Why Orangutan Conservation is Necessary

Why Orangutan Conservation is Necessary

Posted by Connor Whelan on 19th Jun 2015

Why should I care? How does this affect me?

Both of these questions are at the forefront of most people's minds whenever they are asked to give up their hard earned money or help someone in a way that may inconvenience them. It is in human nature to ignore and put inconvenient things to the back of the mind, only worrying about them when a crisis point is reached and action needs to be taken. This needs to change. If we continue to ignore our problems in this manner then a species of animal we share 96.4%of our DNA with could be made extinct very soon. This, put simply, is why orangutan conservation is necessary.

100 years ago there was estimated to be over 230,000 Orangutans in the wild. Now it is thought that there are only 66,000. "Well that still seems like a lot, why are we worried about them?" you may be thinking.

  • That is a drop of 164,000 in 100 years.
  • That is 1,640 Orangutans being killed or dying due to the destruction of their habitat each year.
  • That's 5 innocent animals dying each day.

This cannot go on.

Whilst the damage is already bordering on the irreparable, there are ways that people can help. The options vary from simply picking up the phone and donating the cost of your daily cup of coffee to going out to the areas which the Orangutans used to call home and helping to rebuild their lost habitat. A good example of this is the Samboja Lestari Orangutan project, which is based in East Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo where you can help to conserve and protect the home of Borneo's most majestic animals.

Orangutans are some of our closest relatives and they have just as much right to live on the planet as we do. Humans have shown absolute disregard to this wonderfully clever Great Ape by destroying their habitats for things we use every day, and therefore class as mundane and unimportant, such as paper and furniture. Humans may have evolved to be the most dominant species on the planet but with this comes the responsibility to look after the others who were roaming our singular world long before we were.

We are more closely related to Orangutans than many people realise and it may be due to a lack of contact with our Ape cousins that people do not realise just how bad their plight is. We all have to start looking at the wider world rather than just the problems that are on our doorsteps. If there is a sudden human tragedy people are quick to show their support. Why should this be any different to a human caused tragedy which is affecting animals?

If you don't want to see an entire species of intelligent animals being wiped in our lifetimes then change has to start with you. It can be small steps such as making sure the paper you use is recycled rather than thrown away, or by using fewer foods that contain palm oil. Everything helps. Orangutan conservation is needed as this is a human caused problem. They are not dying out due to a failure to adapt to the current environment. They are dying out because we have changed their environment.

We all need to take a collective responsibility.


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.

500 characters remaining

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.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles


Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

After 2 difficult years, we finally welcomed volunteers...

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle shares her experiences from her time spent...

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

Many invasive species have made their way to all corners of...

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

After a lot of hard work by the June 2022 volunteer group,...

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Great Projects volunteer coordinator, Jess, is...

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Samboja Lestari welcomed back volunteers this month, and...

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy and Drew joined The Great Gorilla Project in January...

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Manta ray season is at its peak at the Raja Ampat Diving...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987