The orangutan population is on the brink
John Blackstone | CBS News
(CBS News) The natural home of the orangutan is the leafy rain forests on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, but development has devastated their numbers. There are less than 30,000 of the species left today.
Orangutans can fill us with wonder partly because they are so much like us.
But two of the orangutans at the Oregon zoo, 52-year old Inji and 18-year-old Kutai, are part of a species fast disappearing.
“All of the apes are endangered but orangutans, I think, are at a critical point right now,” said Jennifer Davis, who runs the Oregon zoo’s primate program.
She recently wanted to see their plight first-hand in their most important habitat.
“So I flew to Sumatra,” Davis said. “I expected to see just lush tropical rainforests, and as far as I could see, it was just palm oil plantations.”
Huge plantations for producing palm oil are wiping out the rainforests in Sumatra where most orangutans live.
“It ‘s a very, very precarious situation,” said Ian Singleton, who heads the Orangutan Conservation Program in Sumatra.
Singleton said the biggest threat is the growing demand for palm oil.
“You’d be amazed just how many products it’s in. It’s in shampoos, it’s in soaps, it’s in your biscuits, in chocolates. It’s everywhere,” Singleton said.
So those working to save the animals are asking consumers to start looking for a label that says “orangutan friendly.
It can be found on palm oil products produced in places that do not threaten crucial habitat.
“We want people to know there is still hope because there is, but it is at a critical turning point. It is at a point where we need to take focus on this or we could lose the species, and it’s a very real possibility,” said Jennifer Davis.
It’s a possibility zoo visitors like Cassie Deitz seem to grasp.
“That’s something I don’t want to even think about. It sounds awful to me. So I’m really concerned,” Deitz said.
The future of orangutans may depend, in more ways than one, on their close connection to us.
- Orangutan conservation experts meet at the Oregon Zoo (oregonlive.com)
- Palm Oil Crisis Orangutans Need Our Help!! (climateofourfuture.wordpress.com)
- Cargill Admits Buying Palm Oil from Illegally Cleared Orangutan Habitat | RAN (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- It’s Either Orangutans Or Cheap Palm Oil (ipsnews.net)
- Fires threaten orangutan population (guardian.co.uk)
About endoftheiconsTripa peat swamps, once hosting the largest density of orangutan population in the world are now being exterminated by palm oil company working illegally. The last bits of the peat swamp forest are being smashed and sumatran orangutan are forced towards local extinction. are we witnessing the end of the icons? what are we doing about it?
- Indonesia Smoke Haze Shrouds Malaysian Cities wp.me/p2k0o5-qq 3 days ago
- Illegal wildlife trade flourishes in Sumatra wp.me/p2k0o5-qj 1 week ago
- RT @GreenSolarWind: Activist Post: Monsanto Concedes Defeat in the Face of Europe's Fierce Opposition to GMOs wp.me/p21Niz-ZU 1 week ago
- RT @ProbWithPalmOil: "the fastest, most comprehensive transformation of an entire landscape that has ever taken place anywhere” http://t.co… 1 week ago
- RT @RLSaussaye: Too many people undervalue what they are, and overvalue what they're not... 1 week ago
- Death by a thousand cuts: story of Avatar, Rahul, and Chocolate saveorangutans.org/in-the-shadows… 1 week ago
- Listed as allies by @RAN yay! 1 week ago
- Please help us bring @PAULJHILTON back! Donate on this link saveorangutans.org/urgent-call-fo… and help spread the word. Thank you! 1 week ago
- We were fortunate to have @PAULJHILTON with us, photographing and documenting the whole process with his amazing photography skill 1 week ago
- Once we found him, we pull all the efforts to confiscate him from the hands of the traders and take him to safety in @socp_tweets quarantine 1 week ago
- Chocolate was found in a house of a trader by our undercover team in June last year, when he was found, he was very skinny and malnourished. 1 week ago
- Dear friends, do you remember the story of chocolate? The baby Orangutan on our profile picture? 1 week ago
- RT @EIAinvestigator: @endoftheicons: Greed beats logic: why a legal #rhino horn trade won’t work ow.ly/lOCrp #SouthAfrica #Vietn… 1 week ago
- RT @GreenpeaceID: Satu pesan pelayaran kapal Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, Selamatkan Hutan Indonesia untuk Masa Depan… instagram.com/p/aN6oITzQiF/ 1 week ago
- <3 “@dooledge: We keep Greenpeace independent -@greenpeaceid Fundraising team with supporters #indonesia Instagram.com/p/aN5YBgBZ3r/” 1 week ago
- RT @EIAinvestigator: Number of #elephant orphans in #Kenya rises ow.ly/lLxyd via @dswt #ivory 1 week ago
- RT @EnvironmeEnergy: Returning rare bumblebee to Britain is a dauntingly complex mission - The Guardian dlvr.it/3TT4g0 1 week ago
- RT @EIAinvestigator: RT @revkin: Jackie Chan hopes China and Vietnam (where rhino horn is a club drug) can build conservation ethic. http:/… 1 week ago
- RT @Gary_Chandler: @OuTrop @SumatraEEC @Unilever @Cargill What we need is biodiversity not monoculture that excludes wildlife. Plantations … 1 week ago
- Help us bring @PAULJHILTON to Aceh to document destruction at this critical time! Please chip in! Every bit counts! saveorangutans.org/urgent-call-fo… 1 week ago
- Indonesia Smoke Haze Shrouds Malaysian Cities
- Illegal wildlife trade flourishes in Sumatra
- More or less protection for forests in Indonesia?
- AP/ June 5, 2013, 7:51 AM Indonesia critically endangered Sumatran elephants poisoned, shot, WWF says
- Urgent Call for Help
- Indonesia on right path to saving forests: Greenpeace
- Mining in Indonesia taking a heavy social, environmental toll
- Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time
- Making the right choice on Indonesia’s forest moratorium
- Aceh Government and CSO Coalition Discussed New Spatial Plan
- World’s largest REDD project finally approved in Indonesia
- Government to revoke concessions in customary forests
- Government to revoke concessions in customary forests
- Indonesia extends logging moratorium, but questions remain
- Conservationists warn against keeping wild animals as pets
- Guardian Global Development ‘The Sumatran rainforest will mostly disappear within 20 years’
- Why Indonesia’s deforestation ban isn’t enough to protect its forests
- Indonesia and environmental sustainability: Walking the talk?
- Can REDD save the forests of Aceh?
- [Press Release] Aceh Forests facing numerous threats