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Jakarta Post

Forests dwindling fast, orangutan face extinction, say activists

  • Apriadi Gunawan and Sri Wahyuni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, February 12 2011   /  01:40 pm

Conservationist have voiced fears that orangutans in Sumatra are facing extinction due to habitat destruction, while some have alleged the animal is badly treated at zoos.

Researchers in Medan, North Sumatra, said that the orangutan population in Sumatra had declined rapidly to about 6,667.

Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari researcher Riswan Zen blamed damage in tropical forests for the rapid decrease in the orangutan population.

He said uncontrolled land conversions, forest fires and unsustainable logging activities had contributed to forest destruction.

Reports in 2007 said at least 35 percent of forests in Aceh were damaged, while 78% of forest area in North Sumatra was threatened. “If the damage keep increasing, orangutans face complete extinction,” Riswan told a workshop on ‘REDD and orangutans in Sumatra’ held in Medan on Thursday.

Riswan said th...