November 10th, 2013 | Clare Campbell
Categories: Gibbon Release
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Reintroduction is increasingly becoming an important component of conservation action plans. With dwindling wild populations, rehabilitated ex pet gibbons present an opportunity to establish new populations and reinforce existing non-viable populations.
Reintroduction of gibbons is still relatively experimental but SGP has played an integral role in the development of IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for the Translocation of Gibbons.
The first trial reintroduction of Silvery gibbons occurred in October 2009, with the pair monitored intensively for two years. They continue to thrive in forest nearby to JGC.
A new release site was established in 2013 in the Malabar Mts. The Puntang Mountain (Malabar Mts), located in Bandung regency, West Java comprises of almost 9000 hectares of land at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,300 above sea level. The area is covered by tree plantations (26.9%) and forest (73.1%), and is under the management of Perhutani (Forestry State Enterprise). The majority of species within the forested area are Altingia excels, Castonopsis argentea, and Ficus spp. The plantation area is primarily Pinus mercusii and Agathis damara. The area has a carrying capacity of approximately 100 families based on a territory size of 30-40ha.
The first pair, Sadewa and Kiki were released in June 2013 and continue to be monitored by the Gibbon Monitoring Unit (GMU). In March 2014 a family, including two offspring were also released into the area. Both groups have adjusted well to the wild environment and continue to be monitored. The family group has remained within close proximity however the first pair have moved to the opposite side of the site making them somewhat difficult to monitor.
Two more pairs are scheduled for release in April 2015.