Orangutans are often animals high on the list that people wish to see one day. Orangutans are the only great ape that lives outside Africa.
While fossils show that at one time, it was found on the mainland of Asia, the Orangutan is now restricted to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The Orangutan was first scientifically described in 1779 by Dutch anatomist Petrus Camper. This page is devoted to the Orangutans of Sumatra.
As with all great apes, the Orangutan is a keystone species and by saving its habitat, we save many thousands more as a by-product. The greatest threat has been palm oil plantations – while in theory these are created to reduce carbon emissions, it is questionable as to whether these plantations could ever be carbon negative. Building it on land that has to be cleared of rainforest, means that these palm oil plantations will have huge carbon footprints, which are likely to take over a century to pay off. As such it is not useful for climate change mitigation.
The orangutans of Sumatra are classed as critically endangered.
They are currently thought to number around 14,000. As always, we hope to add many destinations for Orangutans in the near future, do get in touch if you wish to list somewhere in their range. Below, any listings that might get added in the future, you will find all the articles we have written on Orangutans.
The Borneo and Sumatran Orangutans were only recognized as separate species in 1996