Saturday, 13 September 2008

Hunting the biggest threat to Orangutan`s survival


Hunting the biggest threat to Orangutan`s survival

Medan, N Sumatra, (ANTARA News) - Wildlife hunting is still the biggest threat to the survival of the orangutan, a researcher said. Wildlife hunting has been practiced since the 19th century mainly to improve one`s economic welbeing, and often also for the flesh of the big ape.

Field and Research Assistant Manager of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) Asril said here Friday the species collected for scientific purposes by the foreign scientists in the 19th and 20th centuries had also caused the orangutan to become an endangered species in Indonesia.

"The most distinct impact of the hunting is a drop in the orangutan population, bringing the big apes closer to extinction," he said.Based on the result of the Population And Habitat Viability Analysis (PHVA) Workshop, the number of orangutans has been predicted to reach only 58.300, including 51.000 of them in the Kalimantan forests, and the rest in Sumatra.

Lately, Asril said, the orangutans confiscated by the Ministry of Forestry is mostly from the legally well-informed people like government officials, military and entrepreneurs, which is a very deplorable situation."They make orangutans their pets, because they think orangutans are adorable and can entertain them," he said.

Damage in their habitat caused by the conservation of forests into farmland, illegal logging and forest fires have the same impact as that of hunting orangutans.(*)