Orangutans are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild (IUCN)
Species & Scientific Names
Sumatran (Pongo abelii)
Tapanuli (Pongo tapanuliensis)
73 to 220 pounds
Arm length is longer than height and males have an armspan of up to 7 feet
Reproduction & Parental Care
Social Oranization & Behavior
Communication & Vocalizations
Palm oil is a highly versatile vegetable oil used in everything from processed foods, cosmetics, shampoo, cleaning products, candles, soaps and more. It’s also used as a bio-fuel and a protein source to fatten livestock.
Globally, it is the most heavily produced vegetable oil and it’s presence in consumer products is staggering—90% of the palm oil produced is used in consumer products, nearly 78% of foods contain it, 70% of cosmetics use palm oil derivatives as emulsifiers and surfactants, and nearly 50% of palm oil imported into the EU is used as biofuel. It’s ease in growing, high yield, and low production costs make palm oil popular crop for large and small-scale growers.
Demand for palm oil has exploded in the past 20 years and Indonesia supplies over half the world’s palm oil. Massive deforestation of primary forest—key to survival of Orangutans and all the plants and animals of this rich biodiverse habitat, is attributed to the advent of palm oil plantations, especially large-scale growers. Palm oil cultivation isn’t the only threat to Orangutans, but it is one of the key threats, and continues to squeeze Orangutans onto ever-shrinking, degraded and fragmented parcels of forest.
The topic of palm oil is a highly controversial and polarizing one with no easy solutions. For purposes of saving Orangutans and all the other forest-dwelling inhabitants, Save Orangutans Now recommends only choosing products that contain RSPO palm oil. Learn more about managing your consumption of palm oil below.
Reduce your overall consumption of palm oil — processed foods are unhealthy anyway!