Critical Reasons to Save Orangutans in the Wild

two-orangutans-orangutannetwork.netOrangutans are certainly the most intelligent species on land after humans. These great apes have demonstrated impressive cognitive skills showing just how intelligent they are. For example, these threatened apes are able to create tools for daily use and pass the knowledge on to their young ones. The sad part about these adorable apes is that their ecosystem is threatened. They are at risk of being extinct and if nothing is done about it, the beautiful beings will become a distant memory. The island of Borneo is home to some of the last populations of orangutans. With diminishing rain-forests, conservationists are working double shift to conserve the precious animals.

Orangutans are an umbrella species

One of the greatest reasons to conserve and protect these great apes is because they are an umbrellas species. This literally means that saving them will save a host of other animal species in their ecosystem. The island of Borneo for example has a great variety of animal species. In fact, Indonesia is a leading hub of animal species. A third of all known insect species are found in Indonesia. Also, about seventeen percent of mammalian species including forty species of primates are found in this ecosystem. With all the above in mind, Indonesia is leading in the world when it comes to forest loss. This effectively puts orangutans and other species at risk. This biodiversity can be protected if conservation efforts are prioritized at all levels. Saving the great apes will means saving other animals.

Orangutans are a key wild attraction

Long Hair Boss Animal Orangutans orangutannetwork.netIf orangutans disappear from their habitat, the local communities and host countries will suffer. This is because losing a cherished wildlife attraction will mean having fewer tourists. In this regard, economies will suffer. Therefore, retaining these apes as a national treasure will greatly improve economies. Rare animal species such as these great apes must therefore be protected. It will not just contribute to the national pride but to the overall economy as well.

Humans can learn more from orangutans

There is ongoing scientific research on the great apes. How they function is a source of great interest and fascination. Scientists want to uncover so much more about these distant cousins and hopefully shed more light. With a diminishing orangutan population, it is hard for researchers to gather vital knowledge about these apes. Probably, these are the animals that hold the keys to our very existence. Therefore, learning from orangutans cannot stop and this is a potent reason why conserving them is critical.

To save orangutans, there is so much that you can do. No matter your location, you can contribute in a small way to make a huge difference. First, you can start by sharing this information with your friends and those around you. Empowerment with information is the first step to saving orangutans. This way, people will realize there is a problem in the first place. You can also join organizations that help save these precious apes. If you can volunteer your services in conservation, this will be great as well. Other things you can do is to start a fundraiser and assist in the efforts to save orangutans. There are so many resources online that will connect you to the right causes. With your input, you can help preserve orangutans from extinction.

Why We Should Protect Orangutan

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baby orangutan theorangutannetworkOrangutan are endangered red apes that were once found throughout the Southeast Asia. Today, Orangutan survives in very small populations in different patches of forest located in Islands of Sumatra and Borneo. The red apes comprise of three species namely Tapanuli orangutan, Sumatran orangutan and Bornean orangutan.

Tapanuli Orangutan

This is the newest species in the family of orangutan that was recently announced by a team of international scientists. Tapanuli orangutan are found in the North Sumatra. It’s believe that the population of Tapanuli is about 800 or less making them the rarest species in the family of great apes. Tapanuli orangutan are distinguished from others based on genomic and morphological evidence. These apes were first discovered in 1997 when orangutan survey was carried out in the region. A research center was established in 2006 to study the behavior of orangutans and genetics. A breakthrough was realized in 2013 when a group of researchers discovered the male skull of Tapanuli male was examined and showed that it was different from other orangutans.

The discovery of Tapanuli was the greatest news in the 21st century. Like other orangutan apes, Tapanuli apes are seriously under threat of extinction if measures are not taken to save it. The biggest threat is the human encroachment especially from mining and proposed hydroelectric dam. Hunting is another serious factor that put Tapanuli in the verge extinction. That means steps must be taken quickly to avert these threats and conserve the last portion of the remaining forest.

Sumatran Orangutan

The estimated population of Sumantran is about 7,500 and that’s why its also categorized as endangered species. If we go by the population estimate given, they we can say that soon this species will extinct in the wild during our time. The largest ape in Asia is said to share 97% of the DNA with humans making it the closest human relative. Ironically, the biggest threat come humans.

Fondly referred to as Red Apes, Sumatran are normally long and red-orange haired with an average weight of between 30 and 82 kg. Nowadays they’re found two places, which are Sumatra and Borneo. The life span these apes is typically between 30 years and 40 years.

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is a large ape that is commonly found in Borneo forest. It is said to be the 3rd heaviest ape after the other two in the family of gorilla. Male Bornean can weigh an average of between 50 and 100 kg while female range between 30kg and 50 kg. Males also have large cheek pads that are largely composed of muscles and fat deposits. Female cheeks are slightly smaller and flanges are usually composed of muscles.

Saving Orangatun

Orangutan Cincinnati Zoo orangutannetworkYou can support by contributing towards support the work of saving the endangered Orangutans. Your care and compassion towards conserving the Orangutan apes is definitely invaluable and will go along way in ensuring that these three species of orangutans continue being with us in the future. Most of the income come is different forms such as fundraising, donation or adoptions. Every single donation is making a huge difference in this life-saving work. Most of these funds are used in rescuing, rehabilitating, releasing the orphaned apes and research work.

