Suaq is an exceptional site for orangutan research. The forest of Suaq has the highest orangutan density on earth. On top of that, in several ways, the orangutans at Suaq are a truly exceptional population of Sumatran orangutans.
Suaq orangutans are more gregarious
than orangutans elsewhere
Whereas most orangutans live rather solitary, at Suaq they spend most of their time in small groups. The all year around abundance of fruits reduces feeding competition and allows the Suaq orangutans to be more tolerant towards each other than orangutans at other populations. At Suaq associations happen voluntarily and even unrelated individuals tolerate each other close by.
Suaq orangutans show uniquely complex and diverse behavioral repertoires
Orangutans at Suaq habitually and flexibly use of tools in the foraging context and show many other complex feeding- and nest building techniques. Many of these techniques are only found at Suaq. This pattern of behavioral variation across sites cannot be explained to ecological or genetic difference and thus classifies as cultural variation.