Threatened species of Pongo pygmaeus

Other Names:
Threatened species of Sumatran orangutan
Endangered species of Bornean orangutan

Orangutans are threatened as they are popular as pets and as attractions in animal shows. An orangutan can fetch tens of millions of yen in Japan.

Habitat destruction and disturbance, especially due to commercial logging are a major threat to Orangutans. Only about 2 percent of the orangutan's original forest habitat remains, much of it in areas now ravaged by fire or affected by the thick haze.


The Indonesian government will seek the return of four endangered orangutans that almost certainly were smuggled into Japan and confiscated from a pet shop in May 1999. During August and September 1997 about 30 female orangutans died as a result of the fires in Kalimantan," according to the coordinator of orangutan conservation activities at the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. Twenty-nine orphaned orangutans have been found in several villages and alongside the roads after escaping from the forests, probably in search for food and water.

Prior to the fires the entire orangutan population was estimated to be around 30,000 individuals.

The IUCN considers Pongo pygmaeus as "Vulnerable". CITES lists the species as "Appendix 1".

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 15: Life on Land
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
13.06.2021 – 22:31 CEST