Bornean orangutan

The most common of the three orangutans species. How common? ‘Critically endangered’ common


The species is long-armed, with sparse shaggy reddish-orange fur coats, the most popular of the three species of orangutans, named after its endemism to Borneo island in SE Asia. They are tree dwellers and spend maximum time in canopies, but they can also walk significant distances on the ground.

These highly intelligent great apes explore tropical and subtropical areas with arboreal traveling called Quadrumanous scrambling. Diet is varied and mainly consists of fruits, but bark, leaves, flowers, and insects are also included. They have a very low reproductive rate and can produce up to only four surviving young during their lifetime, so even a slight decrease in numbers can lead to their extinction.


Population est.
Presence Uncertain, Origin Uncertain
Official estimate
Sabah & Sarawak
Rough estimate (partial data)

Recent updates

July 2022: A new study has revealed that, without any preventative measures, the habitat of over 26,000 orangutans in Borneo will be destroyed by 2032, amounting to a quarter of the entire population of this critically endangered species.

Feb 2022: The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) in Indonesia announced the successful release of 13 rehabilitated orangutans back into the wild. The release was part of a wider effort to restore orangutan populations in the region.

Did you know?

  • The fragmented Bornean forests now cannot support more orangutans, forcing them to remain solitary or semi-solitary. This resulted in their patchy distribution which limits their social interactions and also resulting in conflicts with humans.
  • The Bornean orangutan numbers approximately 41,000 in the wild. A century ago, there were around 230,000 orangutans in the wild and were distributed throughout SE Asia.
  • There is no systematic monitoring or action recovery plan for conservation. 4. They eat around 400 types of fruits, making them “gardner of the forests” (as they play very important ecological role of seed dispersal)
  • They do not knuckle walk, they walk on fists.

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Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No

Bornean orangutan on banknotes

Indonesia 500 Rupiah