Orangotango macho, Bornéu
Semenggok Forest Reserve Sarawak
créditos: Eleifert/Wiki Commons
Orangotango de Bornéu (Pongo pygmaeus)
Female orangutans and her young
credits: Marc Ancrenaz
Female orangutans are occasionally killed for their young, which are sold on as pets, while others are killed for food or for venturing onto plantations or into gardens.
Hunting and killing have driven a dramatic decline in the orangutan population on Borneo where nearly 150,000 animals have been lost from the island’s forests in 16 years, conservationists warn.
Orangutan in Borneo
credits: Marc Ancrenaz
Researchers estimate that the number of orangutans left on Borneo now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000, meaning the population more than halved over the study period which ran from 1999 to 2015.
While the steepest percentage losses occurred in regions where the forest has been cut down to make way for palm oil and acacia plantations, more animals were killed by hunters who ventured into the forest, or by farm workers when the apes encroached on agricultural land, a study found.
“We need to work with people to help them understand that orangutans are not dangerous and that it’s illegal to kill them,” Wich said. One approach that might work, he said, is to have Indonesian and Malaysian role models raise awareness of orangutans through social media.
Orangutang babies rescued
The super-cute snaps were captured by International Animal Rescue staff at their rehabilitation centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, in the Indonesian part of Borneo.
The youngsters - many of whom grew up in captivity as pets before being rescued - are being taught to climb, play and fend for themselves
Without fresh efforts to protect the animals, the numbers could fall at least another 45,000 in the next 35 years, the conservationists predict. The real decline could be worse, because the prediction is based only on habitat loss, and does not include killings.
The bleak assessment of the state of the Bornean apes comes from an international team of conservationists who compiled one of the most comprehensive reports yet on the animals, which in 2016 were declared “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/ RED List . Read more here