Silvery gibbons, also called Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) are lesser apes; arboreal primates that live in rainforest habitats consuming a diet of fruit, leaves and insects.

Each family of gibbons comprises an adult pair and up to four offspring living in a forest territory from which unrelated gibbons are excluded.

Although other gibbon species are found throughout Southeast Asia, the Silvery gibbon only exists on the small Indonesian island of Java. Java is one of the most densely populated areas of our earth and does not have large tracts of remaining tropical forest. This destruction of the forest has led to the Silvery gibbons  endangered status.

Silvery Gibbon © Derek Smith

Why are Silvery Gibbons Endangered?

Like many other primate species, Silvery gibbons are endangered due to logging, the clearance of forest for human habitation and the capture of young animals for the pet trade. It is estimated that 98% of the forest home of Silvery gibbons has been destroyed.

Population surveys indicate that there are fewer than 4000 individuals remaining in the wild. This small population faces even greater threat of extinction because so many sub-populations are isolated from each other, marooned on forest islands surrounded by rice fields and villages.

The largest observed populations, occur in three national parks. These parks offer the best hope for protecting the Silvery gibbon in its natural range, as many of the other populations are not within protected areas.

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