Saturday, 10 May 2008

Orangutan habitat in peril due to palm oil plantations

Vol. XXI, No. 197 Thursday, May 8, 2008 MANILA, PHILIPPINES FREE PREVIEW


Orangutan habitat in peril due to palm oil plantations

JAKARTA - One of the biggest populations of wild orangutans on Borneo willbe extinct in three years without drastic measures to stop the expansionof palm oil plantations, conservationists said Wednesday.

"For Central Kalimantan, the species will be gone as soon as three yearsfrom now," Center for Orangutan Protection Director Hardi Bhaktiantoro told a press conference.

More than 30,000 wild orangutans live in the forests of Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province, or more than half the entire orangutan population of Borneo island which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Experts believe the overall extinction rate of Borneo orangutans is 9% per year, but in Central Kalimantan they are disappearing even faster due to unchecked expansion of palm oil plantations.