Economic Valuation of Borneo Orangutans at Kemaman Zoo and Recreation Park in Terengganu, Malaysia

Authors

1 Faculty of Business, Economics & Social Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

2 Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Abstract

The orangutan is a famous and unique species of big ape living in arboreal forests and can only be found in Borneo and Sumatra Island. The orangutans are divided into two subspecies; Borneo orangutan and Sumatra orangutan. They are critically endangered species due to uncontrolled, rapid development activities. In Malaysia, there is an estimation of 12,300 Borneo orangutans undergoing rehabilitation in Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak. These parks are open to the public and have attractions like exotic plants and wildlife, and interesting activities like elephant riding. The introduction of entrance fees to these places may overcome the inadequacy of public funds for conservation and preservation efforts. This study determines the economic value of Borneo orangutans by obtaining an estimated value of willingness to pay (WTP) from visitors and identifies the factors affecting the ability to pay for the conservation of Borneo orangutans in Kemaman Mini Zoo at Terengganu. The method used is the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) by asking visitors’ WTP using a questionnaire. Results show that visitors’ WTP is heavily influenced by the bid price, income, and age. Visitors put a higher value on the orangutan and the mini zoo compared to the current entrance fee. This value can be used by zoo operators to make decisions related to the threats of the extinction of endangered species.
 

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