This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).

The same assessment confirmed that the project’s infrastructure would cut through the only area of intact forest that still links the ape’s three subpopulations.

No robust studies have yet assessed the importance of the project site for retaining connectivity among the three subpopulations of the orangutan, nor how habitat loss and the infrastructure from the project would affect orangutans in that area. All species of orangutan are critically endangered according to the IUCN. Does this postponement provide an opportunity to seriously discuss how we can avoid the extinction of the rarest great ape on Earth with the Indonesian government, and together develop a well-funded conservation strategy for the species? Tapanuli Orangutan, Batang Toru Population, Togus, adult flanged male, Batang Toru Forest, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project, North Sumatran Province, Indonesia. The project is a $1.6 billion hydro-electric power infrastructure scheme which would cut across the Tapanuli orangutan’s largest subpopulation, and effectively act as a wall blocking connectivity between the already fragmented forest areas. This project will engage the local community to participate in orangutan & forest protection efforts, especially focusing on education, alternative income generation and community ranger training and development. Blog authors directory.

A potential hydrolelectric project in the middle of its range poses serious threats to its survival.

Orangutans eat over 300 different kinds of fruit.

GlobalGiving makes it easy and safe for you to give to local projects anywhere in the world. It is playing out in Indonesia, a megadiverse nation with many threatened species, where the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan is hanging by a thread. Indonesia’s conservation laws are meant to prevent this. The Section on Great Apes of IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group (IUCN SGA), of which we are part, has been leading efforts to convince the Indonesian government to review plans for a hydro-electric project that would separate the three subpopulations of the Tapanuli orangutan and further undermine their survival. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license . An IFC-funded environmental assessment found that Tapanuli orangutan densities were 26-57% higher in forests in the hydro project’s footprint than elsewhere in its range. Watch the first moving images of a Tapanuli orangutan mother and her infant. The Critically Endangered Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is the world’s rarest great ape, with just over 700 individuals estimated to remain. Two other major funding bodies, the Bank of China and the Asian Development Bank have informally declined to fund the project for similar environmental reasons. The Critically Endangered Tapanuli orangutan was discovered scientifically as recently as 1997 and occurs in an area of northern Sumatra known as Batang Toru in which it survives in a rainforest area that covers less than 1,200 km2. An aerial view of the Batang Toru River where the hydro dam development plans intrude into crucial orangutan habitat. Photo: Herman Rijksen. We are now losing species at a rate that is thought to be 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates. The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is a species of orangutan restricted to South Tapanuli in the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. As close cousins of this newly discovered species, we must make sure that the international attention brought about by the emergence of the Tapanuli orangutan is not allowed to simply peter out to be replaced by whatever arises in the next news cycle. Challenge. to push the facility’s launch of commercial operations back from 2022 to 2025, an allegation supported by a fact-checking document published by IUCN, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). Indonesia’s conservation laws are meant to prevent this. The Orangutan populations of the Tapanuli region face numerous threats from communities surrounding the forests. The current delays might be an opportunity for the Indonesian government to propose alternative plans for the Batang Toru area – a life after the dam. 767 individuals, divided among three subpopulations. The area that it occurs in is a Key Biodiversity Area based on the Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (IUCN 2016) and is mostly protected, but a part of it that is crucial for its connectivity is not, and worryingly, part of this is being developed for hydro-electric power. The company developing the project is the Jakarta-based North Sumatera Hydro Energy, but much of the actual construction work is conducted by China’s national hydropower agency, Sinohydro, which is the largest dam-builder in the world. Our award winning safaris can’t be replicated by other companies. Serge Wich is a primatologist with the Liverpool John Moores University, UK and Vice-Chair, Section on Great Apes, IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group. To resolve scientific uncertainties, we recommend (1) genetic studies to determine the level of past and potential dispersal frequency and related gene flow across the Batang Toru River, and how this would be affected by dam infrastructure; (2) genetic studies to determine recent population trends and whether the Tapanuli orangutan had until recently a much larger range; (3) improving estimates of the number of orangutans in all three subpopulations; and (4) quantifying the various threats to orangutans such as habitat loss and killing. Orangutans travelled from Sumatra to Borneo as the islands were connected by land bridges as parts of Sundaland during recent glacial periods when sea levels were much lower.

