reporting for companies and organizations that need more detailed analysis on potential risks to orangutans from their supply chain.

The latest Orangutan Habitat Loss and Palm Mill Report is out now!

To kick it off Orangalerts, we are releasing our latest Orangutan Habitat Loss and Palm Mill Reports, which is available here:

What’s in the report?

The report covers the top ten palm mills with the most orangutan habitat loss within 25km radius of the report, and lists the companies that buy from the mill. Using our Forest Report software, we filter out our other drivers such as fiber plantations, logging, and mining. The habitat loss reported is either occurring in a concessions or directly adjacent to palm oil concessions. We also use the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Land Cover data from 2018 to analyze land use types within the mill radius and we use Tree Cover Loss and deforestation alerts from the University of Maryland Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) laboratory

Key findings

Recent Sentinel-2 imagery of orangutan habitat clearance

All major palm traders are buying from high risk areas with orangutan habitat

All major palm oil traders are buying from high risk areas - locations where palm oil remains an ongoing cause of orangutan habitat loss. In turn, major buyers are sourcing from these traders. This household brands at risk of palm oil sourced orangutan habitat cleared area entering their supply chains. The report only covers the top ten mills, there are a further fifty with 10 hectares or more or orangutan habitat loss, and 115 with more than 1 hectare.

More monitoring of orangutan habitat is needed

With Forest Report, we have developed the capability to analyze deforestation across vast areas and supply chains, filtering for specific results. But while we can do the analysis and make the reports, we need others to use the information. We need company procurement officers to review the reports and check whether their mill buys from that location or one of the surrounding mills. We need watchdogs to take deeper looks at the results and combine with their own reporting to file grievances if potential violations are found. And we need policy makers to check whether existing laws and regulations are sufficiently strong and well enforced to protect orangutans.

Accessing the report

The report along with related spatial files is available for download from our website. The report subscription costs $99 a month or an annual subscription costs for $990. We hope they are affordable to as many stakeholders as possible from big companies, consultants, watchdogs, and indeed can save you precious time and money conducting your own research.

An intelligence report vs. a grievance report

This is an intelligence report and a starting point for further investigation. It complements internal monitoring and can be used to support a public grievance filing and other purposes. However our subscription licensing does not cover sharing or distributing content. If you want to include content from this report in a public report or grievance filing, please contact us for a quote.

Orangalerts are powered by Mapbox base maps

Palm Mills and Orangutan Habitat with Mapbox Basemaps

With the generous support of Mapbox Community, we are moving our base map service on to Mapbox’s industry leading base maps. It’s a natural fit for us. Like Mapbox, MapHubs also emerged from the open source and open data community of OpenStreetMap and the burgeoning Washington DC tech scene. Mapbox base maps will give MapHubs’ interactive maps an even sharper edge over clunky legacy GIS setups, improving our mapping performance in places that matter like the forests of Indonesia!

Contact us as if you have further questions.