Newly discovered orangutan species requires urgent habitat protection

Sloan, Sean, Supriatna, Jatna, Campbell, Mason J., Alamgir, Mohammed, and Laurance, William F. (2018) Newly discovered orangutan species requires urgent habitat protection. Current Biology, 28. R635-R655.

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Abstract

Nater, et al. [1] recently identified a new orangutan species (Pongo tapanuliensis) in northern Sumatra, Indonesia—just the seventh described species of living great ape. The population of this critically-endangered species is perilously small, at only ~800 individuals [1], ranking it among the planet’s rarest fauna. We assert that P. tapanuliensis is highly vulnerable to extinction because its remaining habitat is small, fragmented, and poorly protected. While road incursions within its habitat are modest—road density is only one-eighth that of northern Sumatra— over one-fifth of its habitat is zoned for agricultural conversion or is comprised of mosaic agricultural and regrowth/degraded forest. Additionally, a further 8% will be affected by flooding and infrastructure development for a hydroelectric project. We recommend urgent steps to increase the chance that P. tapanuliensis will persist in the wild.

Item ID: 53610
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1879-0445
Keywords: belt & road initiative, Chinese dam, poaching, roads, Sumatra, Tapanuli Orangutan
Date Deposited: 10 May 2018 05:57
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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