In DepthConservation

Accusations fly over threat to rarest great ape

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Science  13 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6458, pp. 1064-1065
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6458.1064

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Summary

A hydropower dam now under construction in the Batung Toru ecosystem on northern Sumatra in Indonesia sits in the habitat of a population of orangutans discovered only in 1997 that was found to be its own species, the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), in 2017. Indonesian scientists collaborating with PT North Sumatera Hydro Energy (PT NSHE), the company building the dam, say the project will have minimal impact. But other primatologists and conservationists, many of them foreigners, say the project poses a major threat to the remaining 800 Tapanuli orangutans and should be canceled. They accuse PT NSHE of putting pressure on scientists and conservation groups to silence them, a charge the company denies.

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