Photo of rare Tapanuli Orangutan by: Maxime Aliaga
Tapanuli orangutans were classified as a new great ape species found in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2017, there are now sadly fewer than 800 individuals remaining in the wild.
Forest protection is vital for the survival of this rare and critically-endangered species as they live in smaller sub-populations in an already fragmented forest landscape. Tragically, their habitat is under multiple threats including the active Martabe Goldmine, in the Batang Toru region of North Sumatra.
Martabe Goldmine and forested region in February 2020
That is why Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is calling on British Company Jardine Matheson to URGENTLY STOP destroying Tapanuli orangutan habitat and immediately restore the forest they have already cleared.
Jardine Matheson owns the Martabe Goldmine through its subsidiary Astra International, which is Indonesia’s largest company. In 2018, after acquiring the goldmine, they made a firm commitment not to expand the mine into the Tapanuli orangutan habitat. They reportedly also told environmental organizations that they were concerned about the species and would not alter the surrounding landscape.
However, satellite imagery has now revealed the clearing of orangutan habitat adjacent to the active mine. The extent of the clearing is nearly 21.5 acres of forest. The mine already occupies an area of 67.6 acres which was formerly orangutan habitat before being cleared to allow for the extraction and processing of gold ore.
Martabe Mine with cleared forested area on June 25, 2020