Friday, 16 February 2018

Cross My Palm Oil With Silver?


Very disturbing news of a dramatic decline in the numbers of Borneo Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) over  the last 16 years with a decline of circa 150,000 animals (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/15/dramatic-decline-in-borneos-orangutan-population-as-150000-lost-in-16-years). The decimation of this very arboreal, rainforest ape seem to be largely consequences of hunting (for bush-meat or to kill the mother inorder to take any young for sale as 'pets') and habitat loss (basically by forest clearance to convert areas to palm oil or acacia plantations). Unsurprisingly, these apes are reported to be often killed by farm workers when they 'stray' on to agricultural land. You apparently even get hunting of these beasts in one part of the country and attempted conservation nearby. It is certainly possible that the losses are an under-estimate as the figures include a large element presumed from known habitat loss rather than being based on actual carcasses.

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