Dec 10, 2012, 03.57 PM IST | Source: PTI

Gibbon family translocated

Gibbon family translocated

Itanagar, Dec 08 (PTI) A family of three hoolock gibbons, an endangered species, stranded in a tree cluster at Dello village have been translocated by forest officials in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Dibang Valley district. The gibbon family was moved yesterday to the sanctuary as part of an ongoing project to rescue a group of primates stranded in the village since December last year, official sources said here today. Four families of the primates were earlier relocated to the sanctuary successfully. "Last year the team identified this group in Dello which urgently needed to be moved. Being canopy dwellers, their descent to the ground for food and water makes them vulnerable to predation and poaching," Arunachal Pradesh State Wildlife Advisory Member, Ipra Mekola, said. "The habitat of these endangered animals is degrading rapidly," she said. Primatologist Kuladeep Roy, who has been working on the project, said "It is important to cause minimum stress to the gibbons. Since we have done this a few times now and have some experience, capturing the animals was a lot smoother." A team of veterinarians and biologists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare – Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) are assisting the forest department in the operations that is supported by Noyen-Melendez Family Trust, Serenity Trust, and philanthropists Himraj Dang, Subhadra and Kannan Jayaraman. Hoolock gibbons are the only apes found in India, with their distribution restricted to the country’s Northeast region. Two species have been identified in the region -- Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) and western Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock). They are protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. PTI UPL PC SG

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