A new report from the Center for Orangutan Protection shows that the orangutan population in Kutai National Park, Borneo, has declined 90% over the past five years.
In 2004 there were about 600 orangutans living in the park; today that figure is somewhere between 30 and 60, park officials said. The reason: deforestation and hunting enabled by state-sponsored colonization of the region.
This is the situation, according to Yon Thayrun of COP:
The Kutai National Park has been changing into a city… The root of the problem with the Kutai National Park is a breach of duty committed by officials to get political and financial advantages. They gave away land spaces to people to win their votes in the local administration elections. They also mobilize people to seize the national park area. Their strategy to win people’s hearts by giving away the land seemed successful.
The tragedy in this is that the orangutan deaths are entirely avoidable. We know this is happening to countless species. Many groups are working to help, but they need support from all of us. Why should we wait until an event like this — or worse — occurs before we acknowledge the problem?