1,000 wild orang-utans poached a year says WWF
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
August 6, 2005
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading conservation group, estimates that 1,000 orang-utans are poached annually from the wild, often for sale as pets for the wealthy. The organization says there are some 30,000 to 40,000 orang-utans left in the wild. Orang-utans are naturally found in the increasingly scarce forests of Sumatra and Borneo. While it is illegal to capture and own wild orang-utans, laws are poorly enforced.
A study released by WWF earlier this year found that at least 361 new species have been identified and described on the island of Borneo alone between 1994 and 2004: 260 insects, 50 plants, 30 freshwater fish, 7 frogs, 6 lizards, 5 crabs, 2 snakes and a toad.
"Borneo is undoubtedly one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world," says Dr. Mubariq Ahmad, Executive Director of WWF-Indonesia. "By acting now, we can ensure that the heart of Borneo remains a haven for both well-known and newly discovered species."
You can learn more about Borneo and WWF at:
- Borneo's disappearing forests; 361 new species discovered in past decade
- Borneo's peat lands going up in smoke
- Kalimantan at the Crossroads: Dipterocarp Forests and the Future of Indonesian Borneo
- Borneo's Lost World: Newly Discovered Species on Borneo [WWF]
- 'The Heart of Borneo' web expedition [WWF]
This news item used information from WWF press materials.