Abstract # 141:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 11:30 AM-11:40 AM: Session 15 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation

Distribution and Status of Hoolock gibbon in Arunachal Pradesh, India and its Conservation

J. Biswas1, J. Das2, D. K. Borah3 and A. Das1
1Primate Research Centre NE India, House No 4, Byelane 3, Ananda nagar, Pandu, Guwahati, Assam 781012, India, 2Wildlife Areas Dvelopment and Welfare Trust, 3Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam, India
The Hoolock gibbon has a broad geographic distribution across tropical and subtropical regions of Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar. Eastern Hoolock gibbons (Hoolock leuconedys) are found in Yunan province of China and east of the river Chindween. Western Hoolock gibbons (Hoolock hoolock) have been known to be distributed throughout Arunachal Pradesh, east of the river Dibang and south of the river Brahmaputra. A detailed survey was conducted in Arunachal Pradesh within the known range of Hoolock gibbons using modified line transect methods from January 2005 to February 2007. These surveys confirm the presence of H.  leuconedys in Arunachal Pradesh, India for the first time. 168 eastern Hoolock gibbons in 51 groups (average group size: 3.29±0.26, range: 2 - 6) from 10 different forests were found.  160 western Hoolock gibbons in 43 groups (average group size: 3.7±0.23, range: 2 - 4) from 11 different forests were recorded during the survey. From these observations we suggest that the range of eastern Hoolock gibbon extends between the river Lohit in the northwest and Dafa bum (>4500m) in the south west in between Deban Nalla - Nao Dehing river complex. Rapid habitat loss, fragmentation, habitat alteration and degradation are the major threat to the gibbon population in Arunachal Pradesh. Separate conservation strategies are needed for the conservation of both the species of this region.