Skip to main content
Orangutan eyes close up


Why orangutans need our help

Bornean orangutans are critically endangered, facing multiple threats in the wild.

Your help is crucial to prevent their extinction.


Classified by the IUCN Red List as critically endangered, orangutans are one step away from extinction in the wild and these are the reasons why:

Habitat loss

Orangutans live in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.  Since the 1970s it is estimated that Borneo has lost approximately 60% of its rainforest. This loss is primarily due to agricultural expansion, logging and other human activities.

Illegal hunting

Orangutans are killed for various reasons, including for their meat or as a result of conflicts with humans.  If hunting of orangutans does not stop, populations will decline, irrespective of what happens to their habitat. 2013 surveys conducted in Kalimantan revealed that several thousand individuals are killed every year for meat consumption.


Forest fires have devastating ecological consequences. They destroy vast areas of forest, leading to habitat loss and fragmentation. The fires directly threaten the survival of numerous plant and animal species, including orangutans, causing displacement, injury, or death.

Habitat fragmentation

Forest fragmentation has significant implications for orangutans where large areas of forest are divided into smaller patches as a result of human activity, such as development, or agriculture. This limits the available habitat for orangutans and reduces their ability to move in the search of food or a mate.

Lack of awareness

Education is key in raising awareness of the challenges faced by Bornean orangutans. By understanding their plight we can better protect them, their rainforest home and the global environment.

Climate change

Climate change is affecting all rainforests. In Borneo specifically, the dry seasons are getting longer resulting in more forest fires. It is also having a negative affect on fruit availability and research suggests that it could also alter the prevalence and distribution of diseases that affect orangutans.

  • Post-forest fire landscape in Borneo
  • Deforested land area in Borneo rainforest
  • Fragmented rainforest in Borneo
  • Logging and deforestation in Borneo
  • Raging forest fire in Borneo

Explore more articles

  • Infant orangutan in a tree


    Research roundup ⭐

    Staying up to date on the latest research and ongoing efforts to protect and preserve the orangutan and its habitat. New resources will be added to this page regularly.

  • Photo of female orangutan


    Orangutan facts

    Orangutans are one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom sharing almost 97% DNA!