Abstract # 2632 Event # 126:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 03:30 PM-03:40 PM: Session 13 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


THE IMPORTANCE OF CAPTIVE GIBBONS (HYLOBATIDAE) AS AMBASSADORS FOR EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC, CONSERVATION, AND STUDY

A. R. Mootnick
Gibbon Conservation Center, PO Box 800249, Santa Clarita, CA 91380, USA
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Gibbons—the smallest apes, and native to the forests of SE Asia and small parts of south and east Asia—are among the rarest primates in the wild (one of the 16 gibbon species is the rarest primate). Gibbons in captivity afford benefits to their brethren worldwide by affording opportunities for observation and education. Visitors to zoos and conservation centers around the world can learn not only about the plight of gibbons in the wild, but also how they can help conserve gibbons and their habitats. These rare primates are engaging in captivity, and enthrall visitors, inspiring them to action. Observations of captive gibbons can complement the studies conducted in the wild, and give us better knowledge of their care for future rehabilitation and release programs. The reasons for their decline in the wild continue to be illegal logging, forest fires, clearing for agriculture, removal of wood for fuel, mining, power lines, palm oil plantations, climate change, poaching for the pet trade and food, medicinal purposes in Vietnam and China, traditional sacrifice in manhood rituals, use of wild gibbon forearm bones for expensive chop sticks in China.