Habitat loss as a result of deforestation is putting Orangutan populations under serious threat. Forests are being torn down for farming and land is being tarnished by illegal and unsustainable logging. The sporadic, random nature of the deforestation is making life difficult for these red creatures: as the forest becomes steadily more fragmented, so do the populations of orangutan, who become isolated in pockets of forest. Orangutans have been forced into small, separate groups and this is having a detrimental effect upon their genetic health and impacting negatively upon the survival rate of the species.
All images courtesy of Sophie Bunker, Indonesia Orangutan Conservation
The conservation organisation, known as Hutan, is committed to protecting the forest for orangutans, hoping to preserve their habitats for future generations. Starting as a way of studying these great apes, and to learn more about their secretive lives, they soon realised that they needed to do more than objectively study them. They recognise that to save the orangutan, they must save the forest. In order to do so, they have set their sights set on a strategically perfect chunk of land that will serve as a joining point to the different sections of forest. That chunk of land is a 100 acre corridor between to existing reserves, of which they have already laid down deposits for six small sections. This strategic move offers hope for orangutans, allowing them to move between these corridors and breed.
The acquisition of land is a deeply competitive practice in Borneo, so the land is very expensive. Hutan needs to raise a staggering one million pounds in order to buy the land, which will greatly improve the overall area for Orangutans and other wildlife. The World Land Trust (WLT) has taken notice of Hutan, and want to help them to purchase this vital stretch of land. Fortunately, it is Big Match Fortnight for WLT; this means that the first half a million raised will be doubled by their generous supporters. If this can be achieved by the 12th October, then Hutan will have enough money to buy the land! “If we can permanently protect the land we have identified in the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain, and connect forests that are fragmented, we know we can save viable populations of Orang-utans,” explains Isabelle, co-director of Hutan.
By donating to WLT's Borneo Rainforest Appeal during Big Match Fortnight, we can help to make Hutan’s vision a reality. It really is a chance for a little contribution to go along way, so don’t hesitate to donate a few pounds now to make a big difference for the future!
Learn more about orangutan conservation volunteering in Indonesia and contribute hands-on to world leading research with Frontier.