13 April 2009

Orang- utan numbers get a boost

According to today’s Telegraph orang-utan numbers have been boosted after a team surveying forests nestled between jagged, limestone cliffs in eastern Borneo island counted over 200 orang-utan nests.

This , indicates a "substantial" number of the animals, accordgin to Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the US-based The Nature Conservancy."We can't say for sure how many," he said, but even the most cautious estimate would indicate "several hundred at least, maybe 1,000 or 2,000 even".

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orang-utans left in the wild, 90 per cent of them in Indonesia and the rest in neighbouring Malaysia. The countries are the world's top producers of palm oil and rainforests have been clear-cut and burned at alarming rates to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations.

The steep topography, poor soil and general inaccessibility of the mountains appear to have shielded the area from development, at least for now, said Meijaard. Its trees include those highly sought after for commercial timber.

Conservationists say the most immediate next step will be working with local authorities to protect the area and others that fall outside of national parks. A previously undiscovered population of several hundred also was found recently on Sumatra island, home to around 7,000.


redapes said...

Thank you for mentioning this truly wonderful orangutan news on your blog!

Orangutans are still critically endangered in the wild. To learn more about them and see how you can help protect them please visit the Orangutan Outreach website.

Adopt an orangutan today!

Richard Zimmerman
Director, Orangutan Outreach
Reach out and save the orangutans!
Facebook Cause: http://causes.com/redapes

jams o donnell said...

The thought that they could become extinct is horrifying

CherryPie said...

Orangutans are magnificent creatures. I hope they can be preserved!

jams o donnell said...

I hope so too Cherie

Tink *~*~* said...

with the environment disappearing so rapidly, it's a wonder there are still so many of them!

Tink *~*~*
A belated farewell to Pleasure Island

jams o donnell said...

True Tink. Sadly I fear their numbers will fall quickly

PixieKatten said...

This is great news! I really hope they manage to protect the areas. Myself I always read labels when I shop. Anything with palmoil I try not to buy. Wish more people did the same..

Thanks for sharing this entry! :)

jams o donnell said...

I hope that the remaining Orang-utans get the protection they need too Pixie Katten