Bornean Orangutan

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES | bornean orangutan

Adult male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in rainforest canopy, Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo, West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Bornean orangutan populations have declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, and the species’ habitat has been reduced by at least 55% over the past 20 years. The Bornean orangutan differs in appearance from the Sumatran orangutan, with a broader face and shorter beard and also slightly darker in color. Three subspecies are recognized, each localized to different parts of the island:

  • Northwest Bornean orangutans are the most threatened subspecies. Its habitat has been seriously affected by logging and hunting, and a mere 1,500 individuals or so remain. Many habitat patches in the area are small and fragmented.
  • Northeast Bornean orangutans are the smallest in size and found in Sabah and eastern Kalimantan as far as the Mahakam River.
  • Central Bornean orangutans are the subspecies with the most animals, with at least 35,000 individuals.

Source:  World Wildlife Fund


• PLACES
Borneo and Sumatra
• HABITATS
Lowland rainforests and tropical swamp and mountain forests
• STATUS
Critically Endangered
• POPULATION
About 104,700
• SCIENTIFIC NAME
Pongo pygmaeus
• WEIGHT
66-220 pounds

WHY THEY MATTER

Orangutans play a critical role in seed dispersal, keeping forests healthy. Over 500 plant species have been recorded in their diet.

WHY THEY ARE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

Orangutan numbers and distribution have declined rapidly since the middle of the 20th century, due to human activities. These include hunting, unsustainable and often illegal logging, mining, and conversion of forests to agriculture. One particularly catastrophic event was the 1997-98 forest fires in Kalimantan, which killed up to 8,000 individual orangutans.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Adopt an Animal
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Take Action
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CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BORNEAN ORANGUTAN.
Source of all information provided on page: World Wildlife Fund