black-crested gibbon has been included
among the world's 25 most endangered primate species, according to
a report being released today by three international conservation
organizations in the southern island province.
The report is compiled by the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
and the International Primatological Society in collaboration with
Other endangered species include the greater bamboo lemur in
Madagascar, the Cross River gorilla in Nigeria and Cameroon, and
the Roloway monkey in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. All the animals on
the list are found in developing countries of Africa, Asia and
"Poaching and shrinking habitats have been the two major reasons
behind the sharp decline in the black-crested gibbon's population,"
Lu Gang, a conservation officer based in Hainan, said.
According to the report, about 2,000 lived across the island's
12 counties in the 1950s; but only 21 were found by the end of
1980s, all restricted to Bawangling Nature Reserve.
The most urgent need is to secure and expand the habitat for the
remaining gibbons, said Lu, who works for Hong Kong-based Kadoorie
Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG).
Since 2004, KFBG has been helping the reserve grow pine trees
around the gibbons' habitat. "We have grown 136 hectares of endemic
plants in the reserve," Lu said. "After they grow to full size,
they will provide more food to Hainan gibbons."
Thanks to the improved ecological situation, "we recorded three
newborn gibbons this year," Bosco Chan, senior conservation officer
of KFBG, told China Daily.
A joint survey by KFBG and the nature reserve in 2003 found two
groups of gibbons, and two lone males, comprising a total of
Since then, the organization has spent more than 1 million yuan
(US$131,400) in supporting the reserve to monitor the gibbons and
help restore their degenerated habitats, said Lu.
There have been no poaching cases for quite a few years, said
Wang Wenyi, head of research of the reserve administration.
"To keep a closer eye on the gibbons, eight of our patrolmen
have been monitoring the gibbons," Wang said. "We have to make sure
that the gibbons will never suffer from poaching again.
(China Daily October 26, 2007)