Palm oil putting orangutans at risk

Oct 22, 2007

Conservationists meeting at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago say growing demand for palm oil is putting Sumatran orangutans at risk of extinction.

Keynote speaker Serge Wich, an orangutan researcher from Sumatra, said forests are being ruthlessly clear-cut in Indonesia to feed the exploding palm oil market, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

The large tree-dwelling mammals have lost about 80 percent of their habitat in the last 20 years and are currently found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, the newspaper said. Ian Singleton of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program estimated there are only about 6,700 orangutans left in Sumatra and 55,000 in Borneo.

Rather than call for a boycott of palm oil, the experts who met this week promoted firms that use the oil produced on environmentally sensitive plantations, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Calcification in changing oceans explored in special issue of The Biological Bulletin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orangutans struggle to survive as palm oil booms

Oct 22, 2009

Cinta, a baby orangutan found lost and alone in a vast Borneo palm oil plantation, now clings to a tree at a sanctuary for the great apes, staring intently at dozens of tourists.

Tree-dwelling orangutans on ground

Feb 28, 2014

When researchers in Borneo set up camera traps to monitor tropical mammals on the ground, they didn't expect to be photobombed by orangutans.

Fat Malaysian orangutan put on diet

Jul 05, 2013

An obese orangutan has been put on a strict diet by Malaysian wildlife authorities after two decades of gorging on junk food handed out by tourists, a report said Friday.

Recommended for you

EU sets new energy savings target at 30%

2 hours ago

After months of tough negotiations, the European Commission recommended Wednesday a new energy savings target of 30 percent so as to combat climate change and ensure self-sufficiency.

User comments : 0