Orangutans Conservation Status
The future for orangutans is certainly one that is in trouble. In the past decade the number of them in the wild has dropped by 50%. Some researchers estimate that they could all be extinct very soon if significant changes aren’t put in place right now. The fact that we could face a future without these animals isn’t one that we should encourage. Getting the message out there about them and their needs is very important.
The main reason why the orangutans are in trouble is due to the lowland rainforests being cleared out for logging and mining. The alarming rate at which this occurs takes away areas for them to find food. It also affects their ability to freely roam in a very large radius. As a result they may end up having to stay in one location for a very long time and to deplete all of the food offered there. This is going to increase their level of anxiety. It can also make them not want to take part in mating due to the focus being on their own survival.
It is also believed that many of the loggers consume the orangutans. They call this bush meat and while it is often illegal for the villagers to consume it many of them do when their own food sources are low. They also want the fruit that is in the rainforests. When they get rid of the orangutans they are able to consume those fruits on their own.
The illegal trade of orangutans is very common and a cause to worry. They are used for pets and can be sold for a great deal of money. However, they have to kill the mothers in order to get to the young. This is a double whammy on the population. First, the females are killed so that there are less of them to breed. Second, the young that are kept for pets never get the chance to breed.
Fires are deliberately set in areas of the rainforest as well. This way they can clear paths and make roads in and out of the forests. Many orangutans die from the fires or complications due to the smoke they inhale. The fact that so much of the food they consume is destroyed this way is also an ongoing problem.
The goal then is to make sure the natural habitat where they live is to remain in tact. However, right now the rainforest are being destroyed at a rate of more than 6 million acres annually. Preventing that means government officials have to put a stop to logging and mining operations that are going on. They have to make saving the orangutans and other animals in the rainforests a priority because we are simply running out of time to do so.
However, there are such laws in many places but they are hard to enforce. For example the fires that are started intentionally often burn out of control. The resources to stop them quickly just aren’t there. As a result there is plenty destroyed and no one that is held responsible for those actions or consequences.
Should orangutans become extinct, it won’t be just them that suffers. The food change in the rainforests are dependent upon each other. Every time an animal is removed from it there are serious repercussions for many others. This spiraling affect certainly is the result of humans don’t allowing nature to run its course. In fact, it isn’t just orangutans but gorillas and other apes that are also in danger of extinction in the near future.