Abstract # 164:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


REINTRODUCING JAVAN GIBBONS (HYLOBATES MOLOCH): AN ASSESSMENT OF BEHAVIORAL PREPAREDNESS, JAVAN GIBBON RESCUE & REHABILITATION CENTER, WEST JAVA, INDONESIA

J. H. Smith
Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
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     Reintroduction programs have been widely used as a method of conservation for endangered species and may play a significant role in reestablishing wild primate populations. My research goal was to examine whether Javan gibbons living at the Javan Gibbon Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park exhibit the appropriate behaviors necessary for survival before reintroduction into the wild. Behavioral data were collected on three Javan gibbon pairs from July - November 2009 using focal animal time-interval sampling (total hours = 337). Data were compared to existing guidelines for gibbon reintroduction as well as behavioral ecological data from wild gibbons. Results indicate that while the pairs exhibited the appropriate ecological behaviors (i.e., effective brachiation, preferential use of the upper level of the enclosure, and a preference for wild fruit/foliage), they did not satisfy the recommended time spent in positive pair association (i.e., groom, play, and copulation). However, the guidelines did not include the maintenance of close-proximity - one of the primary social interactions for adult gibbons and a potential indicator of a cohesive pair bond. I propose that the guidelines for evaluating the behavioral preparedness of rehabilitated gibbons include the maintenance of close-proximity in the positive pair association category, in addition to the appropriate ecological behaviors necessary for their survival in the wild.