Category: tropical primary rainforest

Visualizing Orangutans: The Most Endangered Great Ape


This post is by Freny Fernandes from Visual Capitalist


Click to view this graphic in a higher-resolution.

The most endangered great ape: Orangutan

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.

SpeciesScientific nameLocationDistinct Physical Features
Sumatran OrangutanPongo abeliiSumatra (Indonesia)Wide cheek pads, longer hair.
Bornean OrangutanPongo pygmaeusIsland of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia)Small beard, broad face, dark fur.
Tapanuli OrangutanPongo tapanuliensisSumatra (Indonesia)Flat face, Frizzy hair.

Bornean Orangutans

The dark reddish-haired Bornean Orangutans are more likely than the others to come (Read more...)

What Does 30 Years of Global Deforestation Look Like?


This post is by Aran Ali from Visual Capitalist


The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

The Briefing

  • 177.5 million hectares of land have been lost to deforestation since the 1990s
  • Deforestation accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions

30 Years of Deforestation

Estimates say deforestation practices need to be thwarted by 75% by 2030, in order to effectively manage rising global average temperatures. But when looking at deforestation data over the last 30 years, it’s clear we’ve gone in the opposite direction.

This sponsored graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the total land lost to deforestation since the 1990s and compares it to the total land in the U.S. as a point of reference.

The Rise and Fall of Forests

Approximately 4% of the world’s forests have been lost since the 1990s. This is equivalent to 177.5 million hectares or 685,000 square miles, and greater than the total land area of 179 countries in the world. In addition, this covers one-fifth of the land in America. Here’s how the average global annual net change in forest area looks on a decade-by-decade basis.

Period

Global Annual Forest Area Net Change (Hectares)

2010-2020

-4.7M ha

2000-2010

-5.2M ha

1990-2000

-7.8M ha

A silver lining here is that in the most recent decade that’s passed we’ve seen a reduction in the amount of deforestation. Compared to the late 1990s, the decade between 2010 and 2020 has seen yearly deforestation reduce by 3.1 million hectares from 7.8 million to 4.7 million.

However, there’s still plenty of work that needs (Read more...)

Visualizing the Forest Funding Gap Relative to Emissions


This post is by Aran Ali from Visual Capitalist


The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

The Briefing

  • Deforestation accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions
  • Deforestation receives just 2.2% of climate funding

The Forest Funding Gap

Climate change has been referred to as modern day civilization’s greatest challenge. And stopping deforestation is an important step in the battle to stop rising global temperatures. Yet, when you look at the amount of climate funding earmarked for deforestation, something doesn’t add up.

This graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the state of global deforestation and compares how much climate funding it receives relative to its global CO2 emissions.

Deforestation’s Role in Global Emissions

Protecting our forests and protecting the climate are one in the same. In fact, the data reveals that tropical deforestation accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions.

What’s more, these levels of emissions exceed that of all individual countries except for the U.S. and China. Despite this, climate funding towards deforestation only accounts for $14 billion of the over $618 billion available, representing a small 2.2% slice of the total.

This is especially problematic when considering a forest’s carbon stock and carbon sequestration capabilities. Here’s how different forests across the globe compare when looking at gigatonnes of carbon stock.

EcosystemEstimated Carbon Stock (Gt)Annual Loss Rate
Tropical moist forests295 Gt0.45%
Boreal forests283 Gt0.18%
Temperate broadleaf forests133 Gt0.35%
Temperate conifer forests66 Gt0.28%
Tropical dry forests14 Gt0.58%
Mangroves7.3Gt0.13%

A carbon stock (Read more...)