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Orangutan: The Most Endangered Great Ape
Just 50 years ago, millions of our orange-haired relatives—the orangutans—populated Earth.
But over the past five decades, these numbers have declined by 50%, and orangutans are estimated to completely disappear in the next 50 years. Currently, the world’s most endangered great ape is on a path to extinction.
This illustrated graphic by Shehryar Saharan uses a wide range of information to highlight the threats that led to the downfall of the world’s orangutans, and what can be done to prevent their extinction. Sources include National Geographic, the New England Primate Conservancy, WWF, the IUCN Red List, Current Biology, Our World in Data, Nature, AAAS, and Britannica.
Where Are the Orangutans?
These long-haired, orange, and gentle primates are closely related to humans. They are extremely intelligent, and also crucial to the ecosystem as they help spread the seeds of trees in the forests they inhabit.
Found exclusively in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, these tree-dwellers are Asia’s only great apes. Their three species are all found on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
|Species||Scientific name||Location||Distinct Physical Features|
|Sumatran Orangutan||Pongo abelii||Sumatra (Indonesia)||Wide cheek pads, longer hair.|
|Bornean Orangutan||Pongo pygmaeus||Island of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia)||Small beard, broad face, dark fur.|
|Tapanuli Orangutan||Pongo tapanuliensis||Sumatra (Indonesia)||Flat face, Frizzy hair.|
The dark reddish-haired Bornean Orangutans are more likely than the others to come (Read more...)