Rescued orang-utan

Credits: © Nick Lyon / Films4Conservation

Orang-utan rescued from Borneo palm oil plantations, created by destroying the Great Apes' habitat. Only when the entire supply chain recognises the importance of sustainable palm oil can there be a future for orang-utans in the wild.

Orang-utan rescued from Borneo palm oil plantations, created by destroying the Great Apes' habitat. Only when the entire supply chain recognises the importance of sustainable palm oil can there be a future for orang-utans in the wild. Recent estimates suggest there are between 45,000 and 69,000 Bornean and no more than 7,300 Sumatran orang-utans left in the wild. All are regarded as Endangered or Critically Endangered. The orang-utans share their habitat with a wild range of other threatened and ecologically important species including the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros and Asian elephant. UNEP and UNESCO have launched the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) in response to growing concern over the plight of the orang-utan, chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla.

Satellite images confirm, together with data from the Indonesian Government, that illegal forest destruction is now taking place in 37 out of 41 national parks, and likely growing. "At current rates of intrusions, it is likely that some parks may become severely degraded in as little as three to five years, that is by 2012", says the new study The last stand of the orang-utan: State of emergency. Overall the report is concluding that loss of orang-utan habitat is happening at a rate up to 30 per cent higher than previously thought. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation works hard to find new homes for displaced orang-utans.

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