When they run out of trees

Posted by: Clare Campbell Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Gibbons


We are very sad to report on a desperate situation in West Java, where a family of gibbons had become isolated in a  very small patch of forest. Unfortuantely, with ever decreasing habitat, this scenario is likely to become a common occurrence and we must be prepared for translocation strategies. On this occasion, we have been unable to act in time but we are now assisting with urgent plans to move the remaining gibbons to a safe area.  Please see the report below from our partners in the field.

In the last decade Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre together with Wanicare Foundation had continuous cooperation with the local government in Lengkong Region to combat the staggering amount of human-wildlife conflicts in this area. As a consequence Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre has rescued and confiscated many animals from this region, among these animals are in total 5 Silvery gibbons (Hylobates moloch). Consequently Wanicare Foundation initiated a project to assess the threats, population sizes and habitat quality.

On June 6, a local contact from Lengkong send a message to the Wanicare Team that a gibbon died. Our team went as soon as possible to Lengkong and was shocked by what we found (photo). With tears in their eyes the local people explained what happened, this gibbon visited the local village on daily basis to look for food because there is not enough food to be found in his forest which consists of mainly pine trees (rubber plantation). But friday the 5th of June the search for food became fatal when he decided to use a high-voltage cable to get to another piece of forest. The local people were alarmed by the screams of this individual when it first touched the wires, but when arrived at the scene it was already too late to help. Together with the local people, local government and the Energy Company our team got the gibbon down to bury it after a quick medical check.

As this is already the third case documented and other gibbons in the area still face the same risk we need to continue the surveys and assessments to identify conflict areas and realize mitigation programs to protect the Silvery gibbons from Lengkong.


You can help SGP by making a donation today to support the translocation of isolated gibbons to safe habitat.

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