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New Orangutan Species from Tapanuli

  • 3 November 2017
  • Last modified at 3 November 2017

Dr. Puji Rianti S.Si. M.Si. and Dr. Ir. Dyah Perwitasari M.Sc. of Animal Biosystematics and Ecology Division in collaboration with Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (KLHK), Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI), Universitas Nasional (UNAS), Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari - Program Konservasi Orangutan Sumatra (YEL-SOCP), and other overseas university have been conducting a multiyear research of Orangutan species in Batang Toru, Tapanuli, South Sumatera. Today, the collaboration yielding a significant finding that is Orangutan Tapanuli as a new species. The new species named scientifically as Pongo tapanuliensis.

The finding is published in a paper entitled Morphometric, Behavioral, and Genomic Evidence for a New Orangutan Species at Current Biology ( In the paper, it is said that P. tapanuliensis is the oldest evolutionary lineage in the genus Pongo in the world. As the population consist of fewer than 800 individuals, its geographic isolation, and other threats, P. tapanuliensis is classified as the most endangered great apes. 

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