Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 11253158
FFI works by invitation around the world to save species from extinction, habitats from destruction and to encourage sustainable development. Formed in 1903 in the United Kingdom, FFI acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, are based on sound science and take account of human needs. We work through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results and believe success lies in devising strategies that both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human development. Our guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen our partners’ capacity. Our program of activities in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Eurasia is delivered principally through: building capacity to equip local people and agencies to manage their natural heritage; monitoring causes of biodiversity loss and its impact on local people, identifying and implementing solutions that benefit people and wildlife; and securing threatened areas of high biodiversity importance through land purchase and local conservation agreements. Hainan gibbon is the rarest ape on the earth with only one subpopulation of 25 individuals. It is only found in the Bawangling National Nature Reserve on Hainan Island in the southern tip of China. The species is limited in a patch of monsoon tropical rainforest of about 14 km2 in Qingsong Township, Baisha County. FFI in Asia: FFI has country programmes operating out of five countries in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam and has had a strong presence in all of these countries for over a decade. The high population density and rapid economic development in the region is putting high pressure on forests and biodiversity. Conservation of endangered primates is among the priority strategic directions of FFI for most of these countries, as this region is a hotspot for primate diversity and hosts some of the most endangered primate species in the world. As well as their exceptionally rarity and intrinsic biological values, the experience of FFI is that these charismatic species serve as flagships for biodiversity conservation in general and protecting them in the wild can also serve to protect the suite of other unique fauna and flora associated with their habitats in this region. FFI Primate Work in SE Asia: Northern Vietnam and southern China have been a focus of FFI’s primate conservation work for over a decade. This area has about a dozen Endangered primate species, most of which are endemic. FFI has established field-based conservation projects for four Critically Endangered gibbons and leaf-eating monkeys to save them from extinction. These species are the Western black crested gibbon, Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, Cao vit gibbon and Hainan gibbon. The Cao vit gibbon, as a flagship example of FFI’s primate conservation work in the region, offers a unique opportunity for conservation as the only known population is located on the Vietnam – China border and FFI’s presence in both countries has helped to establish the basis for international cooperation to protect this species. In general our work at these locations has required a constant presence working closely with local government and local communities to build capacity to protect these primates, while monitoring forests to ensure their protection. In 2008, FFI commissioned a review of the status of gibbons in Lao PDR as a first step towards extending our primate conservation experience to one of the most ape-diverse countries in the world. FFI in China: FFI-China initiated its first wetland conservation project in 1999 and set up the office in Beijing in 2002. Currently, FFI-China operates in Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Qinghai Provinces and has four on-going programmes including endangered primate conservation programme, endangered tree conservation programme, community grassland management programme and biodiversity mainstreaming programme. FFI’s Hainan Gibbon Conservation Work: The FFI-China Programme has been working on the conservation of Hainan gibbon in the Bawangling nature reserve and adjacent communities in Qingsong Township since 2003. To secure the long-term survival of this species in the wild, FFI and local partners conducted a serial of activities including field census, development of species action plan, capacity building of reserve staff, awareness building among local communities in the past 8 years, which have successfully stopped the illegal hunting of this species and safeguarded the remaining gibbon groups. As a result, the subpopulation is recovering steadily now and new-born babies can be observed every one or two years. The population of Hainan Gibbon has increased from 13 individuals in 2003 to 25 now. A new family group has also been established. Yet, even with this measurable progress, the population remains perilously small.
Project 11253158 location - China, Asia