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Bornean orang-utan

Latin name: Pongo pygmaeus

Areas: | Indonesia |

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Bornean orang-utan

At one time orang-utans ranged throughout much of Asia, from Java in the south, up into southern China. Today they are found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

Within Borneo their range is limited to remote forests and protected areas and they are absent from large areas of the island.

Bornean orang-utan facts:

  • The orang-utan is Asia’s only great ape
  • Fruit makes up the bulk of an orang-utan’s diet, however other items include leaves, flowers, pith, fungi, honey, termites, small mammals and birds’ eggs
  • Adult orang-utans are largely solitary
  • The bond between a mother orang-utan and her young is very strong

Orang-utans face a multitude of threats ranging from loss of habitat as forest is converted for agriculture to hunting and fires.

The largest Bornean orang-utan population is now found in the south-western part of Borneo.

However, a recent wave of forest conversion, illegal logging and wildlife poaching and the growing threat of palm oil plantations is putting even more pressure on the orang-utan’s survival.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working to conserve orang-utans in and around Borneo’s Gunung Palung National Park, home to the world’s largest orang-utan population along with clouded leopards, sun bears, and proboscis monkeys.

We’ve set up orang-utan protection and monitoring units, consisting of community members and forest rangers, to patrol critical orang-utan areas. This was the first community-based protection unit for orang-utans in Indonesia.

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Did you know?

Reducing the number of orang-utans in a population to less than 50 makes the population genetically unviable.

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