Rainforests mostly in the northern part of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Of the nine existing populations of Sumatran orangutans, only seven have prospects of long-term viability (survival), with at least 250 or more individuals. There are just over 14,000 Sumatran orangutans left, and 85% of them live in the Leuser Ecosystem!
We’re critically endangered because of deforestation and habitat loss for Conflict Palm Oil
plantations and the illegal pet trade.
What makes me special among the 3 orangutan species? We’re all red and fuzzy, but I have particularly long facial hair compared to the others. I mean, afaik mustaches and beards are hip, so it’s clear who’s winning here.
Orangutan means “forest people” in Malay — I mean, technically, we’re primates, but we share a lot of traits with you. We’re highly social and intelligent, and we value our family and clan bonds over everything. We’re almost exclusively arboreal, which means that we live among the trees of tropical rainforests and rarely travel on the ground. We live, eat, and even sleep on tree tops — we can’t survive without the rainforests — and that’s why we need you to help us keep forests standing.
Fast Facts: Did you know?
That that we’re extremely skillful bioengineers? When it rains hard, we make umbrellas out of large leaves, and we can also make sponges out of smaller leaves by chewing on them so they collect and hold water better for drier times. Next step: origami art!
That female orangutans only give birth about once every 8 years? It’s the longest time between births of any mammal on earth, even longer than humans, elephants or blue whales!
That we have closer social ties than other orangutans -- maybe because Sumatran forests are rich in fig trees where big groups can feast and share the fruits easily. And sharing is caring!
That — like all orangutan species — we share 97% of our DNA with humans? Even our facial expressions and gestures are similar!
That we don’t mind eating with our feet? We’re tree people and like to keep things convenient!
The rainforests of the Amazon, Congo, and Indonesia are our last best line of defense against the biodiversity and climate crisis. But 17 corporations are making massive profits by driving their destruction and the violation of human rights. That has to end NOW.
Why I want to Keep Forests Standing
We literally live up in the tallest trees. With every tree that falls for more palm oil plantations, pulp and paper, or expensive wooden furniture, we lose a piece of our precious home — and our food sources! We need the forests to survive and the forests need us too — we need to keep vast, intact rainforests standing so that we can thrive.