FFI leads survey of one of world’s rarest gibbons

FFI recently carried out the most extensive survey yet of the southern white-cheeked crested gibbon in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The species is endangered, having lost at least 50% of its population over the past 45 years (three generations) due primarily to logging, agricultural encroachment, and hunting.

The survey, which took 20 people nearly two weeks to complete, discovered that an astounding 41 southern white-cheeked crested gibbon family groups – at least 113 individuals – live in one area of the park and the neighbouring production forest. The team also found 10 groups of the endangered red-shanked douc langur, numbering between 130 and 168 individuals.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, located in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh, is the site where FFI has been working for longest continual time in Vietnam. Its high biodiversity includes the greatest number of primate species known from any single site in Indochina. Of the nine primate species that can be found there, three are listed as globally Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

The results of the survey were beyond expectations and prove the importance of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park for the survival of the surveyed species. The survey will serve as a good baseline for upcoming biodiversity surveys and conservation activities in the park under a German Development Bank-funded project.