Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

White-handed Gibbons Now Presumed 'Extinct' In China, Forest Survey Shows

Date:
May 22, 2008
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
China's fauna exhibits a unique diversity of apes. Unfortunately, the apes are more strongly endangered by extinction in China than in any other country. A research team assembled by anthropologists of Zurich University now conclude that another ape species has just become extinct in China's Yunnan province.

White-handed gibbons. The species was last observed in 1988.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Zurich

China's fauna exhibits a unique diversity of apes. Unfortunately, the apes are more seriously endangered by extinction in China than in any other country. A research team assembled by anthropologists of Zurich University now conclude that another ape species has just become extinct in China's Yunnan province.

A scientific team, consisting of members of the Gibbon Conservation Alliance based at Zurich University and the Kunming Institute of Zoology, as well as staff members of the Nangunhe National Nature Reserve, carried out a survey in all Chinese forests that had been reported as supporting white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) during the last 20 years.

The species was last observed in 1988 in the Nangunhe Nature Reserve in south-western Yunnan province, and their loud, melodious calls were last heard in 1992. After two weeks of field work, the 14 member Swiss-Chinese team realized that as a result of continued forest destruction, fragmentation and deterioration, as well as hunting, this gibbon species is no longer part of the Chinese fauna.

"This loss is particularly tragic", says anthropologist Thomas Geissmann, "because the extinct Chinese population was described as a distinct subspecies, the so-called Yunnan white-handed gibbon." This subspecies (Hylobates lar yunnanensis) is not known from any other place. Geissmann now hopes, that the subspecies may have survived in neighbouring Myanmar, but so far, he has no evidence for this.

"The extinction of the Chinese white-handed gibbons is an urgent alarm signal, because several other ape species in Chinas are also endangered by extinction", says Geissmann. For instance the white-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) has not been sighted in China since the 1980s. Of the Cao-Vit crested gibbon (N. nasutus) in the provinces Guangxi (China) and Cao Bang (Vietnam) there are less than 50 individuals, and of the Hainan crested gibbon (N. hainanus) on the South-Chinese island of Hainan less than 20 individuals, to mention just the two most endangered species. Therefore, the scientists warn that the loss of the Yunnan white-handed gibbons may only be the beginning of an unprecedented wave of extinctions which threatens to terminate most, if not all, Chinese ape species.

"We hope that our research results will alarm the Chinese government as well as international conservation agencies and encourage them to initiate immediate efforts to save China’s last surviving apes", says Geissmann.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "White-handed Gibbons Now Presumed 'Extinct' In China, Forest Survey Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520213819.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2008, May 22). White-handed Gibbons Now Presumed 'Extinct' In China, Forest Survey Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520213819.htm
University of Zurich. "White-handed Gibbons Now Presumed 'Extinct' In China, Forest Survey Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520213819.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins