News of the WeekConservation Biology

Orangutans Face Extinction in the Wild

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Science  19 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5469, pp. 1147-1149
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5469.1147b

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LISLE, ILLINOIS-- Orangutans, our third-closest living relative, are in crisis, reported several leading primatologists at a meeting here last week on apes. Indeed, the plight of the orangutans, whose range is now largely restricted to the shrinking forests of Borneo and Sumatra, dominated the 4-day meeting and sparked two late-night sessions at which researchers and zookeepers hatched a conservation plan. Without urgent action, researchers warn, the apes could be extinct in the wild within 20 years.