Orangutan Habitat and Distribution
Most orangutans in the wild live in rainforests where they enjoy the mild temperatures and plenty of food. They
also have lots of trees in the forests for them to live in and to swing from. They can range from living about 10
feet from the ground or more than 150 feet up in the trees. This will depend on their lifestyle and how plentiful
food is out there.
Due to the destruction of their habitat some of them are forced to move into higher or lower elevations in an
attempt to find enough food to survive on. They also may have to move into swamp lands or other territories as
their natural habitat it taken over by logging or burned down. The destruction of this area for human needs is
upsetting and it continues to take place at a very rapid rate.
This is a huge problem as male orangutans can be extremely territorial. It is hard on them as a species when
their areas start to overlap too much. They will be stressed out and it is going to be more difficult for them to
get enough food. Most of the time they are found in close proximity to water. While they rarely swim, they do drink
water due to the fact that they don’t eat as many plants as other great apes. The majority of their diet is sweet
fruits so they need to drink water separately.
They are great at improvising though. For example they will take large leaves, collect rain on them, and drink
water that way when they need to. These animals don’t need very much water though so they can go for several days
without it. They are migrational in the way they follow patterns to consume various types of fruit. Since many of
them only grow at particular times of the year they will go back to that same habitat later on to consume it again.
The problem though is that often those locations have been destroyed since they were last there.
Protecting the natural habitat of the orangutan is very important. In fact, it is one of the main conservation
efforts in place. These animals need to have their homes protected so that they can increase in numbers. If they
don’t get enough of a range to relax and enough food they will be less likely to engage in mating. Since they
already mate at a very slow rate this is a problem that continues to threaten their survival.
In captivity, many efforts are made to ensure the orangutans have what they need to be happy. The large trees
aren’t usually part of it but they do have plenty of toys then can climb and swing on. This includes ropes that
they use for playing and for exercising. One of the main differences is that in captivity they are with others
while in the wild they are on their own.
Yet orangutans seem to do quite well in these types of man made habitats. Being able to observe them in the wild
has helped to make their homes in captivity more of the same. Even so, many people are upset that these animals, so
closely related to humans genetically, are in cages. They feel the real need is to work harder to protect their
One way that has been done with that the United States and other countries are cutting down on accepting
products made from wood that has been illegally cut from the rainforests where these animals live. If there isn’t a
market for it, then those involved in such activities won’t find the value in continuing to do it.