Adult male orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in the trees, Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo.
Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes, and the largest arboreal animal on the planet. Since over 90% of the food orangutans eat is found in the canopy, they spend nearly all their time in the trees, where they travel from branch to branch spending a large portion of daylight hours (60 percent at Tanjung Puting) foraging for food. Orangutans are solitary but social, a highly unusual behavior among the great apes, and interactions between adult males tend to be hostile.
Critically endangered, during the past decade orangutan populations have probably decreased by 50% in the wild. This means that without drastic intervention, orangutans may soon be extinct as biologically viable populations in the wild. In Sumatra and Borneo, the destruction of forests for oil palm plantations has driven severe declines in orangutan populations. As the demand for palm oil increases from the most developed countries, the expansion of palm oil plantations is a critical threat to orangutan habitat in Borneo, causing severe impacts on the environment, forest peoples, orangutans and the climate. You may not know what it is or where it comes from, but you almost certainly eat or use palm oil on a regular basis. It's the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet and half of all packaged items in the grocery store now contain the ingredient. Only by reducing demand in consumer countries can we reduce the impact of this problem. It is a task of all of us when we choose the products that we consume.