Javan Gibbon (Hylobates moloch)
The Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch), IUCN listing Endangered, suffers population decline from the illegal pet trade, and hunting, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation. Unlike other gibbons ‘moloch’ only exist on Java, one of the most densely populated areas worldwide, with more than 90% of suitable forest habitat already destroyed. Usually taken as babies, and sold illegally at markets across Indonesia, gibbons are highly sought as pets and also face high demand from the world’s black market.
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Fun Facts about Javan Gibbons
Often referred to as silvery gibbons due to their dense soft grey fur, molochs are only found in the wild on the Indonesian island of Java. They mate for life and can live up to 40 years old!
Diet & habits
These small primates are frugivorous, meaning they eat ripe fruits, flowers and leaves, mostly from the upper canopy of tropical rainforests.
Where they can be found in the wild
These gibbons are native to the western part of Java, Indonesia. They spend most of their time in the upper canopy of the hills and lowland forests rarely descending to the forest floor.
How we're helping
The Mt Tilu Javan gibbon project is run by The Aspinall Foundation Indonesia in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Republic of Indonesia cq Balai Besar Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam or BBKSDA (The Natural Resources Conservation Bureau), of West Java.
It is undertaken through collaborative protection of Mt Tilu Nature Reserve and surrounding forest fragments, and the reinforcement of the gibbon population by releasing gibbons from The Aspinall Foundation’s Javan Primate Rehabilitation Centre, West Java (JPRC).
Over the 24 months from mid-August 2020 to mid-August 2022 it is expected this project will achieve the following:
- completion of the pre-release programme at JPRC of approximately 12-16 Javan gibbons.
- transfer and release at Mt Tilu NR of approximately 12-16 Javan gibbons.
- post-release monitoring of Javan gibbons released at Mt Tilu NR
- release site management planning and development of strategic programmes for protection of the gibbons and their habitat together with the creation and development of education, awareness and economic incentives for people around the project site.
Most of the Javan gibbons that will be released during this project are donated or confiscated wild-born orphans of the illegal trade in live primates. A few will come from captive breeding colonies at Howletts & Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in the UK. The project consists of three distinct phases which begins with intensive pre-release preparation of the gibbons whilst at JPRC, long-term post-release monitoring once released at Mt Tilu NR, and multi-disciplinary site management of Mt Tilu NR to protect the habitat.