Jorhat, Dec. 7: A family of three hoolock gibbons was moved from Dello village to Mehao wildlife sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh today.
This translocation was part of the third leg of an ongoing project to rescue a group of hoolock gibbons, stranded on an isolated cluster of trees. Four families have already been successfully translocated since December last year, a release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) said.
“Since we have done this a few times now and have some experience, capturing the animals was a lot smoother and we did it without chopping any trees,” said primatologist Kuladeep Roy.
A team of veterinarians and biologists from the IFAW-WTI is assisting the Arunachal Pradesh state forest department in this series of operations.
“The habitat of these endangered animals is degrading rapidly. Last year, the team identified this group in Dello, which needed to be moved urgently because they were stranded in an isolated cluster of trees. Being canopy dwellers, their descent to the ground for food and water makes them vulnerable to predation and poaching,” said Ipra Mekola, Arunachal Pradesh State Wildlife Advisory member.
Hoolock gibbons are the only apes found in India. Their distribution is restricted to the country’s Northeast region. Two species have been identified here — the eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock Leuconedys) and the western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock Hoolock). These animals are protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.