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Bornean orangutan critically endangered
Jul 22, 2016

  • According to A global conservation group Borneo’s orangutans are now a critically endangered species due to hunting and destruction of forest habitat.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the number of Bornean orangutans has dropped by nearly two-thirds since the early 1970s and will further decline to 47,000 animals by 2025.

  • the projected population figure would represent a population loss of 86 percent.

  • The assessment for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was carried out earlier this year and published this week. Previously the species was considered to be endangered.

Causes of decline

  • Deforestation: It has dramatically shrunk the primate’s habitat, with about 40 percent of Borneo’s forests lost since the early 1970s and another swathe of forest expected to be converted to plantation agriculture in the next decade.

  • Hunting is also a significant pressure because orangutans are slow breeders, producing only one offspring every six to eight years on average.IUCN estimates between 2,000 and 3,000 of Borneo’s orangutans have been killed every year for the past four decades, mainly for their meat.

Orangutans:

  • Orangutans only live in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on Borneo in the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah and Kalimantan, which is the Indonesian part of Borneo.

  • The Sumatran orangutan has been critically endangered since 2008.

  • Both species are protected in Malaysia and Indonesia but much of their habitat is not.

About IUCN

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature, the oldest global environmental organization. Since its inception in the 1940s, IUCN has led the world in environmental research and conservation efforts. Today, the organization has over 1000 affiliate groups, and maintains offices and field sites in 140 countries worldwide.

  • Founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organisation.

  • Today, the largest professional global conservation network.

  • A leading authority on the environment and sustainable development.

  • More than 1,200 member organizations including 200+ government and 900+ non-government organizations.

  • The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

  • A neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find practical solutions to conservation and development challenges

  • Thousands of field projects and activities around the world

  • Governance by a Council elected by member organizations every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

  • Funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, member organisations and corporations

  • Official Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly

IUCN RED LIST :

Red List of Threatened Species provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants and animals that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). The IUCN Red List also includes information on plants and animals that are categorized as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild;on taxon (plural of taxon) that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e., are Data Deficient); and on plants and animals that are either close to meeting the threatened thresholds or that would be threatened, were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific conservation programme (i.e., are Near Threatened).

Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups:

species classification

  • Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.

  • Extinct in the Wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.

  • Critically Endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

  • Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.

  • Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.

  • Near Threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.

  • Least Concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

  • Data Deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.

  • Not Evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.


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