An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. WWF Toggle Nav. I honestly felt as if we would make more progress by now. We share 97% of our DNA with these primates. New projections anticipate their numbers will fall another 22 percent by the year 2025 to an estimated 47,000 apes. A third species of orangutan … Learn about the Bornean orangutan, as well as the threats this species faces, what WWF is doing to protect its future, and how you can help. Donate Adopt World Wildlife Fund Toggle Nav. Both orangutan species are now on the path toward extinction. 18 hours ago — Chelsea Harvey and E&E News, 19 hours ago — Julie Morita ، Edward Belongia | Opinion. “This is the first time in many decades that we have a clear understanding of Bornean orangutan population trends,” Erik Meijaard, a member of the IUCN SSC Primates Specialist Group, said in a prepared release. Protect endangered species, including the orangutan, at World Wildlife Fund. Populations for that species are currently estimated at about 14,000. Subscribers get more award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. There are three subspecies, depending on which section of the islands they are found: Northwest, Northeast, and Central Bornean orangutans. Discover world-changing science. Bornean orangutans now join their cousins, Sumatran orangutans (P. abelii), which have been listed as critically endangered since 2008. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Until Indonesia and Malaysia get a handle on their illegal deforestation and clamp down on bad behavior by the legal palm oil and rubber plantation industries, orangutans will only continue to decline. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Bornean orangutans live only on the island of Borneo, where their populations have declined by 60 percent since 1950. As someone who has been writing about orangutan conservation for more than a decade now, I find this news particularly devastating. ... but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104,700 based on updated geographic range (Endangered) and the Sumatran about 7,500 (Critically Endangered). The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is now critically endangered, with populations in sharp decline due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting, the IUCN declared last week. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, The Italian Alps Hold a Secret: A New Species of Viper, Tragic Deaths Represent a Victory in Spoon-Billed Sandpiper Conservation, Another Challenge for Orangutan Conservation: Food, Rescued Baby Orangutan Shines Light on Cruel, Illegal Pet Trade, Great Apes in Crisis: Thousands Poached and Stolen from the Wild Annually, Eye in the Sky: Drones Help Conserve Sumatran Orangutans and Other Wildlife, Apps for Apes: Engaging Orangutans with iPads, Orangutans Illegally Killed In the Past Decade: 20,000—Prosecutions: 0, There May Be Twice as Many Sumatran Orangutans as Thought, You Could Learn a Thing or Two About Living a Long Life From the World’s Oldest Orangutan, Asia's Demand for Apes Is Spurring a Deadly Illegal Trade, Pesticides Are Killing Off the Andean Condor, 32 Orchid Species Feared Extinct in Bangladesh. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists. His "Extinction Countdown" column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. Explore our digital archive back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. “As orangutans are hunted and pushed out of their habitats, losses to this slow-breeding species are enormous and will be extremely difficult to reverse.”. John R. Platt. Alas, the world has yet to wake up to that threat.
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