THREATS TO WILD ORANGUTANS: A CASE STUDY IN KUTAI NATIONAL PARK OF EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA
The Northeast Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus morio) currently remains the only orangutan subspecies for which extinction risks cannot be accurately assessed due to a severe lack of information around the habitat conditions and threats that its different population units experience. Despite decades of acknowledgement as a stronghold for the morio subspecies, the orangutan metapopulation in Kutai National Park (KNP) of East Kalimantan, Indonesia is one unit that remains to be adequately studied. This report presents a preliminary analysis of the threats to the orangutan subpopulation in the northeastern region of KNP using habitat assessments and observational notes of the human activities in and around this area. Current threats identified include industrial mining, agricultural activities and clear-cutting around this protected area, while illegal logging, fire sources and severe climate events threaten the interior forests. Poaching in relation to human-orangutan conflicts and negligent tourism practices were also identified as threats to the greater metapopulation in KNP. The results of this study can contribute to the foundation of information required to adequately assess and develop appropriate conservation efforts for the orangutan population unit of KNP.