The Western Hoolock Gibbon





46 - 63 cm (18 25inches) and 6-7 Kg (about 13-15 lbs.)


up to 50 years


About 500 and declining

Family life and  Breeding:

Monogamous and has one baby at a time



Dense forests with fruiting trees

How do they  move:

Brachiate in the trees

What do they  eat:

Fruits and sometimes leaves and bugs

Closest  relatives:


Siamangs, gorillas, orangutans, chimps, and bonobos!

Tie to humans:

They are our close relatives

photo M Noonan

Cool fact:

Their unique wrist is composed of a ball and socket joint, allowing them to swing gracefully in the trees with ease.  They are the fastest of the tree dwelling mammals and have been known to be able to make leaps of up to 8 m (26 ft).

Conservation Status:

People hunt the hoolock gibbon and their habitat is being lost because the trees are being cut down and gibbons live up in the trees, not on the ground.  The hoolock gibbon is endangered in India.

What is being done now?

Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary is a protected area in India and is home to hoolock gibbons.  Other primates also take advantage of the area such as the Bengal Slow Loris, Stump-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Eastern Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, and the Capped Langur.  In 2010, the Center for Environment Education, Northeast also launched an education and awareness program for gibbon conservation!

What should be done in the future?

More land should be set aside for the gibbon, and trees need to be planted for the gibbons to live in.  Corridors should also be made so gibbons can travel to other habitats and find new friends and new places to live.


Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.