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.