New orangutan species discovery


This video says about itself:

2 November 2017

Researchers at the University of Zurich have discovered a new species of orangutan. The new species, Pongo tapanuliensis (Tapanuli orangutan), live in remote areas of rainforest in Batang Toru, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

From ScienceDaily:

Newly discovered orangutan species is ‘among the most threatened great apes in the world’

November 2, 2017

Scientists have long recognized six living species of great ape aside from humans: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. But researchers reporting in Current Biology on November 2 have now made it seven, based on a collection of evidence showing that an isolated population of orangutans living in Sumatra is actually its own unique species. They’ve named the new species the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).

Unfortunately, the researchers say, there are only about 800 Tapanuli orangutans left. Those that remain are also under threat from loss of lowland habitat and hunting, which makes this newly discovered species among the most threatened great ape species in the world.

“It isn’t an everyday event that we find a new species of great ape, so indeed the discovery is very exciting,” said Michael Krutzen of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, senior author of the study.

“Great apes are among the best-studied species in the world,” added Erik Meijaard of the Australian National University. “If after 200 years of serious biological research we can still find new species in this group, what does it tell us about all the other stuff that we are overlooking: hidden species, unknown ecological relationships, critical thresholds we shouldn’t cross? Humans are conducting a vast global experiment, but we have near-zero understanding of what impacts this really has, and how it could ultimately undermine our own survival.”

The new orangutan species lives in the Batang Toru area in North Sumatra, Indonesia. While there had been rumors, no one was sure that this population of orangutans existed until 1997. They live south of what had been the known range for Sumatran orangutans.

Earlier studies suggested that the group differed from other orangutans behaviorally and at the genetic level, but it wasn’t clear that those differences were enough to support its designation as a new species. The breakthrough came in 2013, when the research team including Meijaard got access to a skeleton belonging to a Batang Toru orangutan killed in a human-animal conflict. Careful studies of the animal revealed consistent differences in its skull and teeth.

A sophisticated analysis of 37 orangutan genomes now shows that the deepest split in the evolutionary history of living orangutans occurred more than three million years ago, between the Batang Toru population and Bornean orangutans to the north of Lake Toba. Bornean and Sumatran orangutans separated only much later, less than 700,000 years ago. Behavioral and ecological evidence lends further support for the notion that the orangutans living in Batang Toru are a separate species, the researchers said.

“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 Alexander Nater, also of the Unversity of Zurich. “The Batang Toru population was connected to populations to the north until 10,000 or 20,000 years ago, after which it became isolated.”

The findings mean that there are now 800 fewer Sumatran orangutans than previously thought. The Tapanuli orangutans are also severely threatened by hunting and the proposed development of a hydroelectric dam that would flood large parts of their best habitat if implemented. That’s especially discouraging given that previous analyses suggest a mortality rate of less than one percent per year would still be enough to drive the Tapanuli orangutans extinct.

“If even 8 out of 800 animals per annum were killed or otherwise removed from the population, the species might be doomed,” the scientists caution.

The researchers say the most important thing now is to work with organizations already in the area and Indonesian government authorities to urge support for more effective conservation measures to protect the Batang Toru area. They also want to learn more about the relationship of the Tapanuli orangutan to now-extinct orangutan populations that used to live in other parts of Sumatra.

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Captive orangutan freed


This video from Borneo says about itself:

Orangutan Kept In Small Box For Weeks Is FINALLY Free

15 October 2017

Orangutan Kept In Box For Days Is SO HAPPY To Be Free | This orangutan was kept in a crate for two weeks, just because she got too close to someone’s land. To sponsor the ongoing care of Isin the rescued orangutan, you can support International Animal Rescue.

Orangutan and human breast-feeding, new study


This video says about itself:

26 February 2015

Baby Orangutan Makes Incredible Recovery

WITH a few tentative steps, young orangutan Budi is on the road to recovery. Just two months ago the orphaned animal struggled to sit up on his own, but now he can walk and even climb like a healthy ape. One-year-old Budi was severely malnourished when he arrived at the International Animal Rescue (IAR) sanctuary in West Borneo, Indonesia, in December after a life spent caged in a chicken coop. The slightest movement caused him so much excruciating pain he cried like a baby every time doctors touched him. But after two months of dedicated care, Budi is eating fruit, walking and even climbing.

From The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine in the USA:

Wild orangutan teeth provide insight into human breast-feeding evolution

May 17, 2017

Summary: Biomarkers in the teeth of wild orangutans indicate nursing patterns related to food fluctuations in their habitats, which can help guide understanding of breast-feeding evolution in humans, according to a study.

Biomarkers in the teeth of wild orangutans indicate nursing patterns related to food fluctuations in their habitats, which can help guide understanding of breast-feeding evolution in humans, according to a study published today in Science Advances. This work was led by researchers in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and evolutionary biologists at Griffith University in Australia.

