Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101


Nowhere to go, nowhere to live… habitat loss due to deforestation is the greatest threat facing orangutans today. It is sad that orangutans have to be displaced from their natural habitat because of human disturbance. This urgent environmental issue intensifies global warming and it is threatening species, not only is it harming the survival of orangutans but it is affecting us globally. Forests were not made to be demolished and we need to conserve them for future generations because before we know it, it will be too late to save our planet.

Rescued baby and mother.jpg

Over the past 50 years, half the world’s original forest cover has been lost

It is devastating to see that we are losing forests, yet they have the potential to provide many benefits. It is not just the trees that go when we take away the forest. The entire ecosystem begins to fall apart, and the consequences for us are catastrophic for our future.

The consequences that follow…

  • Reduced biodiversity
    Deforestation causes wildlife to decline. As the cover of forests decline, wildlife become deprived of habitat and they become more vulnerable to hunting. Deforestation poses a serious threat to the Earth’s biodiversity considering that about %80 of the world’s documented species can be found in tropical rainforests.
  • Release of greenhouse gas emissions
    Deforestation is second to the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing %15 of gas emissions.
  • Disrupted water cycles
    Trees no longer evaporate ground water that causes the local climate to be drier as a result of deforestation.

…these consequences are irreversible losses of biodiversity. We can only prevent further impact that deforestation can cause.

Forests provide habitats to diverse animal species

As we continue to deforest land, many animal species will be driven into extinction and orangutans are currently among the most endangered of them all.

An estimated 13 million hectares of forests were lost each year between 2000 and 2010


Many orangutans are left orphaned, unsafe, not secured and displaced from their natural habitat. If we are aware of the consequences that deforestation causes, why do we continue to increase the amount of land being reduced? We are destroying what our planet has offered us and the expansion of the palm oil industry is to be blamed. Human beings are heavily dependent on forests and the products that they have to provide, unaware of the unfortunate circumstances it causes to our orangutans.

16,000 to as high as 65,000…

of orangutans are left in the wild. It estimated that there is a loss between 3,000 and 5,000 every year. Every yearKStenner_Samboja_048 2008 (800x533).jpg
One life of a orangutang that is lost is enough, however to fathom about a 5,000 loss… I am absolutely speechless. This has to be stopped. We can no longer jeopardise the lives of orangutans and destroy the forests in which they inhabit. Greenpeace – an independent global campaigning organisation – is campaigning for zero deforestation by 2020. To achieve this goal, they attempt to change the practices of destructive industries, demand products that aren’t linked to forest destruction, and to work alongside communities to take action against forest destruction. Our forests are irreplaceable and they need to be protected.


Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia 2012, Orangutan Threats, Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia, retrieved 26 April 2016, <;

World Wildlife Fund 2016, Deforestation, World Wildlife Fund, retrieved 26 April 2016, <;

Greenpeace 2015, Protecting forests, Greenpeace, retrieved 8 May 2016, <;


3 comments on “Orangu-gone

  1. Lisa
    May 1, 2016

    Hi there, I was extremely interested in your article as I too am very concerned about the effects of deforestation. Your article got me thinking, I know the palm oil industry is a strong cause of deforestation, but I wanted to know a little more, so i did some research. Apparently Indonesia and Malaysia account for 85% of the Palm oil production industry and something like 65% of all vegetable oil traded internationally is now made up from palm oil. As time goes on these numbers are only expected to double, this terrifies me where deforestation is concerned. Deforestation due to clearing land for palm oil has pushed not only orangutans to the brink of extinction but also; Rhinos, elephants and tigers. And of course as you discussed in your article there is also strong effects on the climate change due to gas emissions into the atmosphere. So if its so bad for the environment why do we continue down this path? I think we should be trying harder to preserve our forests, biodiversity and ultimately our future.

    WWF, 2014, What is palm oil? World Wide Fund for Nature, retrieved 1st may 2016,


  2. anberzara
    May 6, 2016


    Thankyou for posting an articulate piece addressing the detrimental affects deforestation has on wildlife.

    When I was young my favourite animal to see at the zoo were orangutans. So it saddens me thinking that future generations may not get the this opportunity.

    Another consequence of deforestation includes changes in soil. Soil obtains most of its nutrients from leaf litter that have fallen from trees above. Therefore, in the absence of trees the soil would lack these essential nutrients.
    Trees also provide soil protection from the natural elements such as wind, rain etc. Without trees all of the rain would be collected by the soil that can result in washing away of vital nutrients into rivers. This decreases the ability of soil to support trees.

    You could have even included in your post social groups work that are standing up against deforestation such as Green Peace, who are taking action towards a deforestation free future.

    Overall, I really enjoyed reading your blog and all they valuable information it contained.


    O’Keeffe, J 2014, Four Consequences of Deforestation, viewed 6th May 2016, .

    Green Peace Organisation, 2016, Get Involved, viewed 6th May 2016 .


  3. jenniferjt1105
    May 8, 2016

    I appreciate that you chose to write about the deforestation of the rainforests, particularly involving Orangutans, I feel that this topic isn’t discussed as much as it should be anymore. This is a topic that I have a special interest in, in fact while I was in high school I was actually involved in a group project that helped raise awareness of the plight of animals in Borneo due to the deforestation for the planting of palm oil plantations. We also raised funds which we donated to the Turtle, the Asian Elephant and the Orangutan Sanctuaries. I find the statistic stating that 50% of the world’s forests are gone rather alarming and I think that more effort needs to be put in to prevent us from losing the other half, both for the sake of the animals and maintaining diversity, but also because of the effects on the climate.

    For more information on some things being done to help orangutans see below:
    Deforestaction, 2016. Current projects. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 8 May 2016]


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This entry was posted on April 30, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm, Uncategorized.

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