The species is elusive and critically endangered. Image Credit: Anna Frodesiak
The Hainan Gibbon, of which only a few dozen still survive, has received a welcome and unexpected boost.
This fascinating primate, which is now found only in a small area of forest on China's Hainan island, once numbered in the thousands, but now due to destructive human activities, their numbers have dwindled to such an extent that there are little more than 30 individuals remaining.
The gibbons are well known for swinging through the trees and for their distinctive, haunting calls.
Those that are left survive in small family groups scattered around the forest.
Now though, against all odds, a previously unknown pair of gibbons - a male and female - have been discovered living independently in the same area and could go on to produce offspring.
Conservationists have welcomed the news, suggesting that it could help the species to survive and repopulate, perhaps even returning to a more healthy conservation status.
Things have certainly improved since 2003 when there were a mere 13 Hainan Gibbons remaining.
A concerted rescue programme, which involved protecting the apes from hunters and planting thousands of trees to ensure that they had enough food and habitat, brought them back from the brink.
"I can't imagine how sad it would be if Hainan rainforest lost this beautiful animal and its wonderful song," said senior conservation officer Philip Lo.
Source: BBC News | Comments (1)
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