Orangutan conservation: Extinction, number crunching and other challenges

Discussion date:

28 June 2018

Discussion Description:

In this session, we take an ethnographic look at the science—and art—of estimating orangutan populations and rates of extinction. What frameworks, devices and languages do scientists and conservationists use? And how do scientific facts (or guesstimates) get translated into policy and ethical stances?


IUCN reports on Bornean and Sumatran orangutans:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/121097935/0 (pongo abelii – Sumatra)

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/120588639/0 (pongo tapanuliensis – Sumatra)

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/17975/0 (pongo pygmaeus – Borneo)

Voigt, Maria et al., 2018 ‘Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans’, Current Biology  Volume 28 , Issue 5 , 761 – 769.e5. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)30086-1

Kimberley J. Hockings, Matthew R. McLennan, Susana Carvalho, Marc Ancrenaz, René Bobe, Richard W. Byrne, Robin I.M. Dunbar, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, William C. McGrew, Elizabeth A. Williamson, Michael L. Wilson, Bernard Wood, Richard W. Wrangham, Catherine M. Hill, 2015. ‘Apes in the Anthropocene: flexibility and survival’. Trends in Ecology & Evolution,Volume 30, Issue 4: 215-222,


Meijaard, E., Wich, S., Ancrenaz, M., and Marshall, A. J. (2012). Not by science alone: why orangutan conservationists must think outside the box. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1249, 29–44.

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