Orangutan numbers shrinking
MEDAN, North Sumatra : The population of protected orangutans in the Leuser Park in Aceh and North Sumatra is dwindling, with current levels estimated at about 5,000.
The orangutan research center at Ketambe village, Southeast Aceh regency reported that the number has continued to decrease by about 1,000 per year since 1994, mainly as a result of destruction to their habitat.
Asril, a research assistant at the center, told Antara in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, that rampant illegal logging in the Mount Leuser National Park in Aceh posed the most serious threat to the lives of orangutans in the area.
The influx of hundreds of refugees from the restive areas in Aceh province into Langkat regency inside the Mount Leuser National Park has also contributed to the decline.(emf)