The Impact of Palm Oil and the effects on animal habitats


The Impact of Palm Oil and the effects on animal habitats

Palm oil can be found in about half of packaged food products on supermarket’s shelves as well as in laundry detergents, cosmetics and more. Because of the popularity of this particular ingredient, many people do not even know it exists. While this oil may seem unassuming, the sad reality is that its production takes an enormous toll on the environment.

The palm plant thrives in a warm, tropical rainforest climate and is  primarily cultivated on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. As a result of the expansion of this crop, around  300 football fields of rainforest are chopped down every hour to make way for palm plantations. This loss of forest not only translates into enormous greenhouse gas emissions, but also the devastating loss of local biodiversity.

Many animals that call Borneo and Sumatra home are  in jeopardy of loosing their homes and habitat, meaning when their homes disappear, they’ve got nowhere else to go.  The Orangutan, Cloud Leopard and  The Sumatran tiger are tragically one of these animals and it has become clear that if nothing is done to protect this species, we stand to lose them in our lifetimes.


It is estimated that the Sumatran tiger population will be extinct in less that three years if nothings done to protect their habitat or control poachers.

Being at the top of the ecosystem, leopards and tigers can only thrive when there is adequate availability of prey species, many of which are herbivores, and the population of these animals greatly depends on their habitat. If there is no habitat to provide food for the herbivores then the tiger has no hope for survival.

The first thing you can do is to lessen the amount, or ideally stop, purchasing products that contain palm oil. Check out this resource to learn how to identify palm oil in your products, and this to help you learn to avoid them.

Whether you chose to minimize the threat that palm oil poses to the tiger through personal consumption choices or by supporting an organization, we can all play a role to help protect the future of this – and many other species.

Up to 300 football fields of forest are cleared every hour to make room for palm plantations.

The power is in your palm.

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