The Future of the Bornean Orangutan: impacts of change in land cover and climate
Over the past century, orangutan populations in Southeast Asia have seen a very steep decline, driven to the brink of extinction by a host of man-made threats. Deforestation, illegal logging, the expansion of agro-industrial plantations and hunting – these forces combined to isolate orangutans into precarious pockets of forest on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Now, a new threat has emerged: climate change. This report from the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the Liverpool John Moores University assesses the impacts of land cover change and climate change on Borneo's endangered orangutans. The report also examines the major driver of deforestation – the expansion of oil palm – and analyses how various land-use scenarios might impact the region through different climate change projections. The report concludes, sadly, that a combined model of climate change and landuse change could result in a further three quarter loss of orangutan habitat from the present day.