Thursday, 24 November 2011

Devastating impact of palm oil on orang-utans

Land fragmentation causes population to plummet

November 2011: 300 orang-utans have been lost in just seven years in Lower Kinabatangan on Sabah's east coast. Forest isolation and loss of habitat are to blame according to Dr Marc Ancrenaz, scientific director of HUTAN - Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme (KOCP).

‘What we are seeing with our latest surveys within the Lower Kinabatangan is a clear population decline of the orang-utans,' said Dr Ancrenaz who hoped such issues would add urgency to events such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Oil Palm (RSPO) being held this month in Kota Kinabalu.

Isolated islands of forestThe biggest threat to orang-utan and other wildlife populations in Sabah is fragmentation. What this means is that agriculture development - primarily oil palm -has created small islands of forest which are isolated and completely surrounded by human-made landscape.

‘Because it is difficult for wildlife to move from one forest patch to the next, this situation leads to inbreeding and eventual population decline, which is what we are witnessing today in the Lower Kinabatangan,' said Dr Ancrenaz.

He points out that this issue is inherently related to the oil palm industry and he believes it should take action to rectify the situation. ‘We can still improve the situation for the Lower Kinabatangan's orang-utan and other wildlife by actually replanting and planning for actual wildlife corridors or patches of forest to support wildlife movement between protected or forested areas,' Dr Ancrenaz added.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails