Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Orang Utans, The Critically Endangered Species

It’s really hard not to fall in love of the charming spell cast by quizzical expression of a playful kid — especially when the kid is a baby orangutan!

Orang Utans, the only great apes outside Africa, have been classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2007, and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3). There are as fewer as even less than 30,000 orang-utans left in the wild, although the majority are spread over the three or four subspecies in Borneo and a very small population live in Sumatra. Not all but the Bornean orang-utan has been listed as endangered species by the IUCN, while Sumatran orang-utan is facing the more threatening, and has been listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. This implies tat the Sumatran orang utans is at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild withing a very short span of time. The natural home for the orang utans is the leafy green canopy of the Southeast Asian rain forests in Sumatra and Borneo. The abundance of fruits and other edible veggies make the big apes lead a happy life out there. that these apes eat. The wanton growth of the logging industry in these areas has left this habitat in grave danger, making their population shrinking down gradually.

During November 2002, the researchers from "Nature Conservancy" had discovered a new population of orang-utans in East Kalimantan, Borneo. The group number ranged between 1,000 and 2,500, showing a light of hope that the species could be conserved well. Unfortunately, withe the passage of time there was a twist witnessed in the scenario. Researches say that these solitary apes actually need huge amount of space to thrive well. The national parks that should be safe place for them are reportedly being logged unlawfully. The growing demand of palm oil (world's best selling vegetable oil) have threatened the forest areas, where they can live safely. Almost 80% od the world's Orang Utan habitat have turned out to be vulnerable to illegal logging, gold mining and conversion to permanent agriculture, throwing the species into a zone of serious threat of extinction! Another major cause for the sudden deterioration in their population was the relentless hunting. Their slow movement made them easy target for the hunters. Their extremely long inter-birth interval is another cause of their population having a stiff fall. 1997-98 had been a real sad time for these amazing Bornean creatures. The raging forest fire of 1997 and 1998 had destroyed almost one-third of the total orang-utan population of Borneo Island.

The Great Orangutan Project (GOP) is a collection of a number of Orang Utans projects that anybody - even you and me can get involved in. The Great Orangutan Project (GOP) has been designed to save the orangutans from being extinct. You can volunteer your extra hours in this noble motive to Save Orang Utans
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