Yellow-cheeked gibbon

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Yellow-cheeked gibbon
(male left; female right)
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hylobatidae
Genus: Nomascus
N. gabriellae
Binomial name
Nomascus gabriellae
(Thomas, 1909)
Yellow-cheeked gibbon range

The yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae), also called the golden-cheeked gibbon, the yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, the golden-cheeked crested gibbon, the red-cheeked gibbon,[3] or the buffed-cheeked gibbon, is a species of gibbon native to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.[3] The species was discovered and named after the British naturalist Gabrielle Maud Vassal.[4]

The yellow-cheeked gibbon is born blond and later turns black. Males carry this colouring through their lifespan and have the distinguishing golden cheeks. Females are born blonde to blend into their mother's fur but they later turn black. Females turn back to blond at sexual maturity, keeping only a black cap on the top of their heads.[5]

This diurnal and arboreal gibbon lives in primary tropical forest, foraging for fruits, using brachiation to move through the trees.

Female adults at the Cincinnati Zoo

Little is known about this species in the wild, but it is thought that it has a life span of approximately 46 years.[6]

Gibbon groups vocalise loudly early in the morning. Their songs probably serve to defend resources such as territories, food trees, partners, but may also help to attract potential mates. Duetting occurs between mated pairs, the song is coordinated and contains sex-specific phrases.[7][6]

Conservation and rehabilitation[edit]

The largest known population of this species is found in Cambodia’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, estimated at 1432 individuals in 2020. The population appears to be stable over the last decade.[8] There are several conservation programs active at the site, including protected area management supported by Wildlife Conservation Society[9] and a community ecotourism project centered on habituated gibbons.[10] A large protected wild population can be found in Cat Tien National Park: where a collaboration with the Endangered Asian Species Trust (UK), and Pingtung Wildlife Rescue Centre (Taiwan) founded the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre, which specialises on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of N. gabriellae and other endangered primates.

A male


  1. ^ Rawson, B.M.; Hoang, M.D.; Roos, C.; Van, N.T.; Nguyen, M.H. (2020). "Nomascus gabriellae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T128073282A17968950. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T128073282A17968950.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ a b Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Primates". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  4. ^ Gulliver, Katrina (April 2020). "Gabrielle Vassal (1880–1959): collecting specimens in Indochina for the British Museum (Natural History), 1900–1915". Archives of Natural History. 47 (1): 29–40. doi:10.3366/anh.2020.0619. S2CID 216230204.
  5. ^ Geissman, Thomas. "Fact Sheet: Yellow-Cheeked Crested Gibbon". Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b Quist, Erin. "Nomascus gabriella". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  7. ^ Geissmann, T. (1993). Evolution of communication in gibbons (Hylobatidae) (PDF) (Ph.D.). Anthropological Institute, Philosoph. Faculty II, Zürich University. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  8. ^ Nuttall, Matthew N.; Griffin, Olly; Fewster, Rachel M.; McGowan, Philip J. K.; Abernethy, Katharine; O'Kelly, Hannah; Nut, Menghor; Sot, Vandoeun; Bunnefeld, Nils (2021). "Long-term monitoring of wildlife populations for protected area management in Southeast Asia". Conservation Science and Practice. 4 (2): e614. doi:10.1111/csp2.614. ISSN 2578-4854. S2CID 245405123.
  9. ^ Griffin, O.; Nuttall, M. (2020-12-04). "Status of Key Species in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary 2010-2020". doi:10.19121/2020.Report.38511. S2CID 229677607. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ "Jahoo | Ecotourism, Gibbon Conservation and Research". 2020-08-25. Retrieved 2021-12-22.