The IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature – has upgraded the Red List status of the Bornean Orangutan to Critically Endangered, their highest category of extinction risk, in a grave and serious statement of the potential fate of this magnificent creature. Scientists have estimated that the population will decline by 86% between 1950 and 2025, a massive drop driven by habitat loss and hunting.
Borneo Nature Foundation’s Director Simon Husson, one of the authors of this report, says that the designation of Critically Endangered status must be used as a wake-up call to halt the devastation of Borneo’s rainforests. “It is not too late to save the orangutan, but to do so the Indonesian Government must stop the conversion of forests to oil palm plantations and must prevent the annual burning of peatlands through restoration and law enforcement. Only by properly managing the remaining forests can Borneo’s amazing biodiversity be preserved.”