Crested Gibbon Ape
Facts about Crested Gibbon Apes. The Crested Gibbon Ape, also known as the Black Crested Gibbon is a member of the gibbon primate family and the N. concolor species. The tree dwelling primate is one of the smaller primates, the Crested Gibbon Ape can grow to only 54 cm (21.2 inches) in length, and weigh up to just 10 kg (22 lbs). With their elongated arms, wide-set eyes and lack of tail, it is easy to mistake the species for a sloth. Crested Gibbon Ape species distribution occurs across China, Laos and Northern Vietnam. Habitation occurs in deciduous forests at high altitudes, allowing ample food supply.
Sustenance is primarily garnered from ripe fruit. Ingestion of leaf-buds has also been observed. Very rarely do Crested Gibbon Apes feed on other animals, however they may supplement their diet with insects and eggs. Food selection is based on seasonal availability depending upon region, for example, the Crested Gibbon Ape of Yunnan, China feeds mainly on figs during August and September. Flowers are the main food source between February and April, with buds and leaves taking precedence during December and January.
Gender of the Crested Gibbon Apes is distinguished by appearance - males are all black and may have sand-colored markings on their cheeks, whilst females are primarily a sandstone color with a distinct black blaze across the top the head (hence the name, Crested).
In addition to brachiation (also swinging through the trees), the Crested Gibbon Ape is also adept at bipedal motion, both on the ground and in the trees. However, most of activities (food foraging, sleeping) occurs in the arboreal environment.
The Crested Gibbon lives as a family group with a monogamous male and female together with offspring. They reproduce every two to three years, weaning the infant at approximately two years of age. Observational studies have shown family groups containing more than one adult female. In such circumstances, the male engages in reproductive activity with all of the adult females, thus discrediting the notion of Crested Gibbon Apes as monogamous. Additionally, family groups have been found to have an average group size of five members. One of the distinctive behavioral features of the Crested Gibbon Ape is the early-morning singing of the male and female pair, believed to enhance the pair-bond and act as a territory indicator.
The Crested Gibbon Apes are currently listed on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered with a population of between 1300 and 2000. Residential and commercial development, illegal pet trade, biological resources as well as aquaculture and agriculture in general are listed as contributing toward their population decline. Residing primarily in evergreen, deciduous forest in subtropical regions, rapid deforestation across Asia has decimated an estimated seventy-five percent of the Crested Gibbon Ape's habitat.
Whilst evidence exists that the Crested Gibbon Ape population extended across a large part of Southern Asia two thousand years ago the current population is fragmented. Four sub-species are geographically isolated, existing in segregated forest pockets in Northern Vietnam, China and Laos. Conservation efforts directed by Fauna and Flora International have been aimed at preserving the last of the Che Tao Forest of Northern Vietnam as a Crested Gibbon Ape sanctuary.