Orangutan Population in Borneo National Park Declines 90% in Last Five Years


Without concerted action, habitat loss due to deforestation may very well relegate orangutans to lives in zoos, like this one in Singapore. Photo: chem 7 via flickr.

In what is a tragically graphic example of deforestation and political corruption combining to devastate an ecosystem, a new report from the Centre for Orangutan Protection, highlighted by Mongabay, shows that orangutan populations in Kutai National Park on Indonesian part of the island of Borneo have declined 90% in the past five years:In 2004 there were about 600 orangutans living in the park; today that figure is somewhere between 30 and 60, park officials said. The reason: deforestation and hunting enabled by state-sponsored colonization of the region.

Yon Thayrun of COP describes the situation,

The Kutai National Park has been changing into a city, complete with an airport, gas stations, marketplace, BTS towers, a bus terminal, and prostitution complex. Only time will tell, whether orangutans can survive in the area.

The root of the problem with the Kutai National Park is a breach of duty committed by officials to get political and financial advantages. They gave away land spaces to people to win their votes in the local administration elections. They also mobilize people to seize the national park area. Their strategy to win people's hearts by giving away the land seemed successful.

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Tags: Conservation | Deforestation | Endangered Species | Indonesia

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