Saving The Rare Ape – Orangutans

sleeping-orangutan-The Orangutan Network

The Orangutan Network provides a rare opportunity to save the one of the most endangered ape species known as Tapanuli Orangutan.

sleeping-orangutan-The Orangutan Network

A lot of work needs to be done to protect Orangutan from extinction.

This great ape is found in Indonesia at the forest called Batang Toru in the south is Lake Toba. The current population of Orangutan is about 800 and they survive in 1,100 square kilometers which is divided into 3 blocks. The two blocks are the east and west of the forest which include Sibuali-Buali Nature Reserve.

According to scientists and authors of the Orangutan, this great ape has the smallest population compared to all other types of monkeys. Orangutans are said to reproduce very slowly and about 1 percent of its population is lost every year which could easily spiral them to extinction if something is not done to protect them. A female Orangutan gets its first offspring when its 15 years, with inter-birth interval of between 8 and 9 years. The life expectancy of Tapanuli Orangutan is about 50 to 60 years of age.

Approximately 85% of the Batang Toru is protected, however there are two proposed projects whose construction are believed to be potentially devastating. These two industrial projects are; expansion of gold mining project and hydroelectric dam. These projects have been proposed in a very sensitive area inside the unprotected area. According to researchers, the survival of Orangutan depends entirely on the conservation of its habitat. Orangutans like other endangered apes are listed on CITES which is a convention on international trade of endangered species that prohibits the unlicensed international trade, which both Indonesia and Malaysia are signatories.

The protection of Orangutans faces major handles due to poaching of these apes from their wild, either for food, traditional medicine, due to crop raiding or pet trade. The most complex issue when it comes to Orangutan conservation is the increased hunting of these apes by locals for food, something many conservationists always shied away for fear of causing frictions with the locals. Another hot issue is the conflict between humans and wildlife, which is a common phenomenon that occur throughout the world. Due to high rate of deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, Orangutans are left starving something that has lead to crops raiding and wandering in villages for search of food by these apes. Due to these conflicts with locals, they’re usually killed.

orangutan-baby-The Orangutan NetworkAnother thorny issue is the illegal pet trade of Orangutans, which involves both domestic and international markets. It’s worth noting that keeping pets is a popular practice in different parts of Indonesia. Investigations have revealed the possession of Orangutans is done by senior people in Indonesia who include local politicians, senior police and military staff. About 60 percent of these primates in rehabilitation centers are said to have come from these sources. Poaching of Orangutans from their wild is to form collections for the zoos and wildlife parks. However, the conditions in most of these zoos are very appalling which leads to high mortality rate.

International trade of Orangutans is prohibited, however despite its illegality, they’re still smuggled out of Indonesia to other Asian countries. In these countries, performing Orangutans are quite popular in many of South East Asian Nations. To protect Orangutans, efforts are being made to the public, corporate and governmental organizations to help save this rare species through contribution. Join Orangutan Network for this noble idea and contribute towards protecting Orangutans.

Interesting Facts About Orangutans

orangutan-on-rock-The Orangutan Network

Orangutans also commonly referred to Red apes are of two types namely; Sumatran orangutan and Bornean orangutan. The word orangutan means a person of the forest, which is a Malay language. The orange-reddish brownish ape is said to be the largest tree living mammal in planet today.

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Orangutans have unique abilities of traveling through the entire forest canopy since they make trees their home and source of food. That means this is the place the live and sleep unlike other apes that are considered semi-terrestrial since they spend part of their lives on the ground. Orangutans have very little time to come down from their trees and that has made them very unique from other apes. They quickly adapt well into their arboreal lifestyle.

In November 2017, a 3rd species of orangutans was discovered in Sumatra and these new apes are identified as Tapanuli Orangutans. They’re the most endangered species in the world today since they are estimated to be 800 in number. If nothing is done to protect them, these great apes might extinct within the next ten years and soon after followed by Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. A century ago, it is believed that there were more than 230,000 Orangutans, but now they’re less than 110,000 in total. With the their rainforest habitat disappearing at high rate due to deforestation and other human factors, Orangutans remain the most endangered species during our time.

Their Playful Nature

Orangutans have a great ability to think and reason. Their long arms can stretch out slightly longer than their bodies. They measure over 2 meters from their fingertip to fingertip. When on ground, they employ both their arms and legs to walk.orangutan-on-house-orangutan-on-rock-Wildlife Orangutan Animal Primate Mammal Ape baby-orangutan-The Orangutan Network Mature male orangutans have large cheek pads that female orangutans find very attractive. Orangutans are also known for their tremendous strength, which helps them to swing from a branch to branch and also hang upside-down for long periods while eating leaves or retrieving fruits. Male orangutans fight by charging at each other and breaking branches. If this doesn’t scare away any one of them, they bite each other.

Orangutans can emit different calls and vocalizations, which males use quite often to attract female or when discouraging other males. The male orangutans also use kiss-squeak call to alert others of any predators in their habitat. Unlike other great apes, Orangutans are very solitary. Adult males are said to live a solitary life with the exception of breeding time.

Raising Their Young Ones

Orangutans have the longest childhood dependence on their mothers than any other animal in the world. This is because there is a lot for young orangutans to learn for them to survive. The young orangutans nurse until they’re between 6 and 8 years of age. For young male orangutans they can stay close to their mother for a few years, while young females stay closely to their mother until they’re into their teens to allow them to learn some mothering skills. Orangutans gives birth once in every 8 years, which is the longest interbirth time for any mammal on the planet. This the reason why orangutan population is slow to recover whenever there is disturbance in their ecosystem.