Around the globe, there are over 40,000 endangered species, and over 9,000 of those are critically endangered. One such critically endangered species is the orangutan.
While humans are overwhelmingly responsible for the decline in many animal populations, I’d like to think we can be part of the solution, too. Today I’d like to take a closer look at this magnificent and critically threatened species to learn more about the orangutan and what we can do to help the effort to preserve their populations.
We’ll also take a look at some orangutan amigurumi patterns. These patterns are a great way to raise awareness, and they’re cute, too!
Endangered Animal: Orangutan
There are three different species of orangutans, most of which live in Borneo. A smaller population of orangutans lives in Sumatra. They are about 4′ – 5′ tall and weigh about the same as an average adult human, making them the largest tree-dwelling animals in the world.
Orangutans can live 40-50 years, but humans are killing them off at a rapid rate. Both the Sumatran and Bornean species of orangutan are listed as Critically Endangered by the World Wildlife Fund.
These great apes are highly intelligent creatures, and they share over 96% of their genes with humans.
There are nine existing populations of Sumatran orangutans, and only seven are estimated to have long-term viability. Of those, only three have populations of over 1,000 individuals.
Bornean orangutan populations are in a serious decline, decreasing by over 50% over the past 20 years.
One of the major causes of their rapid demise is habitat loss due to deforestation for palm oil production. One of the things that you can do today is to make sure not to purchase any products including palm oil in the ingredients!
This issue affects many other animals as well, not to mention the impact on the environment as a whole. Learn more from Say No To Palm Oil!
Organizations That Help Orangutans
Many of the conservation efforts to help orangutans involve planting new trees to help replace the devastated area as well as raising awareness to end deforestation. Other efforts include creating protected natural habitats, rehabilitating animals rescued from the pet trade, and working on breeding already captive orangutans to preserve the species.
Some of the organizations I have found that help orangutans include:
- The Center for Great Apes, whose mission is to “provide a permanent sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, from research, or from the exotic pet trade.”
- World Wildlife Fund is an organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of nature and biodiversity.
- Save The Orangutan is an organization whose dual missions are to rescue and rehabilitate displaced orangutans and to end deforestation, therefore protecting existing orangutan populations.
- The Orangutan Project is a group led by wildlife experts that dedicates itself to protecting orangutans from extinction.
One Green Planet also has a list of 10 recommended organizations to save orangutans.
Orangutan Crochet Patterns
If you’d like to crochet an orangutan for yourself or as a gift, we’ve found a few amigurumi patterns for you to try.
These adorable orangutans are a perfect way to get the conversation started about protecting endangered species and doing your part to save the orangutan! They’re also just plain cute and would make an amazing handmade gift.