The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has announced that the Bornean Orangutan species has been listed as a critically endangered species for the first time, further elevating the priority of keeping the species from reaching extinction.
Image Credit: Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock
The Bornean Orangutan now joins the Sumatran Orangutan as critically endangered, with the Sumatran counterpart being on the list since 2000.
As the destruction of their natural habitats has continued on for years, and illegal hunting or pet taming has claimed many of their magnificent lives, the current number of living Bornean Orangutans has declined to dangerously low levels.
The latest suggests that there are only 41,000 of the apes in the wild today, compared to 7,500 Sumatran Orangutans, however not all numbers from polls are in agreeance. Some estimates peg the number of Bornean Orangutans around 45,000-69,000. Part of the problem is the inability to have accurate polling results.
This species only exists on the island of Borneo, and soon they may not exist on any island at all. They are a species slow at reproducing, and the numbers at which they have been lost and continue to be lost will be incredibly difficult to fix.
“This is the first time in many decades that we have a clear understanding of Bornean orangutan population trends,” Erik Meijaard, a member of the IUCN SSC Primates Specialist Group, said. “As orangutans are hunted and pushed out of their habitats, losses to this slow-breeding species are enormous and will be extremely difficult to reverse.”
The species has lost up to 60% of its population since the 1950’s and that they may continue to fall another 22% before 2025. These projections leave the species in a small population that may never get as large as it once was.
In fact, if human behavior acting against the species continues, not only will it never get as large as it once was, but it may continue to shrink.
Conservation efforts are in discussion and it’s hoped something can be done to preserve the species from extinction.
Source: Mongabay via The Guardian