Within the last 10 years, the wild orangutan population has halved, to the point that there are now fewer than sixty thousand orang-utans left in existence. That might sound like a lot compared to some endangered species, but they are increasingly threatened and likely to be extinct in the wild in as little as 10 years without successful intervention.
You can adopt an orangutan for as little as £3 per month and you will receive a wonderful orangutan adoption pack containing the following items.
Orangutan adoption pack details
When you adopt a Orangutan, you’ll be helping this beautiful creature, its habitat and other animals that live in the same environment. You will also receive an adoption pack that includes:
- A cuddly toy orangutan
- A fact booklet about orangutans
- A beautiful orangutan print
- A greeting card
- WWF’s tips on reducing everyone’s environmental impact
- Three issues of Insight magazine throughout the year with updates about orangutans
Threats and challenges to the orangutan species
One of the largest threats to the wild orang-utan population is of course mankind. It’s a familiar story in the world of animal conservation – the habitat of the orangutan is increasingly threatened by a human desire to exploit the land for more lucrative purposes. Large scale land clearance projects are resulting in the destruction and fragmentation of the orangutan’s native forest habitat to enable agricultural use of the land – for palm oil plantations and similar commercial operations.
Illegal logging operations and forest fires further threaten the habitat of the orangutan, and a side effect of the resulting deforestation is the exposure of previously unreachable areas to poaching activities, placing these incredible animals in even greater danger.
Orangutans are hunted and traded for their meat and also sometimes kept as pets.
All of these man made problems provide huge challenges to the survival of the orangutan.
The orang-utan (also written as orangutan and incorrectly as orangutang) takes it’s name from the Malay words ‘orang’ and ‘hutan’ and literally means ‘man of the forest’ – the forests in question being the tropical and sub-tropical forests of Sumatra and Borneo. Orangutans live in the trees themselves, at heights of up to 30 metres. They spend most of their lives in the trees – sleeping, eating and raising their young in the forest canopy. The orang-utan feeds mainly on fruit.
The orang-utan’s DNA is over 95% identical to that of humans, making them our closest living relatives, explaining why they are so similar to us in many ways and also why they are one of the most intelligent animals on earth. The female orangutan produces one baby orangutan every eight years on average and this slow reproductive cycle is also a factor in their dwindling numbers, and as the results of any conservation efforts will not be immediate this is another reason why urgent action is required.
Where will my orangutan adoption donation money go?
Adopt-An-Orangutan.org.uk proudly supports the WWF and all orangutan adoption funds go to the WWF in their efforts to help the orangutan. WWF works tirelessly with other animal conservation organisations as well as governments, local agencies and individuals to highlight the plight of the orangutan and raise awareness of the threats that they are exposed to as a species.
WWF has worked successfully with the governments of Borneo to establish protected forest areas and reserves and is even working to restore areas of forest that have already been degraded as well as funding patrols to assist in the reduction of the hunting and poaching of these animals. WWF is commited to the protection of the orangutan and it’s natural habitat, a massive task which will also impact positively on the survival of other species which share the forest with the orang-utan.
Your support will also help fund other essential WWF conservation work around the world.
Examples of WWF orangutan conservation work
- WWF is working with governments of Borneo to create protected areas and reserves to safeguard the future of the orangutan. The Ulu Segama Forest Reserve is one such example.
- WWF is working to reverse some of the damage done to the orangutan’s habitat by actively repairing degraded tropical rainforest areas that have been damaged by illegal logging and land clearance.
- WWF is working to ensure that those responsible for the illegal trade in these animals for meat or as pets are brought to justice.
- WWF works with the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC to assist governments in the enforcement of restrictions on the trade in these and other animals
- WWF works to rescue animals from traders where possible and to ensure their rehabilitation and eventual release back into their natural habitat