Photo: Andrew Walmsley. For those unfamiliar with the Batang Toru context, this is once again a story of biodiversity threats under an expanding human footprint. Given the recent rescues of wounded or young Tapanuli orangutans it is clear that losses are high. The fact that the Ministry’s own call to halt the dam is not heeded indicates that more powerful forces in the government are overruling the country’s environmental law. A planned hydroelectric dam poses serious threats to the survival of the Critically Endangered Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) – the world’s rarest great ape, with just over 700 individuals estimated to remain.

They share 97% of our DNA and, tragically, are now at risk from […] Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news & info, For the first time since 1929 when the bonobo was described by German anatomist Ernst Schwarz, a new species of great ape has been discovered, adding another branch to the human family tree. In the NEE paper we argue that this hydro-electric project would not be developed in most nations due to environmental concerns about its impacts. From the cave lion to the dodo, we have shown ourselves eminently capable of eradicating animals by virtue of our immensely superior brains, with no ill effect to us.

We are wildlife specialists, not led by commissions but instead by putting people in the right place at the right time. The Tapanuli population have supplanted the mountain gorilla, who were estimated to number around 880 individuals in September 2016. A destination specialist will be in touch; we don’t do hard sales but you will get plenty of inspiration and advice, as well as help creating your next trip. The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and its conservation department have the obvious authority and legal obligation to ensure that the dam infrastructure will not harm the species. Learn More Orangutans are a lot like us. To find out more about us, start designing your journey or get some expert travel advice, click the button below to speak to one of our Destination Specialists.

Males can be identified by their distinctive moustache and protruding beard, as well as their noticeably flatter cheek pads which are covered in fine blonde hair. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) concluded that the potential environmental impacts of the project were too high. Where this concerns negative impacts from energy, extractive and associated infrastructure projects on apes, we encourage you to work with the new IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group SSA/SGA ARRC Task Force. But it’s not just its genes which separates the Tapanuli orangutan from the two existing species. All one need do is look into the eyes of any primate to get a sense of our place on the continuum of life on this planet. Philippe Chardonnet, David Mallon, Tim Woodfine, Time for a Global Wildlife Health Authority, Members of the IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group, ©2020 IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. IUCN reserves the right to remove links added by commenters that are deemed inappropriate or unrelated to blog posts. 6 November 2017 — A team of Indonesian and international scientists have described a new species of orangutan, Pongo tapanuliensis, in a paper published on November 2nd in the scientific journal Current Biology. Orangutan conservation in this region is extremely limited because the little government funding that exists for Orangutan conservation is centred around larger populations within Gunung Leuser National Park. We call on all IUCN members to push for solid peer-reviewed scientific reviews for projects with potentially large environmental impacts and to utilise the broad global expertise available within IUCN to do such research. The celebration that would normally accompany a scientific discovery of this magnitude has been tempered by the Tapanuli orangutan’s immediate assumption of a particularly unwanted title: that of the world’s rarest great ape. A New Conservation Conundrum: The Tapanuli Orangutan, 2nd Floor Office, 130A Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2LA, Granta Lodge, 71 Graham Road, Worcs, WR14 2JS. The pandemic has now led to the postponement of the project, providing an unexpected opportunity to reconsider development plans and ward off the extinction of the species – write Erik Meijaard and Serge Wich of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group. Despite reservations in many quarters, the hydro scheme at Batang Toru is continuing, but a break in construction because of the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to critically re-examine the project and its rationale. The species has much declined in historic times and any further population losses would rapidly drive the Tapanuli orangutan to extinction.