August 19th is the annual International Orangutan Day. This international event aims to promote the conservation of critically endangered orangutan and encourage the welfare of their habitat.
There are only approximately 50,000 to 65,000 orangutans left in the wild, with approximately 2,000 to 3,000 orangutans being killed annually. Along with this, orangutans have lost over 80% of their natural habitat over the last 20 years, with an estimated one-third of the wild population dying during the fires of 1997-98.
The primary threats to the survival of wild orangutans are:
- Loss of habitat via deforestation
- Palm oil plantations
- Illegal hunting
- Illegal pet trade
Based on all of these threats, many researchers believe that orangutans could be extinct within the next 50 years.
How to help:
- Donate to an orangutan conservation organization
- Educate yourself on deforestation and other threats to orangutan welfare
- Spread awareness about orangutan conservation