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Friday, April 6, 2012

Orangutans are endangered by the destruction of lowland forests making way for palm oil plantations...

Pongo pygmaeus English: A Bornean orangutan at...
Pongo pygmaeus English: A Bornean orangutan at Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Orangutan (Photo credit: mizmak)
Orangutan (Photo credit: GreenWhiteOrange)
The lowland forest habitats of Asia's only great ape are quickly disappearing. The are being cut down for timber or burned to make way for oil palm plantations and other agricultural developments.

 / ©: Shah / WWF
© Shah / WWF

Key facts

  • Species

    Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
  • Location

    Sumatra (Indonesia), Borneo (Malaysia and Indonesia)
  • Status

    Endangered to Critically Endangered

Victims of logging and fire

Orangutans share a preference with humans for fertile alluvial plains and lowland valleys – a habitat once rich in tropical forests but now being replaced with logging and agricultural concessions.

Each of the two orangutan species is found only on the island from which it derives its name: Sumatra or Borneo. With numbers having fallen drastically over the past century and human pressures increasing, orangutans may be lost from the wild forever within a few decades.

Palm Oil  is a threat to the Orangutang's future. Legal rhetoric is a deliberate obstacle to any government policy. Public boycotts of company products using palm oil can be effective. It was successful in New Zealand a couple of years ago.

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