Chen, H.-C.; Geissmann, T. & Chen, P.-C. (2004). A survey of the taxonomic status of captive gibbons in Taiwan. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52: 265-269.
Hou-Chun Chen1; Thomas Geissmann2 & Pao-Chung Chen3
1 Taipei Zoo, 30 Sec.
2 Hsin Kuang Road, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
2 Anthropological Institute, University Zurich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
3 Taipei Zoo, 30 Sec. 2 Hsin Kuang Road, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Key words: Hylobatidae, ex-situ conservation,
systematics, species identification.
Abstract: The gibbons or small apes (Hylobatidae) of South-east Asia include several highly endangered species. In the 1980s, gibbons were very popular in Taiwan as pets and were imported into the country in high numbers. Their diversity as well as the abnormal presence of captive-bred hybrids frequently causes problems in species identification. Given the importance of taxa identification as a necessary step for conservation, we conducted a survey of the captive gibbon population in Taiwan. We applied morphological analysis, DNA analysis, and vocal identification to identify the numerous gibbon species. Our 2002 survey revealed 83 gibbons of eight species in Taiwan. Our findings correct the original records in zoos and rescue centers and will help to prevent further hybridization. The results of this survey will be useful in establishing breeding programs and for improving ex-situ conservation of gibbon species in Taiwan. Finally, this study provides a template for similar work on captive gibbon identification elsewhere.
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