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:
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.
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.
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 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.
Explore more articles
Orangutans are one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom sharing almost 97% DNA!
Rescued orangutans at Sepilok undergo a 5-step rehabilitation programme to increase their chances of returning to the wild.
Once widespread throughout South-East Asia, orangutans now only inhabit Borneo & Sumatra.