World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Orangutans face complete extinction within 10 years, animal rescue charity warns

By Ian Johnston, independent.co.uk

251 days ago   Article ID# 3927389
Original URL


International Animal Rescue

LONDON, U K (independent.co.uk) - Orangutans will be extinct from the planet within 10 years unless action is taken to preserve forests in Indonesia and Malaysia where they live, a conservation charity has warned.

The Bornean orangutan was officially listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last month, joining the only other kind, the Sumatran orangutan, in that classification.

In just 25 years, more than a quarter of Indonesia's forests – 76 million acres, an area almost the size of Germany – have disappeared.

One of the main reasons is to clear land to make way for palm oil plantations. The oil is used to make a vast array of different consumer products from crisps, pizza, noodles and donuts to toothpaste, shampoo and biodiesel.

Earlier this year Greenpeace accused major brands such as Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive of failing to make sure their products did not contain palm oil grown on deforested land.

Alan Knight, chief executive of the charity, International Animal Rescue (IAR), which runs a rescue centre in Borneo, warned the orangutan was now on the “precipice of extinction”.

“If the current destruction of the rainforest continues, then I have absolutely no hope that any orangutans will remain in the wild,” he said.

Asked how long they might survive, Mr Knight said: “I would probably say 10 years if we cannot stop the destruction. I think the Sumatran will go before then if they don’t sort out the situation they are in.”

“It’s a real struggle and we are losing the battle.”

Forest fires occur naturally but some are started illegally in order to open up the land to palm oil plantations.

“The fires produce quite a good excuse … all of a sudden this area they wanted to produce palm oil on, it’s useful for nothing after being burned, so they end up planting palm oil on it,” Mr Knight said.

Last year he said an area the size of “Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and half of Devon” combined was burned in just three months.

Even the charity’s rescue centre, where they take orangutans who have been driven starving and terrified from the forests, was damaged by one fire.

They take in animals like "Mama Anti" and her baby who were found close to death last year and have since been returned to the wild. However Mr Knight said he feared that this might not be possible in the future.

“What keeps me awake at night is whether there is going to be a forest for use to release them into,” he said.

Last month, the IUCN said Bornean orangutan populations were declining “as the forests they live in are turned into oil palm, rubber or paper plantations, and others are killed by humans”.

Erik Meijaard, a member of the IUCN’s primate specialist group, said: “As orangutans are hunted and pushed out of their habitats, losses to this slow-breeding species are enormous and will be extremely difficult to reverse.”

According to the IUCN’s Red List of species, the Bornean orangutan’s population fell by more than 60 per cent between 1950 and 2010 and is expected to fall by a further 22 per cent by 2025.

Copyright 2017 independent.co.uk   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 251 days ago   Article ID# 3927389

International Animal Rescue    Visit Website

More News

Rescuers help orangutan take first steps of freedom after releasing her from tiny cage where she was chained for years

9 days ago From thesun.co.uk 

LONDON, U K - ...

Recent rescue of 14 slow lorises shows what the illegal pet trade really looks like

17 days ago From onegreenplanet.org 


Our team in West Borneo rescues three orangutans in four days

37 days ago From internationalanimalrescue.org 


Freedom for the orangutan who had 'given up on life': Ape is released from tiny crate where it was chained up with just a scrap of cloth it used as a comfort blanket

45 days ago From dailymail.co.uk 

LONDON, U K - ...

IAR marks World Wildlife Day with the release of three rescued orangutans returning to freedom in the forest

55 days ago From internationalanimalrescue.org 


Go to page:   1    2  3  Next >> 

View All Actions >>

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Action: Climate Change

Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old ...

Save Florida's pine rocklands

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Pine rockland forests, which provide habitat for rare and imperiled species, are increasingly scarce in South Florida outside ...

Status of forests is 'dire' as world marks 2017 Earth Day

Action: Stop Deforestation

They cover a third of the world’s landmass, help to regulate the atmosphere, and offer shelter, sustenance and survival to mi ...

Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution

Action: Stop Pollution

Nearly 40 million people in the UK are living in areas where illegal levels of air pollution from diesel vehicles risk damagi ...

Plans to drill for oil near newly discovered Amazon Reef alarm scientists

Action: Save Our Oceans

This time last year, scientists announced the discovery of a reef system at the mouth of the Amazon River that they said is q ...

View All Actions >>





Follow Us


Find A Charity

Action Center




Twitter Support



Add A Site




Privacy Policy






Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.