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Silvery gibbons, also known as Javan Gibbons, are an Endangered Species. In the misty rainforests of West and Central Java the haunting and beautiful call of the female Silvery gibbon can be heard at dawn in isolated patches of the forest. She will keep a watch out for predators and trespassers, as her family stay close.
Sadly, her call may be silenced forever.
Only 2% of her habitat remains, and that too is under threat. The Silvery gibbon is the last ape species surviving in Java. Population estimates vary from only 400 to 3,000 individuals, scattered in isolated pockets of remnant forest, constantly dwindling around them.
Indonesia is a biodiversity hotspot. Threats to wildlife and their delicate habitat continue as the human population encroaches on the remaining rainforest, itself prone to intensive, often illegal logging. Species continue to decline with no reprieve in sight. Silvery gibbon populations that occupy habitats in close proximity to high-density areas and large cities, for example Jakarta, experience immense pressure. The illegal wildlife trade exacerbates the problem, in particular the demand for baby gibbons. The impact on the species is devastating.
The Silvery Gibbon Project is a non-profit, volunteer based conservation organization located in Perth, Western Australia. Its aim is to support the conservation efforts of Silvery gibbons and their rainforest habitat in Java.
The Silvery Gibbon Project supports sustainable solutions that are sensitive to Indonesian culture and tradition. We aim to work alongside Indonesian conservationists to protect natural habitat and bring to a close the illegal wildlife trade.
Silvery Gibbon Project generates most of its funds through memberships, donations, grants and fundraising events. The support of the Australian community is essential to assist our efforts to preserve this charismatic and intriguing species.
Javan Gibbon Centre
Silvery Gibbon Project (SGP) has been the primary funder of the Javan Gibbon Centre (JGC) since its inception in 2002.The Javan Gibbon Centre strives to provide an outstanding level of husbandry while rehabilitating gibbons in a normal social structure. Currently housing 31 gibbons, the JGC comprises of large pair enclosures set amongst the forest on the boundary of the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in West Java. SGP also provides veterinary support to the Centre and assisted with the development of the Veterinary Clinic.
In October 2009, the first ever pair of Silvery gibbons were released back into the wild. Echi and Septa spent several years at the Javan Gibbon Centre before being moved to a large acclimatisation enclosure in an adjacent patch of forest. The pair continue to be monitored closely and appear to have adjusted well to life in the wild. The project now operates a Reintroduction program in Mt Malabar Forest near Bandung. So far 2 groups have been released into this forest and two more pairs are scheduled for release early in 2015.
Gibbon Protection Unit
JGC operate the first designated Gibbon Protection Unit in the Mt Malabar region. The unit monitors for signs of illegal activities, offering protection to the reintroduced gibbons and surrounding forests. These units have so far proven effective and ideally need to be replicated in other areas of java to reduce the poaching of wild gibbons.
Mobile Conservation Education Unit
Conservation education is one of the key strategic elements applied by environmental conservationists to increase awareness and thus gaining support from stakeholders. Education is a significant long-term investment to enhance public knowledge and a crucial effort that needs to be implemented in a continuous manner. In order to increase community awareness and knowledge on biodiversity conservation, the effective way to provide education and awareness for the public is via a Mobile Conservation Education Unit (MCEU). SGP continues to provide funding for a MCEU to operate out of the Javan Gibbon Centre.
The MCEU, using the Silvery gibbon and Javan Hawk Eagle as flagship species, has been operating since 2003. Its premise is to work on a conservation education program that moves from school to school or from village to village. During the program to date, the MCEU has worked with about 20,000 school students from elementary school, junior and senior high school, with more than 200 schools and 30 villages visited.
The impacts of this program have been positive with delivery of pet gibbons to the JGC and continued participation in the reforestation program and in assisting the conservation education program. Some of the villages, with about 300 families, have received a clean water supply, and this has become an example of the need to conserve the forest.
SGP has also provided funding for capacity building activities including the opportunity for Javan Gibbon Centre staff to undertake work experience at Perth Zoo and networking opportunities with Sumatran based partner projects. SGP has also provided funding for workshops to develop conservation strategies for this species
Kalaweit Gibbon Project
SGP has also provided funding support for the rescue and breeding program for the Critically Endangered Klosses gibbon through the Kalaweit Gibbon Project. This species is only found on the Mentawai islands off the west coast of Sumatra. With rapid forest clearing occurring on these islands and the additional pressure of hunting for meat this species is in serious trouble. The rescue and rehabilitation of ex-pets will allow Kalaweit to undertake captive breeding of this species, the first ever project of its kind for Klosses gibbons.
SGP has also provided funds to support Kalaweit with the purchase of land in Sumatra.
If you would like to assist Wildlife Asia to support SGP projects please contact Clare Campbell, Director at email@example.com or +61 438992325