Fact: Orangutans are a protected species in Indonesia. They are an iconic species for Indonesia and the region. Indonesia’s orangutans are found in Sumatra, a large Indonesian island west of Java and south of the Malay Peninsula. They are also found in the Indonesian state of Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
Indonesia has around 115,000 orangutans. It is estimated that there are 105,000 orangutans on the island of Borneo and another 13,500 on the island of Sumatra. Indonesia has more orangutans living on its territory than any other country.
Indonesia has strong laws against the trafficking and illegal capture of wildlife such as the orangutan. Penalties for trafficking are as high as ten years in prison and fines of up to USD790,000.
The Indonesian palm oil community, working in collaboration with the government, as well as national and international NGOs, has made the protection of the orangutan a key pillar in its commitment to a sustainable future.
However, there are significant threats to orangutans. Poaching is the most immediate threat. Conservationists have stated that unless poaching stops, orangutans will remain endangered regardless of the role of oil palm or other crops.
There is also a lack of awareness among Indonesia’s rural population regarding the conservation status of orangutans and the punishments for illegal capture.
Palm oil is not causing the death of orangutans in Indonesia; the palm oil community is committed to working with the government and NGOs to protect this endangered species.