If you’re in the UK, you probably watched the amazing second episode of Primates on Sunday 3rd May and saw Tapanuli orangutans on your TV screen (if you’re not in the UK, don’t worry – the series will be available in other countries later this year).
Tapanuli orangutans were only announced as a distinct species in 2017, and with just 800 individuals remaining in the wild, they are the most endangered Great Ape. They face a real and immediate threat of extinction due to the imminent construction of a major new hydroelectric dam slicing through the heart of their remaining forest habitat.
Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) has taken a leading role in building a consortium of organisations and independent experts collaborating to halt the dam development through complementary legal, grassroots, and financing strategies.
They’ve seen some success already: following protests that we organised outside the Bank of China headquarters in London against their involvement in the project, SOS and their partners were invited to participate in an unprecedented dialogue with the bank to share their concerns, and the bank subsequently withdrew from the project.
With this in mind, they are optimistic that they can win this fight and prevent the extinction of the Tapanuli orangutan.
Read more about SOS’s work at https://www.orangutans-sos.org/.