Investigation reveals shocking facts on declining animal population because of humans

Climate change, deforestation and illegal trade have added to the significant decline in wildlife. 

According to the World Wildlife Fund, 60% of the animal population in the last 40 years have been wiped out by human activity.

A Greenpeace International investigation found that palm oil used by American food and beverage company Mondelez has resulted in massive deforestation, destroying the habitat of the endangered orangutan in Indonesia. 

An orangutan is part of the ape species, centred mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia. According to the WWF, the orangutan clan has declined significantly in the last century. From 230,000 overall, there are only an estimated 112,200 Bornean and Sumatran orangutan left.

Sumatran orangutan are severely endangered, with only 7,500 left. The tapanuli orangutan is the most endangered of the species, with only 800 left.

According to Greenpeace, Mondelez uses the palm oil in manufacturing some of their products, including Oreos and Cadbury bars. The company sources its oil from Wilmar International, a seed oil processing firm.   

Wilmar produces seed oil for South African products such as Excella sunflower oil and Sania palm oil. 

A Greenpeace investigation revealed that palm oil producers had cleared 130,000 hectares of rainforest since 2015. Almost 52,000 hectares have been destroyed in Indonesia. 

Other apes that are on the verge of extinction include the eastern lowland gorilla and mountain gorillas in the DRC, due to years of civil unrest. The western lowland gorilla in West Africa is also under threat due to poaching. 

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