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2017 IUCN Red List of endangered species a mixed bag of extinctions, declines & a few bright spots

The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) of Sumatra is both the world’s newest known great ape species and its most threatened, after being officially categorized this week as “Critically Endangered,” or nearly extinct in the wild.

Researchers last month declared it the world’s eighth great ape species, distinguishing it from the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), both of which are also deemed Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The report concluded there were about 800 Tapanuli orangutans left in the wild, making it the rarest great ape on Earth.


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