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VIEW and IUCN team up to save gibbon apes

Two gibbons sitting on a branch
Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash

VIEW is excited to announce a new project focused on improving the health and welfare of gibbon apes in partnership with the IUCN Section on Small Apes (SSA). With 95% of gibbon species currently listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the timing of this project could not be better.

Our project aims to address the health challenges facing gibbons under rehabilitation in Asia. Due to ongoing threats from habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade, many gibbons are orphaned or injured, some requiring years of intensive care in rehabilitation centers before release. Unfortunately, many gibbons do not make it to release, due in part to a lack of resources that impede our understanding of the underlying causes of mortality. To address this gap, we will partner with in-country centers to develop foundations for an international gibbon health working group to better facilitate information-sharing and coordinate research efforts.

The first phase of this project focuses on capacity-building and collaborative research, working together with gibbon rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, and other stakeholders in range countries. This approach includes:

  • Developing standardized protocols (SOPs) for diagnostics, preventative care, and treatment

  • Training programs for in-situ partner institutions via in-person and online workshops

  • Establishing an international secure database for sharing gibbon health data

  • Forming an international gibbon health working group

Dr. Dawn Zimmerman, Director of VIEW International Programs comments: “Our working group aims to set the groundwork for improving gibbon health by identifying and addressing knowledge gaps in gibbon medicine and welfare and enhancing our ability to respond to gibbon health threats.”

Dr. Susan M Cheyne, Vice-Chair IUCN SSC PSG Section of Small Apes, adds: “The IUCN Section on Small Apes is working to provide Best Practices for all aspects of gibbon conservation; health and disease is a critical factor that must be addressed. This collaboration is an exciting first step to understanding gibbon health and working with the rescue centers”

In future phases of the gibbon project, we hope to provide key equipment and supplies necessary to implement the best practice health standards set forth in this first phase.

Logos for VIEW and IUCN


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