Saturday, 18 July 2009

Will orangutans follow tigers into oblivion?

Regular readers will probably recall my prediction about one year ago that orangutans could go the same way as tigers. I recall the media saying then there were about 1600 tigers remaining. Now they say tigers are down to the last 1000. Please click on above links.

There are similarities between campaigns to save the tiger and the orangutan. Large iconic species, recognized the world over. For years officially classed an endangered species. Tens of millions of dollars of public money raised and spent by WWF alone, without saving a single tiger in over 25 years. USAid/OCSP managed to get through a staggering (absolute minimum) $11.5 million with their orangutan action plan between 2004-8 …. has anyone ever heard how many orangutans or forests they saved for their $11.5 million of US taxpayers money?

Corrupt and/or incompetent governments intent only on extracting overseas aid to save 'their' tigers whilst all the time not really giving a damn about them. Identical to the Indonesian governments attitude to orangutans.

One thing is clear regarding orangutans. About 3000 a year have been killed for each of the last 25 years. Whatever has been tried previously to save them, numerically speaking, has consistently failed. So, if all we keep on doing is more of what we have always done, it is obvious we will only get the same result each year; namely, about another 3000 dead orangutans.

If we are to really save orangutans from following tigers into oblivion, those of us who really care will either need to do things differently or to work harder. If we are not winning the battle, we are losing, and to many of us I know losing is not an option.

Reading this and maybe even agreeing with it will change nothing. Each of us has the ability and responsibility to do more to save orangutans - whilst we still have time - unlike for tigers.

We can always do more. I promise to do so. Will you?