The Hainan Gibbon

By: Vivienne Wellet

  The Hainan Gibbon is a rare species of monkey. In the 1950’s there were over 2,000 of the species, but due to the causes there are now about 25 left in the world today due to habitat loss and poaching.The species of monkey are native on Hainan Island in China, which is why the species got the name Hainan Gibbon. They aren’t very aggressive; but if they notice someone or something is disturbing their families or their territory, they will protect both.They are very loud because they are claiming their territorial boundaries with their loud vocal displays. 

Traits that the monkeys have is that they have very strong, hook-shaped hands to hold on to trees, comically outsize arms to reach out to branches, and have very long and powerful legs for propelling and grasping. 

 According to the web the word gibbon is supposedly French, Indian, or English, but English is the most common, meaning ‘’tree dweller’’. They are superfast and can travel over 34 miles per hour and swing as far as 15 meters, in the branches but not while they walk. They walk on all fours and sometimes they will walk like humans on the two feet and sway their arms. 

When they are born they are hairless and over time they will grow their hair out. Males are usually all black with white or buff cheeks. Females are golden buff color with black patches and sometimes a streak of black on their head. If they want to communicate they like to sing when they’re traveling in the borders of the other territories. 

There are a couple of types of Gibbon including the Hoolock, Hylobates, Nomascus, and the Symphalangus. Most of these species are found in Thailand, China, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Burma. It is Illegal to sell, own/keep, or kill endangered animals like the Hainan Gibbon.

They are frugivorous and folivorous which means they eat fruit and leaves. They also like to eat insects, flowers, and bird eggs. They can live for about 25 years and they can grow up to eight inches and weigh 12-13 pounds. Although that height may be small, the Siamang is twice the size of the Hainan Gibbon. As the Hainan Gibbon is very endangered and close to extinction, protect them and keep them to live longer. What to do to protect them? Well, we can “reconnect areas of fragmented forest and isolated Hainan gibbon populations in Bawangling Nature Reserve”. Also many locals made rope bridges from the monkeys to climb across safely.

Photo from China.org

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