GIBBONS

Gibbons are apes in the family Hylobatidae.
Also called smaller apes or lesser apes, the Gibbon family is divided into 4 genera, with at least 20 species and at least 9 subspecies

CRESTED GIBBONS

Genus: Nomascus

Photo credit: @huangmingpan/iNaturalist/Creative Commons

Nomascus concolor

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

Black crested gibbons are mainly found in the Yunnan region of China. There is a small population of them in northern Vietnam, between the Black and Red Rivers, and in western Laos.  They live in mid-mountainous forests, usually above an elevation of 4921 feet (1500 m), which can range from evergreen forests to…

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Photo credit: ©Zhao Cao. Seeking permissions.

Nomascus nasutus

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

The cao-vit gibbon is an ape species found primarily in the trees of a small forest on the border of northern Vietnam and southeast China. Cao-vit gibbons—sometimes known as eastern black-crested gibbons—have had a rough go of survival. Decades ago, the ape species covered an expansive forest east of the Red River throughout…

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Nomascus hainanus

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

With a total population of just 37 individuals from six separate family groups (as reported in 2023 by Xinhua News, China), the Hainan gibbon is the world’s rarest ape and is also one of the world’s rarest mammals. Also known as the Hainan black-crested gibbon, the Hainan black gibbon, and the Hainan crested gibbon, this…

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Photo credit: ©lappuggla/ iNaturalist/Creative Commons

Nomascus funereus

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

The northern gray gibbon, also known as the eastern gray gibbon or the North Bornean gray gibbon, is endemic to Borneo—the third largest island in the world and shared by three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. This species lives in select areas of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia, as well as in Kalimantan in…

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Nomascus leucogenys

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

The northern white-cheeked gibbon is today found only in northwestern Vietnam and northern Laos. A small population was recorded in southern China as recently as the 1980s, but more recent surveys have failed to find any trace of them in the area; they are therefore now considered extinct in China. They inhabit both…

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Nomascus annamensis

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The northern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, also known as the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon, lives in the tropical rainforests of Laos, Cambodia, and central Vietnam. This species inhabits broadleaf evergreen and semi-evergreen forests at elevations between 330 to 3940 feet (100-1200 m) above sea level…

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Nomascus siki

CONSERVATION STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

Southern white-cheeked gibbons are endemic to Southeast Asia, east of the Mekong River, in central Laos and Vietnam. The wet tropical climate of this area nurtures the perfect habitat for these arboreal apes. Primary lowland forest and tall primary broadleaf forest both provide the type of dizzying canopies where they…

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Nomascus gabriellae

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The southern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, also known as the red-cheeked gibbon, lives in the tropical rainforests of southern Vietnam and southeastern Cambodia. Tall evergreen and semi-evergreen forests offer these arboreal primates ideal living conditions, but they are occasionally found in mixed bamboo and…

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DWARF GIBBONS

Genus: Hylobates

Hylobates abbotti

CONSERVATION STATUS: VULNERABLE

Abbott’s gray gibbons, also called western gray gibbons, are endemic to a small part of Borneo, an island shared by Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. These gibbons occur only in the southwest Indonesian part of the island, specifically in West Kalimantan Province and South Sarawak State. The species can only be found on the northern…

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Hylobates agilis

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The agile gibbon, also called the black-handed gibbon or the dark-handed gibbon, is endemic to Sumatra, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, and southern Thailand. This region offers tropical rainforests that range from swamp and lowland forests to hill, submontane, and montane forest, and which are the preferred habitats of…

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Hylobates muelleri

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The Bornean gibbon, also known as the grey gibbon or Müller’s gibbon, is endemic to the island of Borneo, which is split between the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. They occur throughout southeast Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island, compromising 73% of the island’s area. The southwest region of the…

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Hylobates albibarbis

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The Bornean white-bearded gibbon, also known as the Bornean agile gibbon or southern gibbon, is found across the southwest of the island of Borneo, in the Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan provinces. They inhabit a range of primary, secondary, and selectively logged tropical evergreen forest types, with…

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Hylobates klossii

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The Kloss’s gibbon, also known as the Mentawai gibbon, the dwarf siamang or the bilou, is native to the four Mentawai Islands of Siberut, Sipora, North and South Pagai. These islands are in Southeast Asia, off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Annual rainfall on these islands can reach 157 inches (4m). These are…

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Hylobates pileatus

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The pileated gibbon, also known as the capped or crowned gibbon, is a native of the southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Cambodia, and a small portion of Laos. They live in lush seasonal evergreen and mixed deciduous-evergreen forests, up to elevations of about 4,900 feet (1,500 m). They prefer old-growth forests with…

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Hylobates moloch

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The silvery gibbon, also known as Javan gibbon, Moloch gibbons, and locally as owa jawa, is very rare and endangered. The species is confined to 29 fragmented forested areas in western and central Java. The largest populations are found in the lowland and lower montane rainforest in the west, at altitudes below 5,000-6,000…

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Hylobates lar

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

To get to know the white-handed gibbon, we’ll have to venture to a corner of the globe where island nations, cast like tea leaves across a sapphire sea, meet the rugged mountains, steaming jungles, and emerald rice paddies of the Indochinese Peninsula. White-handed gibbons are charismatic and captivating creatures…

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HOOLOCK GIBBONS

Genus: Hoolock

Hoolock leuconedys

CONSERVATION STATUS: VULNERABLE

Eastern hoolock gibbons live in the forests between the Chindwin and Irrawady Rivers that flow through the northern half of Myanmar. Eastern hoolock gibbon groups keep extensive home ranges. As such, these apes make use of a number of forest habitats, including scrub, semi-deciduous and broadleaf forests. Primary…

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Hoolock tianxing

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

Skywalker hoolock gibbons, also known by their less galactic (and definitely less Hollywood blockbuster-inspired) name of Gaoligong hoolock gibbons, are lesser apes native to the countries of China and Myanmar. In China, these primates are found in western Yunnan Province in the Nujiang River Valley (known locally as…

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Hoolock hollock

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

Western Hoolock gibbons, also known as white-browed gibbons, are the only apes that live in the Indian sub-continent. They thrive in the dense forests that extend from east of the Brahmaputra River in northeast India, through Bangladesh, and into western Myanmar. There may be some populations living in extreme south…

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SIAMANG

Genus: Symphalangus

Symphalangus syndactylus

CONSERVATION STATUS: ENDANGERED

The siamang is found among a wide distribution of habitats, ranging from the mountain forests of the Malay Peninsula, and the rainforests, monsoon forests, and lowland forests of Sumatra (the westernmost island of Indonesia). They can be found at altitudes up to 2.4 miles (3,800 m). They have relatively small ranges of…

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