GEORGE TOWN: Borneo Orang Utan Survival Foundation (BOSF), based in Indonesia, will cooperate with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to get fund in an effort to protect orang utan in Kalimantan and Sumatera areas.
BOSF Chief Executive Officer Dr Jamartin Sihite said, the cooperation was in line with their efforts to conserve the species and to carry out more collaboration in reaserach on the orang utan whose existence is increasingly under threat.
“Based on the 2004 record, we found more than 60,000 orang utan in Indonesia and Malaysia, including 15 to 20 per cent of the species in Sabah and Sarawak. However, this figure had decreased at about 30 per cent each year.
“Nowadays, the total number of orang utan is only about 35,000 to 40,000 due to several factors especially the forest fires and haze occurring in its habitat, every year,” he told a press conference after the launching of Orang Utan Conservation Fund, here today.
The fund was implemented with cooperation from USM, Malaysia Primatology Society (MPS), International Primatology Society and Asian Local Knowledge Network.
Jamartin said, BOSF would be implementing the orang utan re-counting programme next year to find out the total number of orang utan existing in forests in Kalimantan and Sumatera.
“We spent about six million USD each year for the orang utan conservation programme including the cost for maintaining 700 orang utan in our centre. We are also conducting education and awareness campaign for residents living near orang utan habitat,” he said.
Meanwhile, MPS President Prof Dr Mashhor Mansor said the implementation of orang utan conservation programme was to ensure its safety due to the environmental damage caused by human activity.
He said if the efforts were not implemented, the species was expected to become extinct by 2020.
Members of the public who are interested to donate could surf www.orangutan.or.id to obtain further information.