On the edge of extinctionThe relentless destruction of Sumatra’s rainforests has pushed the Sumatran orangutan to the edge of extinction. With only around 14,600 remaining in the wild, the species is classified as Critically Endangered.
The Sumatran orangutan relies on forests, but the forests of Sumatra are under immense and mounting threat. They are being torn down for farmlands, logging, mining and roads. International demand for products such as palm oil and timber, combined with weak forest governance and short-sighted land-use policies are driving deforestation at an alarming rate.
Orangutan populations are left fragmented and isolated as roads and plantations divide up the forest. This makes them easy targets for poaching for the illegal pet trade, and causes conflict with local communities when the stranded and starving apes are forced to resort to raiding crops.