In the wild, orangutans are currently found in only two countries: Indonesia and Malaysia. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are only about 104,700 Bornean orangutans and 61,300 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. That’s a staggering loss of over 150,000 orangutans in just two decades.
The problem is that their numbers continue to decline at an alarming rate due to a number of factors, including habitat loss and poaching.
Orangutans are the largest arboreal mammals in the world, which means they spend most of their time in trees. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, where they have been found for many centuries. The word orangutan comes from the Malay words ‘orang hutan’, which means ‘person of the forest’.
There are two species of orangutans: the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). The Bornean orangutan is found on the island of Borneo, while the Sumatran orangutan is found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
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What Threats Orangutans are facing
There are the following threats orangutans are facing:
- The main threat to orangutans is habitat loss.
- Orangutans live in lowland rainforests which are being logged and cleared for palm oil plantations at an alarming rate.
- It is estimated that between 5,000 and 7,000 orangutans are killed each year as a result of this destruction.
- Orangutans are also threatened by poaching. Although they are protected by law, illegal hunting still occurs. Orangutans are killed for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in some parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. They are also sometimes captured and sold as pets. This illegal trade is having a devastating effect on Orangutan populations.
How long do orangutans live:
Orangutans are one of the longest-living mammals on the planet, with an average lifespan of around 30 years in the wild. However, their life expectancy can vary significantly depending on factors such as diet, habitat, and health.
For example, captive orangutans often live much longer than those in the wild, due to access to better food and medical care.
Additionally, female orangutans tend to live longer than males, as they are less likely to engage in dangerous activities such as fighting. Ultimately, how long an orangutan lives depends on a variety of individual factors.
What can you do to help protect orangutans?
- Learn about the plight of orangutans and share what you learn with others.
- Write to your local politician and ask them to support laws that would protect orangutan habitats.
- Don’t buy products that are made from orangutan parts or that contribute to deforestation.
- Volunteer with or donate to an organization that is working to protect orangutans.
- Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #orangutansmatter.
How many orangutans are left in the wild in 2022?
Orangutans are critically endangered, with as few as 6,600 left in the wild. There is a small population of orangutans in the north of Borneo, and a tiny population in Sumatra. The population is declining rapidly, and it is estimated that orangutans will be extinct in the wild within the next 20-25 years.
There are around twice as many orangutans in captivity as there are in the wild.
Why are they killing orangutans?
Orangutans are being killed for a number of reasons, including the illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss, and conflict with humans. The illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to orangutans.
They are often hunted for their body parts, which are used in traditional medicine, and their fur, which is made into clothing and accessories.