The Tapanuli Orangutan is still threatened with extinction, despite only recently being discovered

The Tapanuli Orangutan lives on Sumatra but are thought to be more closely related to Bornean Orangutans. Numbering around 800 members, they had a far wider ranging habitat until recently. They are now restricted to about 1000 square km – about 2.5% of their former range.

While looking very similar to other orangutans, this sub species has not interbred with any other orangutans for over 1 million years and despite living in Sumatra, are more closely related to the Borneo Orangutan

What is harder, is that these Orangutans are not naturally mountainous animals, but have been driven there by the hunting that has so decimated their numbers.

Their habitat is continually being fragmented, and the only way to save them would be to stop this behaviour and give them the space to survive and hopefully thrive. They are currently split into 3 rough groups Рthe eastern, western and those living within the  Sibuali-Buali Nature reserve.

This species future survival is still threatened by the plans for a 500 megawatt dam. More alarmingly, there is little need for this power in the immediate area, and it is thought that the power would be used for a gold mine which is another threat to the area.

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