We have been receiving good news lately regarding certain endangered species. Today, it appears that the population of Sumatran orangutans that was previously reported to have diminished has in fact doubled. However, many threats remain and must be quickly dealt with.
A previous study has estimated the number of Sumatran orangutans at 6,600, but the team recently discovered three thousand more nests, located in the northern part of Sumatra, western Lake Toba and logged forests. Therefore, the new estimated number has reached 14,600. Unfortunately, the population of Sumatran Orangutans is expected to drop by 4,500 animals by the year 2030.
The team of researchers is composed of people from both Indonesia and Europe. Their previous mistake seems to have happened because of the dismissal of the northern area. It appears the orangutans have started building their nests in habitats that were previously not in their range. But what determined the animals to change their homes?
The destruction of their habitat made the endangered species move around, especially because the island Sumatra is currently expanding. Conservationists are planning to monitor the orangutan closely and try to minimize as much as possible all human threats.
The Sumatran orangutan is among the rarest species of its kind with its Bornean brother. Both species share about 97 percent of their DNA with humans, which makes them as close to us as chimpanzees. Even though recent years have recorded a drastic decline in their population, the new discovery proves the animals have adapted to the dire situations and have expanded their range to other elevated regions.
While the fact that there are 14,600 such orangutans on the Sumatra Island is good news, the number is still very small compared to the one of Bornean orangutans which has a population of about 54,500. Dr. Serge Wich, lead author of the study from the John Moores University in Liverpool, has stated that the positive discovery should not make conservationists complacent. Instead, their work in the region should continue to ensure the preservation of the species. The Indonesian government is also involved in the project.
And the work will not be easy, because if the current development of Sumatra will continue at the same rate, the numbers of Sumatran orangutans will drop by 4,500 animals by the year 2030. In this respect, all future development projects should be carefully assessed regarding their impact on the surrounding environment. Only by cooperating will they be able to save the beautiful nature of our planet.
Image Source: WWF
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