1 Tahrcountry Musings: Direct Human Link to Orangutan Decline

Monday, February 06, 2006

Direct Human Link to Orangutan Decline

A three year study by Sumatran Orangutan Society shows that a drastic reduction of population of Orangutans has occurred within the past century and it coincides with massive deforestation of orangutan habitat. Professor Michael Bruford of the Cardiff School of Biosciences, led the study. Professor Bruford believes that the animals still possess enough genetic diversity to stabilize if immediate action is taken. DNA information was used to simulate population history and to detect evidence of a population decline. Details appear in the journal "PLoS Biology.

4 comments:

JLB said...

If the wild orangutan habitat is so severely depleted, do you know where they would be located (or relocated) to live if scientists were to try and stimulate population growth?

tahrman said...

The natural habitat of Orangutans are the tropical rain forests in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia and in low-lying swamps in Borneo.Their feeding habit is such that
they need large areas to get enough food.Their threat is man (who destroys its habitat and sells young orangutans as pets).
There is enough forests out there even now. Only thing they need to do is to stop further damage and the species will take care of itself. Malaysia has chopped down extensive tracts in the past to cultivate money spinner oil palms with scant respect for nature.
Luckily international conservation community is becoming increasingly vociferous in its demand tyo protect forests ou there. Let us hope that better counsel would prevail over shortsighted policies based on monetary gains.

JLB said...

Agreed!

Thank you for following up on my question.

Nick said...

Stay up to date with the orangutan and palm oil story at our dedicated website to raise the profile of the issue - www.cockroach.org.uk - home of the Orangutan Film Protection Project

International help on the campaign would be greatly appreciated. The three major importers of palm oil are the European Union, China and India. We are mounting an effective campaign to raise awareness of the issues here in Europe but would welcome help to raise the profile in India and China.

Please drop me an email if you want to help:

nick@cockroach.org.uk
Director, The Orangutan Film Protection Project