Rare endangered black Borneon orangutans found

orangutan-maleThank goodness for the remote hard to reach (for the poachers and development) mountainous faraway corners of the world.

Scientists have found a significant number of orangutan popuations hidden away like the gold in the environmental treasure chest in Jalarta, Indonesia. This find will help orangutan conservationists sleep a little easier tonight. It will focus the need for conservation projects and a reserve in the area.

A team of conservationists studying forests situated between jagged, limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of Borneo island counted 219 orangutan nests, indicating a “substantial” number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy.

There maybe several to possibly 1,000 or 2,000.  90 per cent of the known 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, are found in Indonesia and the rest in Malaysia. There maybe as many as 50 to 60,000 endangered orangutans left in the wild.

The orangutans live alone or with a small family troop and spend most of their time in the jungle canopy. These particular forest trees are highly prized for timber so how long the orangutan can endure without conservation protection remains uncertain.

Birute Mary Galdikas, a Canadian scientist who has spent nearly four decades studying orangutans in the wild, She has said that those found on the eastern part of the island represent a rare subspecies, the black Borneon orangutan, or Pongo pygmaeus morio whose numbers are very limited. The study was completed in December 2008.

Man and his ever- growing need for palm oil for cooking oil, food, cosmetics and the growing demand for bio-fuels in the US  and Europe. Rain forests are destroyed by clearing the forest through the slash and burn method  to grow palms. This totally denudes the land so many endangered animals that depended upon it are forced to relocate if their is virgin forest left to find.. The endangered plants are burned, for the many endangered animals including the orangutan and the pigmy elephant and countless birds and other species without a home they are often doomed.

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.

“That we are still finding new populations indicates that we still have a chance to save this animal,” said Paul Hartman, who heads the U.S.-funded Orangutan Conservation Service Program, adding it’s not all “gloom and doom.”

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com Indonesia: New Orangutan Population Found

Image courtesy of savetheorangutan.org

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1 Comment

  1. zimmrich said,

    April 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    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
    http://redapes.org
    Reach out and save the orangutans!
    Facebook Cause: http://causes.com/redapes


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