Great apes orangutans are only found in the wild on the island of Sumatra and Borneo, and now are in danger of extinction. Their habitat is fast disappearing through uncontrolled illegal logging activities, as well as their home forests converted into plantations and settlements. They were also hunted down and were locked up on cages, said Dr. Sri Sacred Utami Atmoko, biologists and conservation of orangutans. The population of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Borneo orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) now left in the wild is estimated to be only 65,000, as reports Kompas daily.
Dr. Holy Atmoko now estimates that the population of orangutans in Sumatra, now numbering about 7,500, will be reduced by half within a decade, and 97 percent in 50 years, if nothing is done to halt the loss of their habitat. After that these species will become extinct.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has listed 1,000 species in the Sumatran jungle that are in a position of „seriously threatened“, and that conservation intervention is urgent to do.
In addition, the loss of forest habitat creates many problems in the effort to release the monkey back to nature. Now there are about 800 orangutans at a rehabilitation center waiting to be released and returned to the wild. Orangutans can not be released just in any forest, because they must be released at a place that was once the old forest habitat of orangutans. In addition, the communities in which they are released also have to accept them and be educated in conservation. Through the promotion of eco-tourism, the public can gain economic benefits from their involvement in the conservation of orangutans.