'Saving Orangutans' by Alain Schroeder
Indonesia’s Sumatran orangutan is under severe threat from the incessant and ongoing depletion and fragmentation of the rainforest. As palm oil and rubber plantations, logging, road construction, mining, hunting and other development continue to proliferate, orangutans are being forced out of their natural rainforest habitat. Organizations such as the Orangutan Information Center and their immediate response team, the Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit, rescue orangutans in difficulty (lost, injured, captive...) while the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme cares for, rehabilitates and resocializes orangutans, aiming to reintroduce them into the wild and create new self-sustaining, genetically viable populations in protected forests. It seems obvious that we share 97% of our genetic heritage with orangutans when you observe their human-like behavior. Today, with just over 14,000 specimens left, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo Abelii) plus 800 recently discovered Tapanuli orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis), are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.