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Essay title: Extinction

Across the Pacific Ocean, to Indonesia, and through the once extensive rainforest, exists an animal who is one of the great apes. Although this animal is aw inspiring just by looking at it, orangutans are also intelligent, red haired animals that are on the verge of extinction.

The fact these days is that there are many animals that are on the verge of being extinct. Orangutans are one example of humans’ destruction and complete ignorance to the situation. Orangutans use to be found on much of Southeastern Asia, but now only exist on two islands of Indonesia, Borneo and Sumatra. “The entire world population of red apes was calculated at just 27,000 in 1998,” (Dreifus), and is now 6500. This is due to the destruction of their natural habitat( a destruction of 4 out 13 million acres) and illegal poaching. Dr. Galdikas is one of Dr. Louis Leakey’s “three young women recruited in the 1960’s…to study great apes,” (Dreifus), (the other two women are Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Dian Fossey). She has dedicated her life to studying and helping save orangutans. Dr. Galdikas states,

The main factor was that until 1988, Indonesia had a forestry minister who was a real forester. In 1988, he was replaced by a forestry minister who was an agriculturist, a promoter of plantations. That signaled a shift in government policy from selective logging to clear-cutting of the forest. For orangutans, clear-cutting

is a policy of extinction. If you selectively log, some animals will survive. But with clear-cutting, the habitat is gone. (Dreifus)

The original Indonesia forestry minister was more conservative and believed in the preservation of the magnificent rainforest. This means that he fought for more protection and regulation against logging the rainforest, and thus all protecting the Orangutans from extinction. The new forestry minister, on the other hand, could really care less about the rainforest. Because he is an agriculturalist, he probably is encouraging people to cut down the rainforest in order for crops to be grown in its place.

Much of the world does not have the same strict regulations on forests and preserving natural habitats of animals. In Indonesia, this is largely due to the fact that over “the last three years have been a period of intense political upheaval: an economic crisis, ethnic strife, student riots, President Suharto’s resignation.” (Dreifus)

With Indonesia not having a government running and enforcing the law, people are thus allowed to do whatever they want to do. This includes al of the illegal logging that is occurring within the rainforest. Government officials, who are in upheaval right now, are not implementing strict regulations which require for more security around the rainforest. Because of this people are getting away with logging all for the value of a dollar.

The rainforests in Indonesia are being destroyed because of the need for palm oil which can be found in foods that humans eat. Some of the trees are

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