Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ABOUT US
Newly discovered orangutan species is most endangered great ape
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Nov 2, 2017


A new species of orangutan has been discovered in the remote jungles of Indonesia, immediately becoming the world's most endangered great ape, researchers said Thursday.

"It's the first declaration of a new great ape species in about 100 years," Ian Singleton, co-author of the study and director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, told AFP.

The species, called 'Tapanuli orangutan', lives in the Batang Toru forest on Sumatra island, and numbers only about 800 in total, making it the most endangered great ape in the world, Singleton added.

Until recently, scientists thought there were only two genetically distinct types of orangutan, Bornean and Sumatran.

But in 1997 researchers at the Australian National University discovered an isolated population of the great apes in Batang Toru, south of the known habitat for Sumatran orangutans, and scientists began to study the group to see if it was a unique species.

Researchers studied the DNA, skulls and teeth of 33 orangutans killed in human-animal conflict before concluding that they had indeed discovered a new species, giving it the scientific name Pongo tapanuliensis.

Outwardly the Tapanuli orangutan bears a closer resemblance to its Bornean counterpart, with cinnamon-coloured fur that is frizzier than its Sumatran relative. It also has a "prominent moustache", according to the findings published in the journal Current Biology.

Its skull and bone structure are slightly different from its relatives and so is its behaviour, with the long calls of male orangutans lasting on average 21 seconds longer with a greater number of pulses.

Scientists believe the three types of orangutans share a common ancestor but began to diverge into different species about 3.4 million years ago.

"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 co-author Alexander Nater of the University of Zurich.

The Tapanuli orangutan species became isolated from its Sumatran relatives about 10-20,000 years ago, Nater added, eventually settling in the Batang Toru forest.

But its tiny population is under severe threat from mining, agricultural encroachment, illegal logging and a proposed hydroelectric dam, which would flood up to eight percent of its habitat.

The authors of the study said conservation measures need to be urgently implemented.

"Orangutans reproduce extremely slowly, and if more than one percent of the population is lost annually this will spiral them to extinction," co-author Serge Wich, professor at Liverpool John Moores University, said.

Both Sumatran and Bornean orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Sumatran orangutan population is estimated to be just under 15,000, while about 54,000 orangutans are thought to live in Borneo, according to the IUCN.

Rampant logging and the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations have been blamed for destroying their jungle habitat. The primates have also been attacked by villagers who view them as pests and targeted by poachers to be sold as pets.

ABOUT US
Climbing Australia's giant red rock Uluru banned
Sydney (AFP) Nov 1, 2017
Climbing the world's largest monolith Uluru was banned Wednesday amid concerns it was becoming a "theme park", undermining the giant red rock's deep cultural significance. Scrambling up the symbol of the Outback, also known as Ayers Rock, is seen by many tourists as a must-do on their visit to Australia. But they do so against the wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners, the Anangu, ... read more

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ABOUT US
Displaced Puerto Ricans find refuge in New York

$129 bn in extreme weather losses last year: climate report

Five years on, New Yorkers still live with the scars of Hurricane Sandy

Puerto Rico 'heartbreaking' five weeks post-storm

ABOUT US
Liquids take a shine to terahertz radiation

Voltage-driven liquid metal fractals

Nanoscale textures make glass invisible

Discovery of a new structure family of oxide-ion conductors SrYbInO4

ABOUT US
Mass seal deaths in Russia's Lake Baikal

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

Climate change could transform key bacterial interactions in the ocean by 2100

The oceans were colder than we thought

ABOUT US
Canada caribou herds, habitat continue to decline: report

Hopes dashed for giant new Antarctic marine sanctuary

'Scars' left by icebergs record West Antarctic ice retreat

Groundwater and tundra fires may work together to thaw permafrost

ABOUT US
The advent of 'green' cattle

Marijuana farming is harming the environment, study shows

Rainy summer puts Germans off their beer

Mammoth projects to make Norway's fish farms eco-friendly

ABOUT US
Anticipating aftershocks

Japanese earthquake zone strongly influenced by the effects of friction

Tsunami reveals human noise pollution in Hawaiian waters

Authorities lower Bali volcano alert status

ABOUT US
Death of soldiers highlights US military presence in Niger

Pentagon looks at stepped-up Africa role to counter IS

US military to pursue Niger operations after deadly attack

Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role

ABOUT US
The relentless rise of migration in Europe over last 10,000 years

Researchers demonstrate 'mind-reading' brain-decoding tech

Study shows how memories ripple through the brain

Climbing Australia's giant red rock Uluru banned




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement