Threatened by a hydroelectric power plant
In addition, according to scientists, this limited habitat could be threatened by the construction of a new hydroelectric power plant, which would be located on the Batang Toru River (in North Sumatra). This 122-hectare plant would prevent various populations of Tapanuli orangutans from intermingling with each other, which could lead to inbreeding and limit the genetic diversity of this endangered species.
The company, for its part, suspended the construction of the plant due to the health crisis of COVID-19. In addition, the project has lost funds from the Bank of China, so its construction it could be paralyzed for several years. However, Erik Meijaard (and the rest of the researchers who have participated in the study) want the government, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program to use this pause to initiate an investigation and assess the potential threat from orangutans.