KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s isolated orang utan population in Kinabatangan may become extinct in less than 50 years if conservation measures are not taken urgently.
This was based on genetic modeling carried out by conservation geneticist Dr. Benoit Goossens of Cardiff University and Dr. Isabelle Lackman-Ancrenaz of HUTAN not long ago.
A study carried out jointly by the Wildlife Department and HUTAN, a French NGO in 2004 showed that 60 per cent of Sabah’s legendary ‘wild man of the rainforest’ live in unprotected areas.
As such, HUTAN director Dr March Ancrenaz said it is essential to take conservation measures to protect these orang-utans and the measures would by necessity be specific to each region.
The Wildlife Department and Hutan, he said, had been studying orang utan occurrence in protected and unprotected areas for a number of years.
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