Hey!! What's going on here???

    You certainly won't find any orangutans here!
    The forest is burning and we are in a large clearing. But what has happened here?

    To answer that question we need our map again.
    Have a good look at this one and you will clearly see lots more Big gaps in the Indonesian rainforest.

    Fifty years ago, the red areas on the map were still covered in dense forest.

    So what has changed??

    In the last fifty years Indonesia's population has increased enormously (by 88%). That is why people have been cutting down the rainforest to build cities and farms. The wood from the trees is sold and has earned the government a great deal of money. They keep cutting down the forest because it is such a lucrative business. Everyday an area as big as Utrecht is destroyed!

    Have another look at the map and try to imagine how it will look in another fifty years if the logging continues at this rate. Do you think there will be any green bits left? Rainforest can't grow back.

    Another problem:

    Once a year, the farmers traditionally burn their fields to make the soil fertile. This on its own is not such a problem, but in times of drought, as in recent years, the fires can get out of control. The trees catch fire and giant forest fires rage.

    Last year half of the Indonesian rainforest was destroyed by fire! Many orangutans starved to death when they couldn't find food.

    The future for the red ape does not look bright. There are only about
    12.000 orangutans still living in the forest.

    Think about it! Only London has about 59 million inhabitants!!

    If we do nothing, the last orangutan will be dead in 10 years.

    Forest fires and population increase are not the only reason things are going so badly for the orangutan. People also make money from selling baby orangutans.

    Come on, let's go and see what happens to the babies!
    This way! back to the startpoint

© Meike Kunkel