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Bioenergy > Issues > Biodiversity > Orangutans

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There is concern that the tropical rainforest habitat of orangutans in Southeast Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia) will be reduced due to expansion of plantations of oil palm, for production of palm oil, used, among other things, as a feedstock for biodiesel.


  • Sixty percent of orangutans found in Sabah, Malaysia are living outside the network of protected areas.
  • There is a high risk of extinction of the orangutan in Sabah in the near future
  • The major threat to the long-term survival of orangutans in Sabah is linked with oil palm plantation development and forest destruction.
  • Orangutans cannot survive in industrial tree plantations.

(source: www.eurekalert.org)

Academic Papers

Goossens B, Chikhi L, AncrenazM, Lackman-Ancrenaz I, Andau P, et al. (2006) PLoS Biol 4(2): e25. "The first demonstration that genetic data can detect and quantify the effect of recent, human-induced deforestation and habitat fragmentation on an endangered species. Because current demographic collapses are usually confounded by ancient events, this suggests a much more dramatic decline than demographic data alone and emphasises the need for major conservation efforts."


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