The Effect of Palm Oil Plantations on Orangutan Population and Ecology

The Effect of Palm Oil Plantations on Orangutan Population and Ecology

Campbell-Smith, G.  et al. (2011a). Raiders of the lost bark: Orangutan foraging strategies in a degraded landscape. PLoS ONE, 6(6): e20962. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020962

Authored by a group of ecology and conservation specialists drawn the United Kingdom and Indonesia, this article focuses on how Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) are adapting their foraging strategies including their feeding habits to suit the environmental conditions in human-dominated landscapes. The study established that their dietary composition has shifted from predominantly fruits to barks. The article is objectively written, well-referenced and covers the issue in topical manner that allows for easy reading. This article offers background information on orangutan behavior in their ecology including adaptions due to interferences by humans.

Campbell-Smith, G.  et al. (2011b). Apes in space: Saving an imperilled orangutan population in Sumatra. PLoS One, 6(2): e17210. doi:  [10.1371/journal.pone.0017210]

This article was authored by conservationists and ecologists from United Kingdom, Indonesia and Slovenia. It focused on how transformation of landscape by humans with special emphasis on palm oil plantations affects foraging and mating behaviors of Sumatran orangutans. The article established that land degradation and farming of fruits affected home range sizes and foraging activities of orangutans. The study also established that palm plantations negatively affected the movement of female orangutans in addition to reducing food availability. Objective, well-referenced and topically arranged, this article will be used to support arguments and develop a theoretical framework of the research.

Chamberlain, G. (2013 Dec 15). Orangutans fight for survival as thirst for palm oil devastates rainforests. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/orangutans-fight-for-survival

Gethim Chamberlain, the authors of this article, a photojournalist and investigative reporter who focuses on South Asia and India. The article is an in-depth report on how increased palm oil deforestation has led to orangutan habitat loss. Habitat loss has led to dwindling populations of the endangered animals. The problem is complicated by the complexity of the global supply chain for palm oil, increased demand for palm oil and inaccessibility of forests to enforce the logging ban. This article will be used to support arguments during the research.

Fisher, S. (2015 Jun 12). How palm oil deforestation is hurting the orangutan population. Epicure and Culture. Retrieved from: https://epicureandculture.com/how-palm-oil-deforestation-is-hurting-the-orangutan-population/

Written by Sky Fisher, this article highlights the cause-and-effect relationship between decreasing orangutan population and increasing palm oil production. The author argues that increased palm oil production leads to increased deforestation. This unsustainable loss of natural habitat for orangutans affects their survival through displacement, increased poaching. The arguments are well-articulated, referenced and objective and hence will help in further cementing my arguments during the research.

Gilbert, N. (2012). Palm-oil boom raises conservation concerns. Nature, 487, 14-15. Retrieved from: http://www.biofuelobservatory.org/Documentos/Otros/Palm-Oil-Nature-July-2012.pdf

Authored by Natasha Gilbert, this objective, informative and well-referenced article focuses on the threat posed by palm-oil boom on the conservation of orangutan population. The article points that increased productivity threaten orangutan habitat. This article will be used to develop the literature review section of my research.

Kanamori, T. et al. (2010). Feeding ecology of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus morio) in Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia: A 3-year record including two mast fruitings. Am J Primatol., 72(9):820-40.

This article was authored by a group of bioscience and biotechnology scientists from Japan’s Tokyo Institute of Technology. The article established that Bornean orangutans spent most of their feeding with the rest activity divided between resting and traveling. They predominantly fed on fruits with Spatholobus and Ficus the preferred fruits especially during fruiting but shifted to leaves and barks during fruit shortage. The article is well-referenced with historical and current peer-reviewed sources. It offers an informative look at orangutan feeding behavior in their natural environment.

Kaye, M. (2016 Jun 30). Can oil palm plantations and orangutans coexist? Scientific American. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-oil-palm-plantations-and-orangutans-coexist/

Written by Melati Kaye, a freelance writer and journalist, this article focuses on some of the strategies that can be used to facilitate co-existence of orangutans and palm oil farms. The author proposes the use of animal bridges, forest islands and implementation of orangutan-friendly policies especially by large corporations depending on palm oil. This informative article will help in supporting research arguments.

Knott, C. D. et al. (2010). Female reproductive strategies in orangutans, evidence for female choice and counterstrategies to infanticide in a species with frequent sexual coercion. Proc Biol Sci, 277(1678): 105–113. doi: [10.1098/rspb.2009.1552]

Written by anthropologists drawn from American universities, this article focuses on optimal mating strategies including male selection approaches adopted by female orangutans and factors that determine quality female-male orangutan interactions including male morph and accessibility. This article is well-referenced and informative and will be used in supporting arguments and developing theoretical framework.

Nantha, H. S. & Tisdell, C. (2008). The orangutan-oil palm conflict: Economic constraints and opportunities for conservation. Working Paper No. 152. Retrieved from: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/55318/2/WP%20152.pdf

Authors of this article, Hemanath Swarna Nantha and Clem Tisdell, are economists who highlight the effect of the growing demand and palm oil cultivation on orangutan population especially when it comes to habitat loss. The article argues that this threatens orangutan population conversation efforts due to high opportunity cost. The article is well-referenced, insightful and objective and will be used in developing a theoretical framework and supporting arguments for the research.

Orangutan Conservation. (n.d). Threats to orangutans: Orangutans face possible extinction. Retrieved from: http://www.orangutan.com/threats-to-orangutans/

Orangutan Conservation is a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting orangutan habitat and conserving their populations. The article highlights threats to orangutan population including deforestation, poaching, unauthorized petting and palm oil cultivation. This article will broaden the arguments in the literature review section.

References

Campbell-Smith, G.  et al. (2011a). Raiders of the lost bark: Orangutan foraging strategies in a degraded landscape. PLoS ONE, 6(6): e20962. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020962

Campbell-Smith, G.  et al. (2011b). Apes in space: Saving an imperilled orangutan population in Sumatra. PLoS One, 6(2): e17210. doi:  [10.1371/journal.pone.0017210]

Chamberlain, G. (2013 Dec 15). Orangutans fight for survival as thirst for palm oil devastates rainforests. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/orangutans-fight-for-survival

Fisher, S. (2015 Jun 12). How palm oil deforestation is hurting the orangutan population. Epicure and Culture. Retrieved from: https://epicureandculture.com/how-palm-oil-deforestation-is-hurting-the-orangutan-population/

Gilbert, N. (2012). Palm-oil boom raises conservation concerns. Nature, 487, 14-15. Retrieved from: http://www.biofuelobservatory.org/Documentos/Otros/Palm-Oil-Nature-July-2012.pdf

Kanamori, T. et al. (2010). Feeding ecology of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus morio) in Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia: A 3-year record including two mast fruitings. Am J Primatol., 72(9):820-40.

Kaye, M. (2016 Jun 30). Can oil palm plantations and orangutans coexist? Scientific American. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-oil-palm-plantations-and-orangutans-coexist/

Knott, C. D. et al. (2010). Female reproductive strategies in orangutans, evidence for female choice and counterstrategies to infanticide in a species with frequent sexual coercion. Proc Biol Sci, 277(1678): 105–113. doi: [10.1098/rspb.2009.1552]

Nantha, H. S. & Tisdell, C. (2008). The orangutan-oil palm conflict: Economic constraints and opportunities for conservation. Working Paper No. 152. Retrieved from: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/55318/2/WP%20152.pdf

Orangutan Conservation. (n.d). Threats to orangutans: Orangutans face possible extinction. Retrieved from: http://www.orangutan.com/threats-to-orangutans/