A coalition of local and international conservation groups warned last month that orangutans in the Tripa forest on Sumatra island could disappear by the end this year unless action was taken to stop land clearing using fire by plantation companies.
“Palm oil companies have been burning peatlands in violation of Indonesian laws,” said Ian Singleton, director for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. “The situation is urgent and requires action.” The Coalition to Save Tripa, which includes the local group Walhi and Greenpeace, said satellite images from December 26 showed less than 13,000 hectares of the area’s 60,000 hectares of forest remained and at least 40 hotspots indicating fires were detected in May.
About 100 orangutans in the area had died as a result of the recent destruction of their habitat, with only an estimated 200 remaining, they said.
There are currently about 6,600 Sumatran orangutans in the wild, according to ...