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Our People in Sumatra

The team at the Frankfurt Zoological Society in Sumatra undertake diverse and demanding work in the interests of conserving the endangered flora and fauna of the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem.

Peter Pratje MCU BTP

Message from the programme director, Dr Peter Pratje

 When I look at the organisation today and the diverse occupations of our talented Indonesian staff, I feel a long way from the beginning of the Sumatra programme, focussed on orangutans. Orangutan conservation remains a core focus, but protecting their wilderness habitat is the most effective way we can ensure their long-term survival. Achieving this wider goal brings together the talents of all sorts of people to be part of the team here.


FZS staff are conservation in action. Every person who works for FZS Sumatra supports our conservation work, whether they work in an office, in the rainforest, in rural villages, or a little of all three. 


Our staff include forest patrol rangers, anti-conflict elephant patrol rangers, community development team members, field station staff, orangutan trainers, trackers and field research assistants, cooks, GIS experts, mechanics, biologists, project managers, forestry experts, maintenance staff, teachers, veterinarians, accountants and agricultural specialists. Every one of them makes a direct contribution to saving the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem, one of Sumatra's last remaining forest jewels.


FZS Sumatra aims to foster young talent and support sustainable economic development that benefits the people who have lived in the Bukit Tigapuluh environs for centuries. We recognise the vital knowledge and skills of local people and employ a number of them directly in community liaison, ranger patrol, and research field assistant roles. 


When people can support their families and make positive choices for the future, they can also make positive choices for the environment. That is where conservation happens.