In our last article, we talked about the hawksbill turtle, which is the 5th most endangered animal in the world. Today we’ll be discussing the #4 most endangered animal, the Sumatran Orangutan.
From Owlcation, their scientific name is Pongo abelii and right now the 7,300 of them that are left live in Northern Sumatra. The website states that Sumatran orangutans exist only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Over the last 75 years, their population has been diminished by 80% due to human encroachment of their forest habitat, especially for timber and agriculture.” The main reason causing their endangered status is that “Although their numbers were stabilising for several years, logging increased as people cut down trees to rebuild damaged infrastructure following the 2004 tsunami.”
Unlike the hawksbill turtle, the Sumatran Orangutan has several charities looking out for them. The first is “SOS” or the Sumatran Orangutan Society.
To help, they explain the concept of the Leuser Ecosystem and why it’s harming these animals. “Orangutans were once found in forests across Sumatra but now only survive in two provinces: North Sumatra and Aceh. The Leuser Ecosystem is the last stronghold for the species, and the last place on Earth where elephants, rhinos, orangutans and tigers still co-exist in the wild…the survival of orangutans is now at a serious tipping point because the local government of Aceh province is pushing through a plan which will open up much of this highly sensitive ecosystem for yet more plantations, logging, mining, energy developments and road construction. This plan ignores the nationally protected status of the Leuser Ecosystem, the acute risk of extinction for its biodiversity and the welfare of the forest-dependent human communities surrounding it. With your support, we are backing the local people of Sumatra in their fight against the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem, a battle that can and must be won.” You can donate to them here.
The second is Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. They sponsor things like confiscation and rehabilitation, reintroduction, habitat protection, research, campaigns and education as well as working with drone technology! They also run a program “to counteract the explosive extinction of the Sumatran rainforest, the Orangutan Coffee Project supports coffee farmers in the highland of Gayo, Aceh province to manage their plantations in an ecological and sustainable way.” You can support them here.
Both of these charities are really looking out for these precious orangutans so that hopefully they won’t be critically endangered anymore. Check back soon for more info on the #3 most endangered animal.