Primates pp 153-159 | Cite as

Conservation of Orangutans: A Status Report, 1985

  • Herman D. Rijksen
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


The “red-haired man of the rainforest,” or orangutan, is among the most spectacular creatures on Earth, and although representing the closest among human mammal relatives in Southeast Asia, he is in grave danger of extinction. Ironically also “cultivated” man is seriously endangered, but while humans choke the world with their biomass, aggravated by disproportional exploitation and pollution, they supplant and eradicate their closest relative as they exploit and destroy his habitat so as to serve so called “development.” In this time of Western self-scorn with respect of the qualitative aspects of what is commonly understood as “development,” it may be enlightening to notice that the existence of the red- haired man of the rainforest has been endangered whenever he happened to come into contact with “cultivated” man, even long before any European set a foot in his habitat: He has been hunted to extinction in all the regions where the earliest agricultural migrants from the Asian mainland settled.


Home Range Conservation Area Captive Condition Wildlife Reserve Grave Danger 
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  3. Rijksen HD (1978) A field-study on Sumatran orang utans. Wageningen.Google Scholar
  4. Rijksen HD (1982) How to save the man of the rainforest. In: de Boer LEM (ed) The orangutan. The Hague.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman D. Rijksen

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