3 thoughts on “Orang utan mother and baby saved

  1. New Indonesian orang-utan population discovered

    * Associated Press in Jakarta
    * The Guardian, Monday 13 April 2009

    Conservationists have discovered a new population of orang-utans in a remote area of Indonesia, giving a rare boost to one of the world’s most endangered great apes.

    A team surveying mountainous forests in eastern Borneo counted 219 orang-utan nests, indicating a “substantial” number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, of the US-based charity 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”.

    The team of ecologists encountered an adult male, which angrily threw branches as they tried to take photographs, and an adult female and her offspring.

    There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orang-utans left in the wild, 90% of which are in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    The animals’ rainforest habitat is being destroyed at alarming rates to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s top producers of palm oil, which is used in the food and cosmetics industries. Demand for the oil as a “clean-burning” fuel has accelerated in the US and Europe.

    That a significant orang-utan population exists in eastern Borneo appears to be due to the steep topography, poor soil and general inaccessibility of the rugged limestone mountains shielding the area from development, said Meijaard.

    Most populations are small and scattered, making them vulnerable to extinction, said Biruté Mary Galdikas, a Canadian scientist who has spent nearly four decades studying the animal in the wild.

    “So yes, finding a population that science did not know about is significant, especially one of this size,” she said, noting that those found on the eastern part of the island represent a rare subspecies, the black Borneon orang-utan.

    The 700 sq miles (2,500 sq km) of rainforest escaped the fires started by plantation owners and farmers that devastated the surrounding forests in the late 1990s.

    Conservationists say the next step will be working with local authorities to protect the area and others outside Indonesia’s national parks. A previously undiscovered population of several hundred of the apes was found recently on Sumatra.

    “That we are still finding new populations indicates that we still have a chance to save this animal,” said Paul Hartman, who heads the US-funded Orang-utan Conservation Service Programme, adding it was not all “gloom and doom”.


  2. Pingback: Orangutan and human breast-feeding, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British fat cat’s anti-orangutan censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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