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SILVERY GIBBON PROJECT NEWSLETTER

MARCH 2014

Gibbon Release – March 2014

Preparations are underway for the second release of gibbons into Mt Malabar.  In what is a first for Javan gibbons, an entire family will be released into the protected forest on March 26. Jowo and Bombom and their offspring, who were born at Javan Gibbon Centre (JGC), have recently been relocated to the soft release enclosure located inside the release site. They have settled in well and are already calling daily, a good indicator that they are ready to be released.
 
The first pair, Sadewa and Kiki, released into this area last year continue to do well and are still monitored by the Gibbon Monitoring Team daily.
 
A Gibbon Protection Unit (GPU) was also established in December 2013, patrolling the forest for illegal activity. This unit is now more critical than ever, with a recent apparent spike in poaching of young gibbons.  In recent months, 4 young gibbons have been confiscated by authorities and transferred to the Javan Gibbon Centre.  Whilst this is a worrying trend, it is also a positive indication that authorities are stepping up action to enforce the laws surrounding illegal wildlife trade.

The GPU has a patrol team of 5 people, consisting of 2 Perhutani (local forestry) staff, and 3 staff from the local community.

The unit is now fully kitted out with uniforms and equipment and they have undertaken regular training to increase their capacity in the field. They are on patrol for 20 days/month to monitor the forest condition, biodiversity and any threats in the Malabar mountain region. In addition to forest patrols, they work with local villages to provide conservation message to the locals, as well as gathering information from them about any activities in the area.



Photos show the gibbon family preparing for release and members of the Gibbon Patrol Unit, placing monitoring devices in the forest, and establishing a forest base-camp.





 

Gibbon Reintroduction Workshop

In January this year, Clare Campbell and Holly Thompson attended a workshop convened by the IUCN Primate Specialist Group, Section on Small Apes, to develop Guidelines for Gibbon Rehabilitation, Reintroduction and Translocation. The workshop was attended by gibbon experts from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, USA, UK and Australia. This was an important opportunity for those working in gibbon conservation to share information on success and failures of reintroduction projects.

The resulting guidelines will help to standardise strategies, monitoring and evaluation techniques, ensuring that reintroduction efforts have maximum conservation value. Clare is leading the authoring process and the guidelines will be launched at the International Primatological Society conference in Hanoi in August. Thanks to ARCUS Foundation, Gibbon Conservation Centre and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Fund for their support of this important meeting.


Photos, top left: The delegation at the workshop in Phnom Penh. Middle left, Clare and Holly with world renowned gibbon expert, Dr David Chivers. Bottom left, Representatives from Indonesian projects.

 

Supayang Reserve Expansion

After contributing to land purchase in the Supayang Reserve last year, Silvery Gibbon Project (SGP) is excited to have recently been awarded a grant from Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action, supporting the purchase of an additional 12 hectares in the reserve. This area owned and managed by Kalaweit will soon become one of the largest private reserves in Sumatra and is home to numerous Critically Endangered species such as Agile gibbons, Sumatran tigers, Sunbears, Malayan tapir and Clouded leopard. SGP hopes to continue to support the expansion of this reserve and to assist Kalaweit with other important projects. If you would like to make a donation, we are currently crowd funding for more hectares. Please contact us today or visit:


https://rainforestconnections.org/projects/Sumatran_Rainforest_Sanctuary_Stage_4



Photos above: A sunbear and Malayan Tapir captured on camera in Supayang reserve.
 

Pileated Gibbon: A Profile

Pileated gibbons (Hylobates pileatus) live in the rainforests of mainland Southeast Asia; namely Cambodia, central-east Thailand and southwest Laos.

 

Their habitat was probably more extensive in the past, particularly in Thailand. There are reasonable numbers, compared to other gibbon species, particularly in the Cambodian mountain ranges, though the forests of some of these mountain ranges are fragmented.

This species is found in seasonal evergreen forests, and has a similar ecology and diet to Lar Gibbons (Hylobates Lar). It eats young leaves, fruits and shoots, as well as insects. Males of the species have black fur, while the females have white-grey colored fur with only the belly and head black. Both sexes have a white ring of hair about the head. Like other gibbons they live in monogamous pairs, but observations have been rarer than some species, as they are shyer than other gibbons. It is assumed however that they enjoy a similar lifestyle, breeding and nurturing patterns.
Pileated gibbons are threatened by both hunting, primarily for meat, and severe habitat fragmentation and degradation. There are larger populations in Cambodia, but they are distributed across areas that are not yet protected conservation zones. The loss of habitat due to logging, agricultural land clearing, hydroelectric development, and expanding settlements will place greater pressure on the forest habitats.
In December 2013 a pair of pileated gibbons were successfully released into the protected forests of the 
Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site near the ancient temples. This initiative by Wildlife Alliance, the Cambodian Forestry Administration and the Apsara Authority which manages the World Heritage site.   
References

Photo above : Pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus).                   
Photo Travis Thompson World Press and right, Southeast Asia Habitat




It's that time of year again!

Go Without For Gibbons is back and this year we hope to raise 10k for gibbons through small sacrifices that we all can make. It's so easy - all you have to do it give something up for April and donate what you would have spent to SGP instead.  Why not give up coffee for the month? Online shopping? Dare we say chocolate at Easter? Your donation can help to rescue a gibbon and allow them to be free again in the forest. What can you live without this April to help save gibbons? Tell us what you have planned and get your friends on board.


Pledge your donation upfront or donate now at: www.givenow.com.au/silverygibbon
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The Silvery Gibbon Project
PO Box 335, Como 6952
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