Sketchy Logging Practice Threatens the Only Orangutans Successfully Reintroduced into the Wild


photo: James Gagen via flickr.

Orangutans in Indonesia just can't catch a break. The latest instance is that the only area in which orangutans have been successfully reintroduced into the wild is under threat from logging operations planned by Asian Pulp & Paper and the Sinar Mas Group:The area in question is forest surrounding the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, which according to WFF, in addition to orangutans contains about one quarter of the world's remaining Sumatran tigers, a significant population of Sumatran elephants, as well as the Talang Mamak and Orang Rimba indigenous people.


map: WWF

Here's the background of the situation,

APP/SMG pushed a legally questionable logging road through both areas last year, opening up access for rampant illegal logging and clearing linked with increased fatalities as tigers are driven into closer contact with humans.

With the latest acquisition, APP/SMG now holds the majority of the buffer areas to the national park , including large areas the Forestry Service of Jambi and the National Park management authority agreed in 2008 to designate as the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem which would be sustainably managed as natural forest.

Less than one third of the 2007 forest cover is within the National Park, with the areas most preferred by animals and indigenous peoples lying in the surrounding lowland forests now vulnerable to clearing.

From 1985-2007 Sumatra lost 12 million hectares of forest, a decline in forest cover of 48%.

In 2002, the first orangutan to be reintroduced into the wild were established in the area; and in the years since have firmly established themselves in the area, breeding and forming new family groups.

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Tags: Conservation | Deforestation | Indonesia

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