The Sumatran orang-utan is fully protected by law in Indonesia and is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which bans international trade in this species. The key to saving this species is protecting tracts of unexploited forest that are interconnected and contain sufficient habitat (8). A massive national park has been proposed in the north of Sumatra covering 25,000 square kilometres and encompassing the existing Gunung Leuser National Park. The Leuser ecosystem will play a key role in protecting important refuges of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), as well as the orang-utan and numerous lesser-known species (8). Time is running out for the Asian ape however, and there are fears that at current rates of decline both the Sumatran and the Bornean orang-utan could be extinct in the wild by 2010 (8). Due to the large home ranges that these apes require it is the protection of habitat that will ensure that these beautiful and enigmatic 'people of the forest' survive into the next century (7).
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