Why are Orangutans an Endangered Species?: Facts About the Bornean Orangutan and the Sumatran Orangutan

Even though conservation efforts are being made, with the destruction of their natural habitat, orangutans are listed as an endangered species. It was thought that there was only one species of orangutans until recently when genetic research found that there are actually two species. One is the Bornean and the other is the Sumatran. Both species live in Southeast Asia.

Orangutans are solitary animals who spend most of their time up in trees. This is where they eat, sleep, and mate. The male orangutan is known as the "person of the forest," in the Malay language. They are omnivores, although fruit is their favorite food. They also eat plants, honey, and small animals.

Although solitary, a mother will stay with her offspring for about eight years. When grown, orangutans reach 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 feet in height and weigh 88 - 175 pounds. They live in large territories in order to have enough food to eat.
Why Orangutans are Endangered..?
Loss of habitat is a big danger to orangutans as they rely on the forest for food and shelter. Much of their homelands are being destroyed by loggers who are cutting down the trees and by fires. In addition, even though orangutans are protected by law, baby orangutans are caught and sold illegally all over the world as pets.

Orangutan Conservation
When orangutans get rescued, there are people who work with them to try to get them ready to be returned to their natural habitat. This includes both young orangutans as well as adults. Although this has been quite successful, some orangutans have difficulties readjusting to life in the wild.

At this time, there are approximately 12,000 - 15,000 Bornean orangutans left. Far fewer are the Sumatran orangutans who only number about 3,000 - 5,000. Fortunately, organizations such as the Orangutan Conservancy and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme are working to help maintain a natural habitat for orangutans along with education and awareness raising, and the rehabilitation of orangutans.

Orangutans are loved by young and old alike. Always a popular attraction at the zoo, these shy creatures put smiles on children's faces while delighting them with their antics. As they are quite intelligent creatures, they can be trained and used as performers in stage shows and films.

Without a proper natural habitat, there will no longer be enough food for orangutans to eat. In addition, while the law is working to protect orangutans, they are still being captured and sold. Conservation specialists are working hard to keep orangutans from going extinct and while success is being made, more help is needed for these endangered species.
Stop Illegal Logging The Indonesian Rainforest and Save Orangutan Habitat...!!
Between 1985 and 2007, Sumatra island lost 12 million hectares of natural forest, a 48 percent loss in 22 years. By 2007, the island had only 30 percent natural forest cover(around 13 million hectares).

The Indonesian Ministries of Forestry, Environment, Public Works and Interior, as well as the governors of all 10 Sumatran provinces, including Jambi, last year announced their collective commitment to protecting the areas of the island with “high conservation values.”

The natural forest slated for destruction by APP – Bukit Tigapuluh – is a prime example of the high conservation value areas that the governors promised to protect. If the APP proposal for pulp paper production is accepted is will destroy the forest home of many species, and clearing on the ground could start as soon as 2010

Many environmental NGOs and Government organisations work in the landscape (including WARSI, the Sumatran Tiger Conservation and Protection Foundation, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Zoological Society of London, WWF and the Australian Orangutan Project).

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