Many captive gibbons saved in zoos and rescue centres have been seized from unlawful pet commerce, personal collectors, and plantations the place their pure habitats are getting destroyed.
In 2013, the Nationwide Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) of the Division of Wildlife and Nationwide Parks (PERHILITAN) was established in Peninsular Malaysia to assist with the rehabilitation of wildlife species – together with gibbons – earlier than they’re reintroduced or translocated again to the wild. Beneath the Primate Rehabilitation Programme initiated by PERHILITAN, captive gibbons should undergo plenty of procedures and assessments, the place their taxonomy and genetics may be examined, earlier than they’ll return to residing within the wild.
Following the Tips for Reintroductions and Different Conservation Translocations supplied by the IUCN Species Survival Fee, researchers Dr Jeffrine J. Rovie-Ryan from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Millawati Gani and colleagues from the Nationwide Wildlife Forensic Laboratory of PERHILITAN performed a genetic evaluation on 12 captive white-handed gibbons in NWRC. Figuring out the subspecies and origin of the animals is a vital step that informs additional choices on their translocation and reintroduction.
In a analysis paper revealed within the open-access journal ZooKeys, the group describes a beforehand unknown southern inhabitants of the white-handed gibbon subspecies lar residing in Peninsular Malaysia. In what began as a simple species and subspecies identification course of utilizing DNA expertise, the researchers found uncommon mutations within the DNA of the studied gibbons. That is how the researchers discovered themselves earlier than a definite inhabitants, which they concluded should have been evolving in isolation.
“Given the extended isolation, it’s possible that the southern inhabitants has undergone some native speciation, however this discovering must be thought to be preliminary and requires additional investigation,” defined Dr Jeffrine. Moreover, the researchers recommend there may be a northern inhabitants inhabiting Southern Thailand.
Nonetheless going by rehabilitation, the gibbons from the examine have been pre-released right into a semi-wild enclosure generally known as Pulau Ungka (Gibbon Island), the place their restoration is carefully monitored by primate consultants of PERHILITAN.
Gani M, Rovie-Ryan JJ, Sitam FT, Mohd Kulaimi, NA, Zheng, CC, Atiqah AN, Abd Rahim, NM, Mohammed AA (2021) Taxonomic and genetic evaluation of captive White-Handed Gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Peninsular Malaysia with implications in direction of conservation translocation and reintroduction programme. ZooKeys 1076: 25–41 (2021), doi: 10.3897/zookeys.1076.73262