The Bornean Orangutan Is Now Critically Endangered

The Bornean Orangutan Is Now Critically Endangered

Posted by Connor Whelan on Jul 12, 2016

The Bornean orangutan has now been declared critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This announcement means that both species of orangutan are now at an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild.

The report from the IUCN states that hunting, habitat destruction, habitat degradation, and fragmentation of the orangutan population are the key reasons behind orangutan numbers falling so dramatically.

Illegal Logging

In 2010 it was calculated that only 59.6% of the Bornean rainforests were suitable for orangutans, and while this may seem like a high number, much of the land which is protected by the Indonesian, Malaysian, and Brunei governments still suffers from illegal logging and uncontrolled burning.

Another issue that is affecting the orangutans is their slow birth rate. As female orangutans only reproduce once every 6 to 8 years, the Great Apes never have a chance to replenish their numbers before their habitat is further destroyed.

The IUCN report said: “the combined impacts of habitat loss, habitat degradation, and illegal hunting equates to an 86% population reduction between 1973 and 2025.” This meets their criteria for “critically endangered.”

Whilst this news is extremely worrying and distressing, it is not all bad as Andrew Marshall from IUCN said: "Although I think things will likely get worse before they get better, it’s not too late for orangutans.”

Barring government legislation protecting the forests in which they live, the best way to help the orangutan population is through conservation programs. These projects take in, look after, and often rehabilitate orangutans in an attempt to release them back into the wild to increase their numbers.

Orangutan conservation projects also give you the chance to help provide a future for these incredible animals, so with a collective effort we can help save the orangutans!


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.

500 characters remaining

Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


This video showcases all you could participate in if you join the Carnivore Conservation and Research Project in Kanaan!

This video showcases all that you could be getting up to if you join this sensational volunteer project in Namibia!

What is volunteering at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary really like? Find out from the volunteers themselves...

Latest Blog Arcticles


Looking Back On A Wonderful Year At The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Looking Back On A Wonderful Year At The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Look back at a successful 2017 and see what the team at the...

Which Namibia Research Site Is Right For Me?

Which Namibia Research Site Is Right For Me?

With three different research sites to choose from,...

Volunteers Help To Provide The Raja Ampat Kids With Shining Smiles!

Volunteers Help To Provide The Raja Ampat Kids With Shining Smiles!

Over on the Raja Ampat Diving Project volunteers have been...

3 Orangutans Begin Life On Their New Island Home At Samboja Lestari!

3 Orangutans Begin Life On Their New Island Home At Samboja Lestari!

3 orangutans have begun their new life on an orangutan...

News In Review – A Round Up Of The Major Animal News Stories From 2017

News In Review – A Round Up Of The Major Animal News Stories From 2017

As we approach the end of the year, we are looking back at...

Goodbye, 2017 - A Look Back On Our Volunteer's Amazing Achievements!

Goodbye, 2017 - A Look Back On Our Volunteer's Amazing Achievements!

As we approach the end of 2017, we’re taking a look back...


Signup to our newsletter

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

Foreign Office Travel Advice