Endangered Orangutans “Doomed To Extinction” Thanks To Chinese Hydro Dam

Fewer than 800 Tapanuli orangutan exist.

Environmental activists from Living Environmental Facility (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup/WALHI), a non-governmental organizations that focus on the environment, wears an orangutan mask held a protest action outside the Pembangkit Jawa-Bali (PJB) Investasi office in Jakarta, Monday, August 20, 2018. In the action that taken in commemoration of 2018 Orangutan Day (August 19, 2018), they asked PJB Investasi (a subsidiary of PT. Perusahaan Listrik Negara), to stop the Batang Boru Hydroelectric Power Project, in Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra Province which is considered to threaten the biodiversity of the Batang Boru ecosystem, which is the last forest where a population of 800 Tapanuli Orangutans which was recently discovered. (Photo by Aditya Irawan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The construction of Batang Toru Dam in North Sumatra is likely to wipe out an entire species of orangutan.

The Tapanuli orangutan was discovered in 2017 and only 800 of them are hanging around the forest- making it the rarest of great ape species in the world.

According to The Independent, the state court in North Sumatra ruled that construction can continue on the dam project despite evidence proving the environmental impact could be devastating to the ape.

The apes have never been seen on the forest floor, so shredding their treehouse homes would be devastating for the orangutan as the Sumatran tiger, also critically endangered, patrols the the forest floor for prey.

The Sumatran orangutan is also critically endangered and at risk for extinction because of the dam project, which is backed by the Bank of China.

“The dam will essentially doom the Tapanuli orangutan species to extinction,” a petition by Indonesian Forum for the Environment states.

The project is meant to build huge amounts of infrastructure across Asia including transportation and trade infrastructure.

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