from Borneo Today
The future is bleak for the Bornean orangutan, which last year moved to IUCN’s Critically Endangered category with numbers dropping from 4,000 individuals in the 1960s to 1,125 in 2001 to less than 800 today in the Lower Kinabatangan. A study published this month in Scientific Reports indicates Sabah’s overall orangutan population has dropped by 20 per cent since the last comprehensive survey in the early 2000s, which had placed their number at 11,000 individuals.
Dr Marc Ancrenaz, Borneo Futures co-founder, said habitat fragmentation in Lower Kinabatangan remains a major issue with 11,000 hectares of forests outside protected areas lost in under a decade up to 2014, and over 20,000 hectares on alienated and state lands at risk of being converted for agriculture, primarily oil palm, further fragmenting the orangutan population and accelerating its decline.
Elaborating the value of forests outside of protected areas for biodiversity, Ancrenaz said a habitat suitability model developed for 13 mammal species in the Lower Kinabatangan revealed that 91 per cent of these non-protected forests were a good home for orangutan.
This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Borneo Today and can be read in its entirety here.