Dr John Payne, Scientific Advisor

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John (Junaidi) Payne led a State-wide survey of orang-utans in Sabah in the mid-1980s, finding that there were about 20,000 individuals. In that period when half of Sabah’s forests had not been logged and oil palm plantations occupied only 2% of Sabah’s land, it was clear that dense breeding populations of the species were linked to low, flat, moist soils, irrespective of forest condition, and the best sites for oil palm. Based on that, he believes that we should help the species adapt over the next half-century to a lowland landscape of oil palm, orang-utan food plants and regenerating forest.