A new species of orangutan from Indonesia (analysis)

first_imgScientists have described a third species of orangutan.The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is found in the Tapanuli region of Indonesia’s North Sumatra province.The species is already considered at risk of extinction.This guest post is an analysis by researchers, including authors of the paper that describes the new primate species. Researchers from Indonesia and several other countries today (including authors of this piece) published in the journal Current Biology one of the most exciting new species descriptions in this century – a new species of orangutan from Sumatra. Although we have seen the discovery and description of 88 species of primates new to science since 2000, this new orangutan is the first full species of great ape since the Bonobo from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1929. The new species, named the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is found in the Tapanuli region of North Sumatra Province and is named after the region in which is occurs.As one of the two most megadiverse countries in the world (together with Brazil), Indonesia already has a remarkably rich fauna and flora, including such globally renowned flagship species as the Sumatran and Javan rhinos, the Sumatran tiger, the Asian elephant, the babirusa, the anoa, the Komodo dragon, and many species of bird-of-paradise. Its primate fauna is truly exceptional. Indeed, with the new orangutan, it now has 61 species and 79 taxa of primates, numbers that are exceeded only by Brazil and Madagascar (see table), and fully 59 of these (75%) are endemic. Sumatra alone is home to 18 species and 19 taxa, of 11 of which are endemic and found nowhere else.With this new great ape, Indonesia’s 79 taxa rank it among the top two countries on Earth for great ape diversity along with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indonesia now has three species and five taxa of great apes, whereas the DRC has four species and six taxa.The newly described Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Indonesia. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.TOTAL GLOBAL PRIMATE DIVERSITY79 GENERA, 510 SPECIES, 702 TAXA (SPECIES AND SUBSPECIES)THE TOP 10 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD FOR PRIMATE DIVERSITY AND ENDEMISM INDONESIAN PRIMATE DIVERSITYTOTAL11 GENERA, 61 SPECIES, 79 TAXA, 59 TAXA ENDEMIC7 species and 7 taxa of slow lorises.10 species and 13 taxa of tarsiers (Cephalopachus and Tarsius. All Tarsius (11 species) are endemic to Sulawesi32 species and 44 taxa of monkeys – Cercopitheciidae10 species and 15 taxa of macaques. 13 taxa endemic.22 species and 29 taxa of langurs. 20 taxa endemic. (Colobinae).9 species and 9 taxa of gibbons (Hylobates and Symphalangus). 5 of the endemic (Hylobatidae)3 species and 5 taxa of orangutans (with Tapanuli) 3 of them endemic.An international team of scientists described the species in a paper published today, November 2. The researchers demonstrate that the Tapanuli orangutan is genetically and morphologically distinct from the Sumatran orangutan, and is therefore a separate species. According to the paper, the Tapanuli orangutan is in fact more closely related to the Bornean orangutan than it is to the Sumatran orangutans that live to its north, north of Lake Toba. The three orangutans—Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli—evolved from a common ancestor about 3.4 million years ago.The Tapanuli orangutan is similar to the Sumatran orangutan in its linear body build and a more cinnamon pelage than that of the more hunched Bornean orangutan. Its hair texture is frizzier, however, contrasting with the long loose hair typical of the Sumatran. It has a prominent mustache and the dominant males have flat cheek-flanges covered in downy hair. The flanges displayed by older dominant males are more like those of the Bornean orangutan, but unlike the Bornean orangutan, the females have beards.Baby Tapanuli orangutan in Indonesia. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.Unfortunately, as is so often the case with new species discoveries, the Tapanuli orangutan is in trouble, and has provisionally been classified as Critically Endangered by experts from the Section on Great Apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group. The animal lives only in a few forest patches in the Central, North and South districts of Tapanuli in the province of North Sumatra, in an area called the Batang Toru Ecosystem, south of Lake Toba. Forest loss data indicates that key orangutan forest habitat in Sumatra was reduced by 60 percent between 1985 and 2007, which, in addition to illegal hunting, has led to a significant population reduction of orangutans in recent years. Today the severely diminished population of the Tapanuli orangutans extends over only about 1,000 square kilometers and the total remaining population is estimated at less than 800 individuals. Logging, mining concessions, agricultural plantations and a proposed hydroelectric dam all continue to threaten its survival.This discovery also shows that despite almost 50 years of orangutan research on Sumatra, there is still so much to learn about these apes and that maintaining them throughout their entire distribution is crucial to maintaining the diversity of orangutans across their range. Indeed, “Most in the conservation community would agree that birds and mammals are among the best studied taxonomic groups, and, among mammals, primates stand out. The fact that a new species of great ape has been discovered underscores the challenge ahead for increasing our knowledge of all species, especially those less known, and tailoring our conservation efforts to the actions that are most likely to have a positive impact,” highlighted Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Sumatra. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.Citations:Nater et al., Morphometric, Behavioral, and Genomic Evidence for a New Orangutan Species, Current Biology (2017), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.047AUTHORSRussell A. Mittermeier is Chair, IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and incoming Chief Conservation Officer of Global Wildlife Conservation; he served as Conservation International’s President from 1989 to 2014, and has been that organization’s Executive Vice-Chair since 2014.Serge Wich is Co-Vice Chair of the Section on Great Apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Professor of Primate Biology at Liverpool John Moores University; and an Honorary Professor for the Conservation of Great Apes at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a coauthor of the paper describing the new orangutan species.Gabriella Fredriksson is Programme Coordinator for the PanEco/Sumatran orangutan Conservation Programme in Tapanuli, which has focused on protection of the Batang Toru Ecosystem since 2005. She is also a coauthor of the paper describing the new orangutan species.Anthony B. Rylands is a Deputy-Chair of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist and incoming Primate Conservation Program Director at Global Wildlife Conservation; he has been a Senior Research Scientist at Conservation International for 17 years. 1Brazil150128198567 3Indonesia7961115939 2Madagascar11110715111107 7Tanzania43261294 4DR Congo6647192010 5Peru57501499 Country Taxa  Species Genus Endemic taxa  Endemic species center_img 8Cameroon36311900 10Kenya332011102 9Malaysia3425992 Analysis, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Endangered Species, Great Apes, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, New Species, Orangutans, Primates, Species Discovery, Wildlife Article published by Rhett Butler 6Colombia4640141412 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more