Breast-feeding is a critical aspect of human development, and the duration of exclusive nursing and timing of introducing solid food to the diet are also important determinants of health in human and other primate populations. Many aspects of nursing, however, remain poorly understood. Orangutan nursing habits have also been difficult to study due to challenges in observing this behavior in their natural environment. To work around these challenges, researchers reconstructed diet histories of wild orangutans by using their teeth as biomarkers. The growth patterns of teeth, which resemble tree rings, allows investigators to determine concentrations of the maternal elements in the infants’ teeth over time, which yields information about their nursing and dietary patterns.

“Early-life dietary transitions reflect fundamental aspects of primate life, history, and evolution,” said Christine Austin, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health and second study author. “By first studying nursing patterns of our primate cousins, we can apply these findings to future studies in humans. This method can be used to reconstruct the diet histories of contemporary humans in order to reliably and accurately study the relationship between infant diet and health outcomes in childhood or later life, as well as inform models of population growth.”

In this study, the researchers examined levels of the element barium in teeth samples from deceased Sumatran and Bornean orangutans housed in zoological museums. Teeth analyses showed that the orangutans consumed maternal milk exclusively for their first year, as determined by a gradual increase in barium levels over the first 12 months. After the first year, the teeth indicated cycles that alternated between more and less milk consumption, which may occur until eight to nine years of age, a later weaning age than any other primate.

This cycling is believed to result from the changing and unpredictable availability of fruit, which leads young orangutans to rely on maternal milk for a longer period of time. “The evidence of cyclical multi-year nursing patterns and late weaning ages in orangutans, reported here for the first time, will lead to further studies of how food availability and other environmental factors affect nursing patterns in primates,” said Tanya Smith, PhD, Associate Professor at Griffith University and lead study author. “Additional research is needed to determine whether similar breast-feeding patterns help human babies increase resilience to environmental stressors in infancy.”

Orangutans take motherhood to extremes, nursing young for more than eight years: here.

Blonde rescued orangutan named Alba


This video from Borneo in Indonesia says about itself:

Meet Alba, the Albino Orangutan

15 May 2017

Following a global campaign to help us find a special name for the 5-year old albino orangutan, BOS Foundation is delighted to announce that this little girl is named Alba, which means ‘white’ in Latin and ‘dawn’ in Spanish. Hopefully a new dawn will come for these precious animals. The name Alba was selected from thousands of suggestions sent from around the world at name@orangutan.or.id or on social media quoting the hashtag #albinoorangutan.

A veterinarian says that in the ten days since Alba was saved from her captors, being very thin then, has already added 4.5 kilos to her weight.

Blonde orangutan girl saved, name her


This video from Borneo in Indonesia says about itself:

2 May 2017

Activists rescued a rare albino orangutan that was being held captive.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Name searched for blonde blue-eyed orangutan

Today, 12:38

She is blonde, has blue eyes and is still anonymous. Last month a dehydrated and malnourished albino orangutan was found in central Borneo. Conservationists invite people to submit suggestions for a name.

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation hopes that the ape will become a symbol of endangered animals worldwide. The orangutan was saved from a cage in the Indonesian part of Borneo. …

Veterinarian Arga Sawung Kusuma cares for the orangutan. “She looked thinner when we found her,” he told AP. “She was stressed and collapsed. Her skin and fur did not look well and she suffered from dehydration.”

Also, the animal did not weigh enough for her age. “She looked thinner when we found her, she weighed 8.3 kilos. For a five-year-old female orangutan, that’s really very little.”

The name orangutan comes from the Malayan [orang] hutan which means forest human. The animals are genetically identical to humans for 96.4 percent.

Suggestions for a name can be submitted to 14 May to name@orangutan.org.id or via the hashtag #albinoorangutan on social media. The organization hopes that people will send “meaningful” names.

When the blonde orangutan will be healthy again, she will be freed in the wild.

See also here. And here.

Caged orangutang rescued


This BBC video says about itself:

18 January 2017

A caged Orangutang, captured from the wild is finally released from terrible conditions.

Orangutans freed in Borneo rainforest


This 2012 video is called AMAZING ORANGUTAN TOUR BORNEO.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Orangutans returned to native Borneo

Monday 19th December 2016

A BRITISH charity has overseen the safe return of two critically endangered orangutans to their native Borneo, after they were taught how to live in the wild.

A team from the Orangutan Conservation Centre in West Kalimantan travelled with the pair from Britain who were previously held as pets until they were rescued.

Eight-year-old male orangutan Johnny and 10-year-old female Desi had spent more than four years at the International Animal Rescue’s (IAR) Orangutan Conservation Centre.

They learned how to climb, forage, make nests and other survival skills that are vital for their survival in the rainforest.

As soon as they were released into the wild, the apes climbed trees and foraged. A team will monitor them, making records of their progress, a spokesman for IAR said.

The International Union of Conservation of Nature recently reclassified the Bornean orangutan as critically endangered as numbers have dropped by more than 80 per cent in the last 75 years due to deforestation.