Over the years many species of animals have become extinct but in the recent years, several animals have come under the endangered list, thanks to the loss of habitat and poaching. In a recent study, it has been observed that if certain immediate measures are not taken up that orangutans will soon become extinct, as their populations have declined by half in the last 16 years. A study released on Friday states that orangutans are “highly likely” to become extinct if current trends continue. The study found that the population of these large apes in Borneo had plunged by more than 100,000 in 16 years. The regional population of orangutans lives exclusively on Sumatra and Borneo.Also Read - Endangered Giant Flower That Emits Rotten Meat-like Smell Blooms in Warsaw, People Wait For Hours to See It
The study was the widest since 1999 and was conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in the German city of Leipzig and other institutions. The decline that was the most evident on the Southeast Asian island were observed in places where tropical forests were cut down for timber to clear the way for palm oil plantations, which resulted in a loss of habitat and a reduced area for orangutans. The authors of the study state “conflict killing, poaching, and the collection of baby orangutans for the pet trade” as other major factors for the decrease in population. World’s Loneliest Frog Has a Dating Profile Created by Scientists for Valentine’s Day to Help Save the Species From Extinction Also Read - Indonesia's Mount Sinabung Volcano Erupts, Spews Ash 5,000 Metres High Into Sky | Watch
The study also found that the large apes can survive in smaller forests and fragmented landscapes as they walk on the ground more often than previously thought. This allows them an advantage to survive on plants which are not a part of their natural diet. One of the scientists, Serge Wich said, “The one thing they cannot cope with, however, is the high killing rates seen currently. Orangutans are a very slow breeding species. If only one in 100 adults orangutan is removed from a population per year, this population has a high likeliness to go extinct.” The Last Male Northern White Rhino’s Heart-Wrenching Photo Goes Viral, This Is What Extinction Looks Like Also Read - Indonesia to Start Constructing New Capital on Island of Borneo in 2020
The researchers estimated that the current orangutan population is between 75,000 and 100,000 – more than 500% decline since the start of the research period. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had designated orangutans as critically endangered species. The IUCN further estimates that this number is going to decline further to about 47,000 by 2025 from their population estimate of 105,000 in 2016. According to the World Wide Fund (WWF), there are about 104,700 Bornean orangutans in the world. IUCN has registered both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans as critically endangered.