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Orangutan Caring Week - November 12-18th, 2017
2017 Theme: "Act Now to Preserve the Future" This annual event raises awareness about the plight of critically endangered orangutans as their forest homes on Borneo and Sumatra are threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural conversion and fire.
Orangutans, the only great ape naturally found in the forests of Southeast Asia, face an uncertain future. The combined impacts of habitat loss, habitat degradation, and illegal hunting have pushed both the Bornean and Sumatran orangutan toward an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Both species have been declared as critically endangered according to the IUCN's Red List of endangered species with current population trends decreasing. (International Union for Conservation of Nature www.iucnredlist.org)
Concern and resolve through activities and initiatives that go beyond mere talk are needed. Orangutan Caring Week is the perfect time to help people learn about the wonderful world of orangutans and their rainforest habitat with hopes of encouraging people to care enough to be moved to action so that they might be saved.
In 2005, Orangutan Caring Week (OCW) was established by the non-profit Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) to draw attention to the species and its plight as well as to provide people an opportunity to take action and to care about the future of orangutans. It also gives orangutan conservation and zoological organizations opportunities to discuss their programs with the media and at schools and other institutions. The theme for OCW this year is "Act Now to Preserve the Future". The theme drives home the need for organizations and people to get together and to harness limited resources to implement conservation solutions for the betterment of the species, which is on the brink of extinction. That would include acquiring and managing large tracks of forests as conservation concessions.
OCW is being coordinated by the consortium, World Orangutan Events, and is supported by dozens of organizations worldwide.OURF President Dr. Gary Shapiro encourages everyone to participate in ways that are informative, inspiring and engaging. "It is important that we enroll the public to better understand the challenges facing one of our closest primate cousins and to give them ways to participate in sustainable solutions while there still is time" said Shapiro. Thousands of orangutans have perished due to massive deforestation, fires, killing as pests, illegal hunting, and poaching for the illegal pet trade. Conservationists and wildlife managers continue to struggle to manage the growing number of orphaned, confiscated, and ex-captive animals in rescue and rehabilitation centers while working to secure forested areas for reintroduction and to insure the remaining populations of wild orangutans have adequate habitat for the foreseeable future.
Events are being planned in countries around the world. Zoos in Europe and the USA, nonprofits in Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia, and many others are hosting events and social media campaigns to raise awareness and promote action on behalf of the orangutan.
Orangutan Caring Week event coordinator, Holly Draluck, would like people to come to understand that the habitat of the orangutan, the tropical rain forest, is vital to not only orangutans but to other wildlife and to all of us on this planet. Rainforests and related ecosystems provide important services from climate moderation, to water quality and erosion control, to storehouses of genetic, species and ecological biodiversity. The international awareness event, Orangutan Caring Week, gives us the opportunity to inform citizens in our own communities of this connection and continue to enlighten local people in areas near orangutan habitat. Holly says, "If we can save orangutans, we can save the world!" By saving these beautiful red-haired apes it would mean that we are able to make the necessary changes to our own global environmental impact through the products we buy and choices we make in time to save not only orangutans but all the species on earth - including man".
For more information about Orangutan Caring Week, the activities being scheduled, and what people can do to participate, visit http://www.orangutancaringweek.org. To schedule an interview with a member of the World Orangutan Events, go to http://www.orangutancaringweek.com/
Orangutan Caring Week