Symposium on gibbon diversity and conservation: Concluding resolution

Thomas Geissmann (compiler)

Anthropological Institute, University Zurich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH - 8057 Zurich, SWITZERLAND

This section has been published as:
Geissmann, T. (compiler), 2003: Symposium on gibbon diversity and conservation: Concluding resolution. Asian Primates 8(3-4): 28-29.

A printable pdf-file of this paper can be downloaded here.

As a final element of the three-day symposium on "Gibbon Diversity and Conservation" (Geissmann, 2002), held at the 19th Congress of the International Primatological Society held in Beijing, China, in August 2002, participants were invited to contribute to a roundtable discussion on the topic: "Getting gibbons out of the shadow of the great apes: What should be done? What can be done? Where are the priorities?" The roundtable discussion was held on 9 September 2002. The participants to the roundtable discussion included, in alphabetical order:

J.R.B. Alfred, Warren Y. Brockelman, David J. Chivers, Susan M. Cheyne, Robert Dallmann, Jayanta Das, Ardith Eudey, Thomas Geissmann, Nguyen Manh Ha, Joe-Won Huh, Xuelong Jiang, Heui-Soo Kim, Susan Lappan, Katja Liebal, Barney Long, Jean Martin, Shirley McGreal, Nicholas Malone, Lori K. Sheeran, Maria Ujhelyi

The participants drafted the following resolution:


The ape closest to extinction, with less than 50 individuals, is a black crested gibbon hanging on in tiny forest fragments in Vietnam and China. This exemplifies the crisis facing the most diverse and endangered of the apes. The unique songs of these spectacular acrobats are fast fading from Asia's disappearing forests. Considering that the gibbons include the most critically endangered primates in the world, we, the gibbon specialists within the International Primatological Society at its 19th congress at Beijing, China, resolve that:

Of the 12 gibbon species comprising at least 29 taxa we have identified the following as the 10 most endangered:

  1. Cao-vit black crested gibbon (Nomascus sp. cf. nasutus nasutus)
  2. Hainan black crested gibbon (Nomascus sp. cf. nasutus hainanus)
  3. Northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys leucogenys)
  4. Western black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor)
  5. Silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch)
  6. Kloss's gibbon (Hylobates klossii)
  7. Southern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys siki)
  8. Yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae)
  9. Pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus)
  10. Western hoolock (Bunopithecus hoolock hoolock)

We recommend the following priority actions:

  1. Promote gibbons as flagship species at local, national and international levels.
  2. Conduct a conservation status review, including population census and monitoring.
  3. Create community support for conservation at local level.
  4. Provide training and support for protected area management and law enforcement.
  5. Create private public partnerships for developing sustainable funding initiatives.
  6. Increase support for research on conservation biology, systematics, demography and behavioural ecology.

Top 4 threats

Underlying causes

  1. Poor management of protected areas
  2. Poor enforcement of wildlife laws
  3. Lack of awareness at local, national and international levels
  4. Rural poverty


Geissmann, T. (2002). Gibbon diversity and conservation. Pp. 112-113 in Caring for primates. Abstracts of the XIXth congress of the International Primatological Society, 4th-9th August, 2002, Beijing, China, Mammalogical Society of China, Beijing.



Gibbon Research Home: