Gibbon Sanctuary


Primatologists have suggested rerouting a 1.65 km long railway track that has divided Assam Sanctuary dedicated to the Western hoolock Gibbon (hoolock hoolock) in two Unequal parts.


The report of Scientist in a science journal follows that of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) on designing an artificial canopy bridge to facilitate the movement of the hoolock gibbons across the broad-gauge line within the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary.

The sanctuary is in Jorhat District of Assam.

It houses around 125 hoolock gibbons which are only apes in India.

The sanctuary also houses other primate species like  the Assamese macaque, the Bengal slow loris, the capped langur, the northern pig-tailed macaque, the rhesus macaque, and the stump-tailed macaque.

The western hoolock gibbon inhabits the jungles with tall trees on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra (Assam)-Dibang (Arunachal Pradesh) river system.

Like the other 19 gibbon species in the world, it is marked as endangered due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation.

Primate Species

Primates are a distinct order of mammals that includes a wide range of species, including humans, monkeys, apes, and prosimians.


Gibbons are small to medium-sized apes belonging to the family Hylobatidae. They are known for their agility, distinctive calls, and arboreal (tree-dwelling) lifestyles.

key characteristics:

Physical Characteristics:

  • Gibbons have a slender body with long arms and strong hands, which are adapted for brachiation (swinging from branch to branch).
  • They lack a tail, which differentiates them from many other primates.
  • Gibbons are covered in dense fur that can vary in color, including shades of black, white, brown, and various combinations.

Habitat and Distribution:

  • Gibbons are found in various parts of Southeast Asia, including countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and more.
  • They primarily inhabit tropical and subtropical rainforests and are well adapted for life in the trees.

Behavior and Lifestyle:

  • Gibbons are highly arboreal and spend most of their lives in the treetops, rarely descending to the ground.
  • They are known for their incredible agility and ability to move swiftly through the trees using a form of locomotion called brachiation.
  • Gibbons have complex social structures and typically live in small family groups composed of a mated pair and their offspring.
  • They are known for their melodious and distinctive songs, which they use to establish territory and communicate with other gibbons.
Conservation Status:

Many gibbon species are currently listed as endangered or critically endangered due to habitat loss, illegal pet trade, and other threats. Conservation efforts are being undertaken to protect and preserve gibbon populations.

Gibbons are unique and fascinating creatures that contribute to the diversity of the primate order.

Practice Question:

Discuss various conservation efforts for Gibbons.

Posted by on 30th Aug 2023