Events in China: Discussion on the conservation of the Hoolock gibbon

Tags: Environment International News

Events-in-China-Discussion-on-the-conservation-of-the-Hoolock-gibbonThe meeting took place in Haikou, Hainan province of China from 7 to 9 July. It was organised by the Global Gibbon Network (GGN).

An Overview of the News 

Hoolock Gibbon: The only ape of India

  • Previously, scientists believed that there were two species of ape in India: the western hoolock gibbon and the eastern hoolock gibbon.

  • A recent study by the Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology reveals that India is home to only one ape species, the Hoolock gibbon.

Features of Hoolock Gibbon

  • Belonging to the Hylobatidae family, the hoolock gibbon is one of 20 gibbon species on Earth.

  • Known for their energetic vocal performances, the population of these apes is estimated to be around 12,000.

  • They are the smallest and fastest species of apes, exhibiting high intelligence and strong family bonds.

Distribution and Accommodation

  • The hoolock gibbon is native to tropical and subtropical forests in the southeastern part of Asia, including Bangladesh, northeastern India, parts of Myanmar, and southwestern China.

  • In India, they are unique in the Northeast between south of the Brahmaputra River and east of the Dibang River.

  • Hoolock gibbon populations face a number of threats, including deforestation for infrastructure projects, habitat destruction, hunting for meat, and human encroachment.

Conservation Efforts

  • To protect Hoolock gibbons, conservationists have proposed setting up dedicated gibbon wildlife sanctuaries on the lines of Assam.

  • Legal protection, limited infrastructure development in their habitats and efforts to control human encroachment and poaching are also necessary.

Conservation Status

  • Since the 1990s, the Hoolock gibbon population has declined significantly, leaving all 20 gibbon species at high risk of extinction.

  • The IUCN Red List maintains the previous classification, with the eastern hoolock gibbon classified as vulnerable and the western hoolock gibbon as endangered.

  • Both species are included in Schedule I of the Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act, 1972.

Global Gibbon Network (GGN)

  • Established in 2022 in Haikou, China, GGN aims to protect singing gibbons and their habitats, which are an integral part of Asia's unique natural heritage.

  • GGN envisions promoting participatory conservation policies, legislation and actions for gibbon conservation.

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