Sumatran Orangutans

1574 Words7 Pages
Sumatran orangutans are the largest non-human primates in Asia and the largest arboreal animal. Their bodies and faces are covered with fine, long red hairs. Males distinctively have large cheek pads that are covered in fine white hairs. Along with their unique color, orangutans have an enormous arm span and opposable thumbs. From finger tip to finger tip, the arm span is about 7 feet wide, which is longer than their standing height. Compared to their muscular arms, the orangutan's legs are small and weak. Sumatran Orangutans have arms that are much longer than their legs to help them reach out to branches. Their arms are well suited to their lifestyle because they spend much of their time in the trees of their tropical rain forest home. The…show more content…
Once found in forests across Sumatra, orangutans only survive in two providences: North Sumatra and Aceh. Experts suggest that they could be the first Great Ape species to become extinct in the wild. Humans have hunted the primates since their arrival in Indonesia. The greatest threats to the orangutans survival are habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. The mother of the young is killed and the young is captured to be sold into the exotic pet trade. When these young orangutans can be intercepted they are orphans so they really can’t be returned to the wild. They will then be placed in captivity such as in zoos for the rest of their lives. The capture of young Sumatran orangutans to be sold either to zoos or into the exotic pet trade has led to drastic population declines particularly as this often results in the death of the mother who trying to protect her infant. Although hunting has cut populations in certain areas, it is the loss of vast areas of their unique habitat that has the biggest threat to the orangutans population. Increased levels of human activity has led to the extinction of the orangutan in numerous areas. The rare, tropical timbers and the vast areas of ancient forest and peat-swamps are cut down make way for the increasing number of palm oil plantations. Huge tracts of forest have been cleared throughout their range and the…show more content…
One organization is taking their work very seriously. WWF has been working on orangutan conservation since the 1970s in partnership with local and international groups. One example is an attempt to conserve the habitat. They work in both Borneo and Sumatra to secure well-managed protected areas and wider forest landscapes connected by corridors. They are promoting sustainable palm oil productions. In 2004, WWF helped set up the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This promoted the production and use of sustainable palm oil, which ensures that income is filtered down to local people and forests that are deemed to be of ‘high conservation value’ aren’t cut down to make way for oil palm plantations. Additionally, they engage with timber companies to mitigate negative impacts on habitats and orangutan populations. They also want to halt illegal pet trading. They work with the wildlife trade monitoring network to help governments enforce restrictions on the trade in live animals and orangutan products through the wildlife crime initiative and to help to rescue orangutans from traders. They want to reduce human orangutan encounters. They create methods to keep orangutans out of plantations as well as regional land use planning to ensure that agricultural areas are developed as far away from orangutan habitat as possible. Other organizations are trying to improve laws, educate the public, monitoring, and habitat

More about Sumatran Orangutans

Open Document