The Bornean orangutan differs in appearance from the Sumatran orangutan, with a broader face and shorter beard and also slightly darker in color. Three subspecies are recognized, each localized to different parts of the island:
Northwest Bornean orangutans are the most threatened subspecies. Its habitat has been seriously affected by logging and hunting, and a mere 1,500 individuals or so remain. Many habitat patches in the area are small and fragmented.
The orangutan, with its distinctive red-orange hair, is the only ape that inhabits Asia. Weighing up to 90 kg (200 lb.), the Bornean orangutan is about 1-1.5 m tall (3.5-4.5 ft.) with an arm span as long as 2.5 m (8 ft.).
Boasting a Malay name meaning “People of the Forest,” orangutans share 97% of the same DNA as humans. Not surprisingly, they possess great intelligence as well as other human-like qualities.
Living atop the rainforest canopies on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, the Bornean Orangutan is physically well-adapted to its environment. Strong hands and hand-like feet, along with flexible hips and long arms allow the orangutan to live primarily in treetops.
A mother orangutan will nurse her offspring for 6-7 years. Although orangutans reach maturity at 8 years old, females will stay with their mothers up until their teen years to learn essential parenting skills, observing their mothers care for their younger sibling. Only then are they capable of rearing their own young. As female orangutans only give birth every 8 years, their rate of reproduction is very slow. In this way, orangutan populations take years to restore when hit with natural disasters and human encroachment.
Northeast Bornean orangutans are the smallest in size and found in Sabah and eastern Kalimantan as far as the Mahakam River. Central Bornean orangutans are the subspecies with the most animals, with at least 35,000 individuals.
. Many habitat patches in the area are small and fragmented.