How Deforestation and Poaching Endanger the Orangutan Species

Topics: Poaching

The endangerment of the Bornean-Sumatran Orangutan

The Sumatran Orangutan with its sister species, the Bornean Orangutan is part of the tree extant speeches of the great apes that are native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Mainly inhabiting the forest, this species has become accustomed to the warm forest environment and the resources that it brings. As their diet persists off of main fruit, bark, leaves, and sometimes small insects, they have come accustomed to the forest setting. They enjoy living in highly elevated areas in the trees to avoid predators and spend most of their days feeding, traveling, and resting.

Yet due to the many environmental changes occurring in Indonesia and Malaysia, they are at constant threat of extinction.

The current state is due to the expansion of industrialization within Asia, leading many of the forests in Indonesia and Malaysia to experience a large amount of deforestation. The expansion of modern city life has also decreased the number of trees present in Asia.

Many countries have decreased the number of trees they have and replaced them with Palm Trees that are more efficient and helpful to more modern variety. These palm trees are useful for creating palm oil which is useful in many man-made products within the food, beauty, and chemical industry. As the focus pertains to making more palm trees, environments that many Orangutans inhabit are losing their trees and resources over time. This connects back to the lab we used in class when looking into adaptation to environments. As there is a forced change within their environment, natural selection hasn’t been able to be an efficient method to protect the population. This can be seen as their resources dwindle so do their population size leading to natural selection not being in favor of keeping the Orangutan species alive.

Outside of their natural habitat being limited, the constant threat of human poaching has also been a contributing factor to the dwindling number of the orangutan population. In recent news, the poaching and sexual explorations of an Orangutan by the name of “Pony” have exposed the contrast threat that many people do not know that Orangutans are exposed to. Pony the Orangutan was discovered this past month in Indonesia in a brothel in which she was prostituted by men who paid for the experience. After an intervention of 35 armed officers, they were able to get the owner to release her and took her to a healthcare facility and a sanctuary. Many primates similar to Pony have been discovered throughout the world in many brothels the world as they are vulnerable to many poachers who exploit them for money. This relates to our class discussion on how Orangutans are being exploited in which they are now lower on the food chain, specifically on how they are pushed out of their dominant state of being able to use their natural features to remain safe yet unfortunately due to their environment they become exposed to someone higher on their food chain-humans. This limits the amount of safety they have as they are now vulnerable and unable to protect themselves from a new predator that remains present.

Many different organizations are taking part in trying to find strategies to keep them safe. One example is “The Orangutan Project” which focuses heavily on providing homes as well as protecting forest space from industrialization expansion too to give them a safe habitat to stay in. The organization is localized within Indonesia and Malaysia to work firsthand with sanctuaries and Orangutans in need. This is followed in cooperation with animal sanctuaries that focus on finding Orangutans like Pony, who are being exploited and abused. They can monitor black markets where primates like her are sold and exploited. Similar to the work that these sanctuaries do, zoos also provide safe spaces for Orangutans to be able to mate and have full lives in environments similar to their native habitat.

All in all, I believe that the best way to protect Orangutans from extinction is by giving them the means of survival, this means giving them a bigger habitat to live and survive in. This goal can only be achieved if Indonesia and Malaysia both agree to stop expanding their industrialization to put a halt to deforestation. Limiting the amount of expansion protects the Orangutans from losing their homes. In addition to that, I believe there should be more work put into providing more security in their natural habitats to prevent poachers from being able to have access to them in their natural habitats. My prediction is that their population will continue to decrease as industries continue to expand but there will be a small population of Orangutans that live within sanctuaries and zoos that will be able to stay in controlled environments but will, unfortunately, be unable to live in the wild natural habitat.

Works Cited

  1. “Orangutan Pongo.” Primate Info Net Banner. Web. 01 Dec. 2018.
  2. “Taxonomy.” Orangutan SSP. Web. 01 Dec. 2018.
  3. Streptococcus Pneumoniae. Web. 01 Dec. 2018.
  4. Streptococcus Pneumoniae, 203/s2008/ahrens_just/classification.htm.
  5. Okapi Fact Sheet,
  6. Knox, Miranda. “The Horrifying Story of a Prostitute Orangutan Who Was Chained to a Bed, Shaved Daily and forced to Perform Sex Acts on Men Twice Her Size.” The Sun, The Sun, 27 Nov. 2018, who-was-chained-to-a-bed-shaved-daily-and-forced-to-perform-sex-acts-on-men-twice-her-size/.

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How Deforestation and Poaching Endanger the Orangutan Species. (2022, Jun 14). Retrieved from

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