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Orang-utans species:

Critically endangered (Around 55000 remain) Pongo pygmaeus

Affected by: Food & farming , Habitat loss and fragmentation , Illegal wildlife trade

Critically endangered (Around 14600 remain) Pongo abelii

Affected by: Food & farming , Habitat loss and fragmentation , Illegal wildlife trade

What an extraordinary creature the orang-utan is. It’s one of the most human-like of all wild animals – although of course with extra-long arms and more ginger hair.

But this ‘person of the forest’ (that’s what orang-utan means in Malay) is now at serious risk. And one of the biggest threats to them is in lots of the everyday products we buy.

A century ago, orang-utans lived in forests all across south-east Asia – from southern China to the Indonesian island of Java. Today they’re only found on two islands: Sumatra and Borneo. As the orang-utans’ forests have disappeared, so have their numbers – cut by around half in just the last 60 years.

It’s vitally important to protect these incredible animals – Asia’s only great apes – before it’s too late. Your support is crucial, and the good news is you can help in lots of ways.

Where orang-utans hang out

Orang-utans used to roam as far north as southern China, and as far south as the Indonesian island of Java. Today they’re only found on two islands – Sumatra and Borneo.

These islands are also home to lots of other threatened species – including  the Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard and Asian elephant. Protecting the orang-utan’s home helps those animals too.

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Why orang-utans are so important

Orang-utans are known as gardeners of the forest, because they help spread seeds around. You know how it works – they eat fruit from the trees, the seeds come out the other end, the forest spreads. Especially the larger seeds that don’t get spread by smaller animals.

Without that seed distribution, the forests would be drastically different, and that would have impacts on all the people and animals that live in or use those forests.

The people of Borneo and Sumatra depend on the orang-utan’s forest for food, water, income and environmental protection. 

Adopt an orang-utan

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£25 could pay a Protection Unit ranger's salary for 10 days, to help keep these magestic creatures safe.

Help us protect these uniquely wonderful tree-swingers and their forest homes. Adopt an orang-utan today.

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