Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Causes of Extinction

Pongo Pygmaeus is the scientific name for orangutan. This unique animal that has a face just like man which lives in the forest. Their name is derived from the Malay word 'orang hutan' which literally means 'person of the forest'. The orangutan is one of man's closest and enigmatic cousins in the animal kingdom, sharing 96.4 percent of our DNA.
Nowadays, the species of orangutan is likely to be extinct. Over the past 100 years orangutans have lost 91 per cent of their population. They reproduce very slowly, as the female will only give birth every 6-7 years in the wild. Yet, there is only one infant is born
The biggest threat to orangutan is the destruction of their habitat. This loss of habitat is the result of economic pressures, man’s greed and ignorance and natural disasters. It is also caused by illegal logging, huge expansion of oil palm plantations, forest fires, mining, settlements, slash and burn methods by the farmers, road construction, natural phenomena, and many other reasons.

The orangutans could be virtually extinct because of the illegal logging and fires that have been overtaken as the primary cause of deforestation, like a huge expansion of oil palm plantations. Palm oil, as a vegetable oil can enhance a healthy diet, and as a biofuel that can reduce carbon emissions which contribute to climate change. Yet, it transpires that humans’ pursuit of an ethical lifestyle could inadvertently mean a death sentence for one of the great apes.

Most animals are used for scientific research. The orangutan and chimpanzee are two such examples that are threatened for these reasons. Up to six orangutans die when captured or during transport for every one that ends up in a laboratory.

The trade in baby orangutans, though illegal, continues to thrive today. Many hundreds of infant orangutans are taken from the wild for the pet trade every year. This is done by killing the mother and taking the baby. It is estimated that 4-5 orangutans die for every baby reaching the market. They can die as a result of injury from falling several hundred feet to the forest floor when their mother was shot, of the trauma of seeing their mother killed and possibly eaten, from contracting diseases from humans (they are susceptible to all human disease), or from succumbing to the poor conditions in which they are often kept following their capture.

Legal and illegal commercial hunting has led to the extinction of orangutans. These activities continue today, especially in less developed countries where species protection programs do not exist or are poorly funded. There are two types of hunting; which are sport hunting and commercial hunting. Sport hunting is when hunters kill animals for recreation, while commercial hunting is when hunters kill for profit. Today it is of little concern as countries control sport hunting with licenses and regulations. This type of hunting is what causes extinction of animals today.


Orangutans are a "keystone" species for conservation. The number of orangutan is declining very fast and soon it will face the possible extinction from this planet. They play an important part in forest regeneration through the fruits and seeds they eat. Their disappearance may represent the loss of thousands of species of plants and animals within that ecosystem. This is such a sad ending for one of the most intelligent animal ever to sat foot on earth. Our greed is mainly the reason why orangutan is losing it's place here on earth.


Biby Cletus said...

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Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

anything said...

almost very nice.keep up your good work.next time i'll see you again

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