Bornean orangutan listed as critically endangered

©Eric Kilby

The latest assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) as critically endangered, recognizing the failure of conservation efforts to establish a stable or increasing population of the species.

Poaching and habitat destruction play a significant role in decreasing orangutan populations, despite both being illegal under current conservation measures. The combined impact of these and other factors has led experts to predict an 86 percent population decrease over an approximately 50 year period, the assessment reports. However, there may still be hope for the Bornean orangutan. Conservationists aim to improve orangutan populations by increasing efforts to restore degraded habitat and re-imagining conservation measures that engage, rather than conflict, with local industry.

Read more about the Bornean orangutan’s population assessment and recent listing in The Guardian.