Orangutans will completely extinct within ten years if current trends continue, conservationists have warned.
The International Animal Rescue (IAR) has given a frightening report into the risks posed to the orangutan population, and said they’ll disappear altogether if no action is taken.
Last month the Bornean oranutan joined the Sumatran orangutran on the critically endangered species list.
Both animals face devastating threats from poaching and loss of habitats due to deforestation. Borneo’s jungles are dwindling rapidly and being replace by palm oil plantations.
76 million acres of Borneo’s forests have been lost in the past 25 years.
‘Precipice of extinction’
Alan Knight, chief executive of the IAR, which operates in Borneo, said the animal was on the ‘precipice of extinction’.
“If the current destruction of the rainforest continues, then I have absolutely no hope that any orangutans will remain in the wild,” he said.
When asked how long the oranutan has left if current rates of deforestation continue, he replied: “I would probably say 10 years if we cannot stop the destruction.
“I think the Sumatran will go before then if they don’t sort out the situation they are in.
“It’s a real struggle and we are losing the battle.”
Prospective palm oil farmers often start forest fires to open up new areas of land.
“The fires produce quite a good excuse … all of a sudden this area they wanted to produce palm oil on, it’s useful for nothing, so they end up planting palm oil on it,” Knight told the Independent.
He estimated that an area the size of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and half of Devon was lost in just three months.
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