The Sabah and Sarawak State governments have identified a number of forest areas known to contain higher populations of orang-utans as wildlife sanctuaries, national parks or forest preserves. Ulu Segama – Malua Forest Reserve in Sabah, spanning over 0.236 million hectare, has been shown to be inhabited by about 6,000 – 7,000 orang-utans, the most populated orang-utan area in Sabah. The Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak has been shown to be inhabited by about 1,400 orang-utans. All these areas are permanently protected from development.
Major Locations of Orang-utan in Sarawak
|No.||Location||Total area (hectare)||Estimated Orang-utan Populations|
|1||Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary||168,758||1,400|
|2||Batang Ai National Park||24,040||300|
|3||Ulu Sebuyau National Park||27,275||300|
|4||Semenggoh Nature Reserve||653||35|
Source: Sarawak Forestry Council (2007)
Major Locations of the Orang-utan in Sabah
|No.||Forest Reserve(s)||Land Status||Approximate Orangutan Number|
|1||Sabah Foundation Forest Concession Area||Commercial Forest Reserve (CFR)||2600 – 3000|
|2||Danum Valley Conservation Area||Protection Forest Reserve (PFR)||425|
|3||Forest of Upper Kinabatangan (South)||CFR||1700 – 2100|
|4||Tabin Wildlife Reserve||Widlife Reserve||1200|
|5||Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain||Virgin Jungle Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuary and Privately Owned Land||700 – 825|
|6||Kulamba Wildlife Reserve Trusan Kinabatangan Wetlands – RAMSAR site||Wildlife Reserve, Mangrove Forest Reserve||480|
|7||Ulu Kalumpang, Mt. Wullersdorf and Tawau Hills||PFR, National Park||144 – 605|
|8||Trus Madi||CFR, PFR||282|
|9||Sepilok||Virgin Jungle Reserve||200|
|10||Crocker Range Park||Sabah Parks||181|
|14||Kinabalu Park||Sabah Parks||50|
Source: Sabah Wildlife Department (2012)
A conference was held in 2009 on the island of Borneo to address the risks and challenges facing the future of orangutans. At the conference, experts noted that the primary threat to orangutans was not the legitimate agriculture expansion illustrated by the palm oil industry, but poachers, hunting by local peoples, poor enforcement of existing laws and mining.
In fact, far from being the leading threat to the future of orangutans, the industry is a leading supporter of their preservation. A number of initiatives have been announced in between industry, the Government and NGOs to support the establishment of large wildlife preserves and conservation zones. This demonstrates but one such initiative among many that are supported by the industry, through efforts such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Council Wildlife Fund, which funds conservation projects and rehabilitation centers.