Forest Department and the International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) on 27 February 2014 captured and relocated seventh of the stranded gibbon families in Dello village to Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. The relocation included an adult male, female and a male child who were captured on 26 February 2014. These highly endangered primates have been provided a new home by this relocation programme.
The Gibbon family that has been translocated is one of the 20 stranded families living in Dello village and the authorities are trying to translocate them from the village due to the lack of contiguous forests in the area. This lack of forests has forced the Gibbons (apes) to stray on ground for movement, which risks their lives as they are not very agile on land.
Till date, the authorities have moved six other families earlier of which the last one was carried in November 2013.
Other reasons for translocation of the gibbons
• This process is the only hope for welfare of these gibbons by providing them suitable habitat, which will contribute in conservation of the species
• The efforts of the two organisations is the way to strengthen the conservation efforts to save eastern hoolock gibbon in Arunachal Pradesh
• The measure to capture and release the gibbons in the suitable habitat is the only option left according the conservation plan as the gibbons’ lives in isolation in fragmented patches
About Eastern Hoolock Gibbon
Hoolock Gibons are endangered (small, arboreal apes) in their native habitat in northeastern states of India, China and Myanmar. Its name Hoolock has been derived from their song onomatopoetics. The Eastern black gibbons are one of the rarest mammals in the world. Hoolock Gibbons are the only ape species found in the sub-continent and is facing loss of their natural habitat because of the increase in deforestation.
Hoolock Gibbons has faced an alarming decrease in its population due to poaching and human encroachment of forests, which leads to their natural habitat
Earlier in 1070’s Assam alone had the population of over one lakh and today they have been placed under the list of precarious species and its figured has been estimated to less than 5000 across the country.