Sumatra and Borneo islands are home to one of the largest primates -- the orangutans. The Sumatran species are scientifically called Pongo abelii. These are predominantly arboreal in nature. You would always find them hanging on trees, branches, etc. They occupy the Northern and Western Sumatran provinces. Batang Toru River on the west coast of northern Sumatra is home to a large number of orangutan species.
They are herbivorous and frugivorous. Seeds, fruits, leaves, small insects like termites and ants running on trees, and slow loris are their major sources of nourishment. They are found predominantly on trees. The male species rarely venture on the ground. Adult and younger males are sexually active and can mate. The females have a gestation period of 254 days and can give birth to young ones when they are fifteen years of age. The males generally live for 58 years while the females have a shorter life span of 53 years.
Deforestation and logging has caused their numbers to dwindle at an alarming rate. These creatures shy away and are not very good at adapting themselves to a new environment or habitat. This is one of the main reasons for a sudden and drastic decrease of their population. They were initially found in the southern parts of Indonesia, namely, Jambi and Padang. However, increased human activity and felling of trees has led to complete extinction of these species in those areas. A survey conducted in the 1960s reported a limited or compete extinction of these species even in the Western provinces of Sumatra, making it a serious cause of concern. These creatures are also captured and sold as pets illegally.
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