Population subdivision and gene flow among wild Orangutans

Sreetharan Kanthaswamy, David Glenn Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Genetic variability among populations of orangutans from Borneo and Sumatra was assessed using seven SSR loci. Most SSR loci were highly polymorphic and their allele frequencies exhibited substantial variation across subpopulations. While significant genetic subdivision was observed among the island populations, genetic distance did not increase with geographic distance and sufficient gene flow persists to prevent marked genetic subdivision. Since it is unlikely that the Bornean Orangutans dispersed naturally among locations separated by such formidable geographic barriers, human assistance might already have altered their genetic structure. Our data suggests that there may be at least two subspecific clades of orangutans within Borneo while Central Kalimantan animals may have become more genetically related to animals in Sumatra due to human intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation
  • Microsatellite polymorphism
  • Migration
  • Pongo pygmaeus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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