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The Future of the Bornean Orangutan

Impacts of Change in Land and Climate

image of The Future of the Bornean Orangutan

Over the past century, orangutan populations in Southeast Asia have seen a very steep decline, driven to the brink of extinction by a host of man-made threats. Deforestation, illegal logging, the expansion of agro-industrial plantations and hunting – these forces combined to isolate orangutans into precarious pockets of forest on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Now, a new threat has emerged: climate change. This report assesses the impacts of land cover change and climate change on Borneo's endangered orangutans. It also examines the major driver of deforestation – the expansion of oil palm – and analyses how various land-use scenarios might impact the region through different climate change projections. As global initiatives are being set in place, it is encouraged to utilize these approaches to ensure a path towards sustainable development, not just for the benefit of humankind, but also for its closest relatives, the orangutans.

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Introduction

The future of most wildlife is now inextricably linked to the political, economic and social choices of one species: humans. Species and ecosystems are increasingly being affected negatively by human activities which have resulted in widespread pollution, overharvesting, habitat destruction and fragmentation.

English

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