The haunting and beautiful call of the female Silvery gibbon still awakens a few small patches of the misty rainforest of West and Central Java. Unlike most gibbon species, her mate contributes little to the song but watches for intruders during the female’s early morning recital.
Sadly, the call of the Silvery gibbon could be silenced forever.
The Silvery Gibbon Project is a program under Australian registered environmental organisation Wildlife Asia. Established in 1991, the project raises funds for the conservation of the Endangered Silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch), a primate found only in the jungles of Indonesia.
Unfortunately, like so many species today the wild populations of the Silvery gibbon are under threat due to habitat destruction and fragmentation from illegal logging, burning of forests for palm oil plantations, and encroachment from local human populations.
In addition, many gibbons are still lost each year to the illegal pet trade, when adult gibbons are slaughtered so that their babies can be sold in the markets as pets. The situation for these animals is dire. Based on current estimates, the wild populations are thought to number between 400 and 4,000 animals, many of these confined to small fragmented areas of ever diminishing forest.
Education, preservation of habitat, rehabilitation and reintroduction of ex-pet Silvery gibbons are all important steps to avoid the imminent extinction of these magnificent creatures.
Wildlife Asia is the primary supporter of the Javan Gibbon Centre and the Reintroduction program, as well as other gibbon programs throughout Asia. Our programs urgently require ongoing funding through WA. For more up to date information, please visit www.wildlifeasia.org.au.
A Tribute to Reg Gates
(19 Feb 1946 – 24 Jan 1999)
Reg Gates, our founder, was the Curator of Primates at Perth Zoo. His compassion and care for his staff, his commitment to the well-being of the animals in his care, and particularly his life-long dedication to his beloved silvery gibbons made him an inspiration to all who knew him.