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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.
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."
- Success of Palm Oil Brings Plantations Under Pressure to Preserve Habitats , 17 September 2009 by New York Times: Each year, the oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia "produce millions of tons of palm oil, which has soared in popularity since the 1970s and is now found in foods like margarine, potato chips and chocolate, as well as in soap, cosmetics and biofuel."
- "But the palm plantations are in the cross hairs of consumer groups and corporations in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Echoing the longstanding concerns of environmental groups, they say palm oil producers continue to fell large tracts of forest to make way for plantations, destroying habitat for endangered species like the orangutan."
|Biodiversity | Invasive species | Wildlife|
Gorillas | Orangutans
| Greater Mekong Subregion: Burma/Myanmar | Cambodia | Southern China | Laos | Thailand | Vietnam |
Regional activities: Core Agriculture Support Program
Other: Brunei | East Timor/Timor Leste | Indonesia | Malaysia | Philippines | Singapore
What is bioenergy? | Benefits/Risks | Who is doing what?