Image Credit: Orangutans rescued near a palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photograph by Vier Pfoten/Four Paws/Rex It’s the miracle ingredient in everything from biscuits to shampoo. But our dependence on palm oil has devastating environmental consequences. Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there grew a magical fruit. This fruit could […]
Why bother to clean it up when you can just move the Capitol to another less-polluted city. Indonesia is not exactly at the forefront of conservation as within its boundaries their sub-species of tigers, orangutans, elephants and rhinos (there are others) are at risk in that country wherever they occur, due to habitat loss, palm oil plantations, other types of farming and development, poaching, pollution,climate change, illegal logging, etc, etc; and I guess just not caring enough.
Indonesia is the worlds most populated country on a square foot basis- this is not the wildlife’s fault, though!
India has been boasting that the Tiger population within its jurisdiction has increased to over 3000 individuals. While this is good and requires congratulations, we should look at the not too distant past for a proper Tiger perspective.
It has been reported that British Colonial hunters, often riding on elephants, killed over 80,000 tigers in the 1920’s. In the late 1950’s there was a total world tiger population of 45,000, plus or minus.
In the 1940’s, the Balinese tiger became extinct. In the 1970’s the Caspian Tiger, which once roamed in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, southern Russia and elsewhere, became extinct. In the 1980’s the Javan Tiger became extinct. In the 1990’s the South China Tiger was last seen in the wild.
Today, the world Tiger population is believed to be below 5000. In Sumatra the population is believed to be 450-650, but under constant pressure from palm oil producers. The Tiger is extinct in Cambodia, there are 85 in Myanmar, 20 in Vietnam and 252 in Thailand.
Good for India in trying to bring back the populations there. But Tigers are still under siege in India and elsewhere, from hunting, the growth of agriculture, population development pressures, general habitat degradation, etc, etc.
August 12 is World Elephant Day! And Elephantopia is excited to be celebrating this global event here in the States raising funds for our partners in Zambia at the GRI Elephant Orphanage Project for Kavalamanja (an orphaned elephant victim of the ivory trade). We invite you to join us in Virginia with our board president…
Palm oil production is often vilified. Almost all of us have seen the Greenpeace video, ‘there’s a Rang-tan in my bedroom’ (I’ve included a link below if you haven’t) that shows us the impact that palm oil plantations are having on a lot of the rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia, pushing animals like the Orangutan […]
Asia’s largest terrestrial mammal, the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is slightly smaller than its African cousin and can be distinguished by its smaller ears and more arched back. Found across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, this magnificent species plays an immense role in Asian culture as a symbol of wisdom and great power. For […]
Last week I was fortunate enough to see the premiere of ITV’s new documentary, Wild Borneo Adventure featuring Judi Dench on a David Attenborough-style expedition observing some of the oldest rainforests in the world. Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s pretty cool but what on earth has this got to do with travel? Well, […]
“Face to Face in a River in Borneo.” While looking for wild orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, we witnessed the amazing sight of this huge male crossing a river, despite the fact there were crocodiles in the river. Rapid growth of palm oil farming has depleted their habitat, and when pushed to the […]
In May 2016, Petrus,* a 3-year-old Marind boy from West Papua, Indonesia, died of dysentery after drinking river water contaminated with pesticides from a nearby oil palm plantation. Petrus’ grieving parents, Marina and Bernardus, carried their child to the company headquarters some 20 kilometers away. They asked that the young boy be buried in their […]
By Nils Klawitter Palm oil can be found in many of the products we consume each day. Much of it comes from Indonesia, where brutal methods are deployed against locals. One of the main suppliers says it is cleaning up its act, but has it really changed? Two months ago, soldiers abducted day laborer Titus, […]