The Orang-utan

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
TOTAL 220,726 2,035

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
11 Bonggaya CFR 111
12 Lingkabau CFR 100
13 Silabukan PFR 58
14 Kinabalu Park Sabah Parks 50
15 Ulu Tunggud CFR 29
Total 8260-9646

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.

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