August 19, 2014
Sumatran Orangutans – Losing Their Forest Home
- as seen by -Rhett Butler @Mongabay.com@mongabay
Of the world’s two orangutan species, the Sumatran orangutan faces a particularly daunting challenge: the large-scale destruction of its forest home on Sumatra. The Indonesian island has lost more than 40 percent of its old-growth forest cover in just 20 years, mostly as the results of agricultural expansion, industrial logging, and the production of palm oil and wood pulp. Today, there are thought to be less than 8,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild.
The two orangutans pictured above are lucky. They’re part of a reintroduction program in North Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park. This mother and infant are free to live in the forest, but rangers offer a daily feeding to ease their transition back into the wild. When fruit is aplenty in the forest, it may be days between appearances at the feeding platform. But when food is scarce, the orangutans stay close to the park’s entrance.
Canon 5D Mark II