Published: Sat, November 04, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Scientists discover third Orangutan species. It's already extremely threatened with extinction

Scientists discover third Orangutan species. It's already extremely threatened with extinction

Last year, the IUCN classified Bornean orangutans as critically endangered due to a precipitous population decline caused by destruction of their forest habitat for palm oil and pulp wood plantations.

It is the seventh living species of great apes, which besides humans, are the Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos.

The university statement said that a previous study combined with the new genome sequencing of 37 orangutans showed a picture that was consistent with the morphological findings.

The small family of great ape species just got a new member - a previously unclassified type of orangutan living in an isolated colony in Sumatra.

Quoted from the written statement of KLHK, Friday (11/3/2017), the Tapanuli orangutan has a population number of less than 800 with a very slow breeding time. The team researching the Tapanuli orangutan contends that it's the most endangered of all surviving great apes, with only about 800 left.

The new species lived south of what was the known range for Sumatran orangutans and remained a mystery to scientists until two decades ago.

"We identified three very old evolutionary lineages among all orangutans, despite only having two species now described", Maja Mattle-Greminger, a postdoctoral researcher at UZH, said in the statement.

NYPD, Manhattan DA's Office Investigate New Rape Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein
De la Huerta's allegations may be the first to result in charges being filed against Weinstein, according to NME magazine . The first occurred when Weinstein demanded to come inside De la Huerta's apartment after driving her home, she said.

"The Batang Toru orangutans appear to be direct descendants of the initial orangutans that had migrated from mainland Asia, and thus constitute the oldest evolutionary line within the genus Pongo", said Alexander Nater, also from the Unversity of Zurich. "Humans are conducting a vast global experiment, but we have near-zero understanding of what impacts this really has, and how it could ultimately undermine our own survival".

It is the most endangered of the now seven known species of great apes.

The analysis revealed that the new species split away from the others around 3.3 million years ago.

"Great apes are among the best-studied species in the world", said Erik Meijaard of the Australian National University in a press release.

"I hope that this new status will foster conservation efforts to make sure that the population doesn't go extinct shortly after being described", Marc Ancrenaz, co-director of the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project, said, according to The Atlantic. The paper suggests that a mortality rate of even 1 percent per year could drive this newly identified orangutan species to extinction.

Wiratno, director-general of natural resources conservation and ecosystem at Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forests, who like many Indonesians only uses his first name, said Batang Toru is not included in the protected forest area.

"It is very exciting to discover a new great ape species in the 21st century", Krützen said in the University of Zurich statement.

Like this: