Logging and hunting have decimated a population of Bornean orangutans in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Indonesia. Help has recently come from a pair of unlikely allies: an animal welfare group and a human health care nonprofit. Cross-disciplinary collaboration to meet the needs of ecosystems and humans is becoming an important tool for overcoming seemingly intractable obstacles in conservation. BUKIT BAKA BUKIT RAYA NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — In the heart of Indonesian Borneo, a dwindling population of orangutans is getting a new lease on life thanks to a group of wildlife rescuers and medical professionals who have joined forces. Bornean orangutan ( Pongo pygmaeus ) numbers are only about a third of what they were 20 years ago, with forest destruction and hunting leading to an estimated loss of almost 150,000 individuals between 1999 and 2015. The IUCN predicts that the species’ numbers will halve again by 2025, painting a bleak future for this critically endangered primate. Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, a sprawling 1,811 square kilometers (699 square miles) of rainforest in central Borneo, is ideal orangutan habitat: Towering tropical hardwoods dominate the forest, flowering in synchronized bursts and showering the ground with whirling, two-winged […]

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