At one time the world’s wild orangutan populations likely included upward of hundreds of a century ago there were probably more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104,700 based on updated geographic range (Endangered) and the Sumatran about 7,500 (Critically Endangered).
The goal of International Orangutan Day is to raise awareness about this species, which has progressed from endangered to critically endangered. Also in 2017 a third species of orangutan was announced. With no more than 800 individuals in existence, the Tapanuli orangutan is the most endangered of all great apes
The name orangutan means "man of the forest" in the Malay language
In the lowland forests in which they reside, orangutans live solitary existences. Known for their distinctive red fur, orangutans are the largest arboreal mammal, spending most of their time in trees. These great apes share 96.4% of our genes and are highly intelligent creatures.
GARDENERS OF THE FOREST
Orangutans are "gardeners" of the forest, playing a vital role in seed dispersal in their habitats. They live in tropical forests and prefer forest in river valleys and floodplains of their respective islands. Orangutans' extremely low reproductive rate makes their populations highly vulnerable. Female orangutans give birth only once every eight years—the longest time period of any animal so this species can take a long time to recover from population declines.
Average life span in the wild is 30 to 40 years
The destruction and degradation of the tropical rainforest, particularly lowland forest, in Borneo and Sumatra is the main reason orangutans are threatened with extinction. This has been caused primarily by human activity: intense legal logging, illegal logging, conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and timber estates, mining and also by large-scale fires facilitated by the El Nino weather phenomena. Additionally, the illegal animal trade has been a factor in the decline of wild orangutan populations. Females are hunted most often. When caught with offspring, the young are often kept as pets. The pet trade is a major problem.
Both orangutan species are in severe decline. This means that without drastic intervention, orangutans may soon be extinct as biologically viable populations in the wild.
Sources: nationalgeographic.com, worldwildlife.org, orangutanfoundation.org.au
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE MOST ENDANGERED
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the most endangered. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „MOST ENDANGERED“ area will be transferred to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.