Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Hoolock Gibbons


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Hoolock Gibbons

Mains level : Wildlife conservation and various policy efforts

Hoolock Gibbons, the only species of apes found in India, are threatened with extinction in the Ukhrul and Kamjong districts of Manipur, a report has claimed.

Try this PYQ from CSP2013:

Q.Consider the following pairs:

Protected area:: Well-known for

  1. Bhitarkanika, Orissa:: Salt Water Crocodile
  2. Desert National Park, Rajasthan:: Great Indian Bustard
  3. Eravikulam, Kerala:: Hoolock Gibbon

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Hoolock Gibbons

  • The two districts used to be covered with dense, tropical rainforests, which provided ideal tree canopies for the arboreal, brachiating ape species.
  • Rampant deforestation for timber, forest fires and indiscriminate hunting had led to the decline in their population.
  • Without the tree canopies, the gibbons cannot swing from branch to branch and stake out their territories.
  • They also cannot adapt to living on the ground and cannot bear the high temperatures brought about by the loss of green cover.

Conservation status (a/c to WWF India)

  • The gibbon has a much wider range, as it is found in all the states of the north-east, restricted between the south of the Brahmaputra River and east of the Dibang River.
  • Outside India, it is found in eastern Bangladesh and north-west Myanmar.
  • The eastern hoolock gibbon inhabits specific pockets of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in India, and southern China and north-east Myanmar.
  • Of the two, the western hoolock is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Redlist, while the eastern hoolock is listed as Vulnerable.
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