|Town/Region||Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve, Baoshan|
|Date||30 Dec 2008|
China supports one of the world’s richest gibbon faunas, but all of these species are on the edge of extinction. An international team confirmed that white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) has already disappeared from China in November 2007. The white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) has also not been sighted in China since the 1980s. Therefore, scientists warn that the loss of the white-handed gibbon is an omen of things to come. It may just be the beginning of an unprecedented wave of extinctions that threatens to purge out most or all of China’s ape species (Geissmann et al, 2007).
Eastern Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) is distribute in India, Burma and China, is classified as Endangered by IUCN (2007). The population in China was less than 200 individuals in 1994 (Lan, 1998). Two forest patches have been destroyed after this last survey. The last sustainable population is thought to live in Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve (GNR). And maybe a very small population survived in Tongbiguan Nature Reserve, Houqiao town in Tengchong County, and Sudian town in Yingjiang County. In March 2008, we did a survey focused on primate diversity in Nankang, east of Gaoligongshan. The results showed that the gibbon population declined from 5 groups around 20 individuals to 3 individuals since 1985. Therefore, it is urgent to assess the current population size, distribution, habitat, and threat factors of hoolock gibbons in China before them extinct.
I have finished the interview survey with the local people and collect some basic information about the history distribution, population size, habitat disturbance and hunting pressure in October 2008. Based on the interview information, the total population size was estimated to less than 80 individuals in 20 groups. The field survey will be implemented between April and May 2009.
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