Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On #WorldOrangutanDay remember that you are 96.4% Orangutan

It's World Orangutan Day today and it was the perfect opportunity for me to log our rushes from a recent film shoot in Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, where we spent some quality time following a few of our charismatic cousins.

I can't wait for the sequence to be broadcast.

I can't yet reveal too much about what we've filmed but here's one of my favourite photo's of a Sumatran orangutan with her baby, and another of a large male Bornean orangutan that I took at Semenggoh Nature Reserve last year.

It's important to remember that these are different species and efforts need to be made to save both.

I'll let you know when we broadcast, which will be on BBC2 in the UK sometime in 2014.

The Sumatran orangutan is endemic to the island of Sumatra, Indonesia where its population has decreased by 86% over the past 100 years.

The most recent estimate (Wich et al, 2008) is that less than 6624 Sumatran orangutan still survive in the wild - this is decreasing every year.

The loss of forest cover is the main cause of this decline.

Between 1985 and 1997 61% of the forest in Sumatra was lost due to logging, infrastructure development, internal migration, and plantation development.

The Sumatran orangutan is critically endangered and is listed as one of the twenty-five most endangered primates in the world (IUCN, 2006).