North Sumatra is home to 1 of only 8 known great ape species in the world, the newly described Tapanuli orangutan, first classified in 2017 after its habits and DNA proved them to be unique. As with many animals in Sumatra, they are amazing creatures that are critically threatened, with a maximum of 800 individuals estimated to be living in an increasingly fragmented habitat. Now a hydroelectric dam proposed for the center of the animals’ tiny territory further challenges this special species’ chances of survival, as well as that of 23 other threatened species which also live in the area. Listen here: To understand what’s interesting about this animal and how the proposed Batang Toru dam would impact it, we speak with a biologist who helped discover its uniqueness, Dr. Puji Rianti of IPB University in Bogor, and Mongabay staff writer Hans Nicholas Jong in Jakarta, who has been covering the controversy over the project, as it’s been called into question by activists and funders alike and faces numerous delays. The saga is definitely not over, and this episode explains why. See related coverage here: Dam that threatens orangutan habitat faces three-year delay Fighting to save an endangered ape, Indonesian activists fear for their lives Allegation of forged signature casts shadow over China-backed dam in Sumatra Eight species, including Tapanuli orangutan, make first appearance on list of most endangered primates Mongabay Explores is a special podcast series that speaks with experts from the field working to protect the critically threatened…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer