My inbox is overflowing. There are LinkedIn invites, Facebook friend requests, Tweeps that want to connect and affiliate pitches – it’s been busy around here. Regardless, I like to see what you guys are doing so I check out your websites when you sign up for a free call, teleseminar or connect with me. I want to get to know you and learn what the issues are that you are facing are so that I can help you to run your businesses more successfully.
The other day I received a LinkedIn invite from Annie Marie Musselman. You might just have read the ASPP seminar recap about making things personal and following my rule of always sending a note back I checked out her work. Next thing I know I come across something so beautiful that I decided to feature it in my “Made Me Look” section.
To see the entire gallery go here: http://www.anniemusselman.com/Orangutan
The photo essay is about the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary Project in Central Kalimantan, Borneo
Annie is on a mission and wants to get some exposure for this amazing sanctuary. She says that the orangutan work is her sincere passion right now. She wants to tell the world of their plight as they are such incredible amazing beings. So far there has been only a little bit of exposure, but just not enough to make a real impact. Currently scheduled is a image to be published in New York Times travel section, and Outside and National Geography adventure have expressed interest in publishing an image. Newsweek asked for the story, but in the words of Annie “No biters yet. I believe it will take some skill to get it into the right place.”
So, what’s this all about. In Borneo’s rainforest there are several centers or sanctuary’s who have been taking in large numbers of orphaned orangutans. As these animals spend eight years with their mothers before they are released, this is a rather lengthy process. It includes teaching orangutans real life skills as the goal is to release them so that they can fend for themselves.
Once the organutans are ready to be released back into the wild there is one rather large problem that’s been popping up – there is not enough habitat to release them into. The rainforest has been razed for oil palm plantations and in the process many orangutans have been killed.
Here are some numbers that are taken from journalist Rhett Butler article below. Orangutans living in sanctuarys are estimated to be 2000.
With over 60,000 of total population (Borneo and Sumatra combined) we are loosing 1,500 to 5,000 organutans per year. The forest in Sumatra is estimated to have decreased by more than 90%. If you run the numbers you will see that it is only a question of a few years until orangutans could become extinct in this part of the world.
With a cost of $2000 to take care of one orangutan the sanctuaries are facing an uncertain future unless something will be done on a large scale.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to find the right outlet and you all might remember what it feels like to be 100% involved in something and it seemingly going nowhere. So let’s see if we can as a community help this involved photographer a little bit.
What can you do? If you have connections to organizations, magazines, newspapers and feel that this is a story that needs to be told – spread the word. The more people know about it the better. Please feel free to contact Annie for more information directly. See also the links below.
Please read the entire article here: http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2165 by Rhett Butler. Very comprehensive and well writen, this is a huge issue. Take a look at the comments that are posted at the bottom of his blog entry. For ease of use I am reposting the comments with respective links. All of the below is taken from the Environment 360 blog. Yale Environment 360 is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Rhett Butler is the founder and editor of Mongabay.com, one of the leading sites on the Web covering tropical forests and biodiversity. In previous articles for Yale Environment 360, he has written about the burgeoning wildlife trade in Laos and how satellites and GoogleEarth are being used as conservation tools.
Integrated solutions need to be found to address this urgent concern. The Back to Wild Foundation is currently developing a project in concert with the Sumatran Orangutan Society to purchase and rehabilitate 260 hectares of palm oil plantation, reforest native species, build and staff a ranger station/rescue and rehabilitation center and conduct community training and capacity building, as well as fund university grants for scientific research. Key to the success of this project is the economic development of the area. More can be found out at www.backtowild.org.
Bravo to Rhett Butler for writing such a concise article on the crisis facing orangutans in the wild.
While the problems are indeed complex and far-reaching, they are by no means insurmountable. We just need to work harder and coordinate our efforts. Together we can save the orangutans.
To find out how you can make a difference, please visit the Orangutan Outreach website: http://redapes.org.
There is a great on-line documentary about this topic, but in German language. For those who understand German :http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/content/525084?inPopup=true