“Every creature was designed to serve a purpose. Learn from animals for they are there to teach you the way of life.”
Yes, this is a very popular saying about the wildlife creatures found India India. Hoolock Gibbon is just one of them.
Hoolock Gibbons are basically the three apes species of the Gibbon family that are found in India and its neighbouring counties. North-East Indian states are home to the two ape species: Eastern and Western Hoolock Gibbons.
In scientific name, the Western Hoolock Gibbon is known as Hoolock hoolock, and the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon is known as Hoolock leuconedys.
The Hoolock Gibbons are the second-largest gibbons in the whole world. They vary between 60 to 90 cm in size and 6 to 9 kg in weight.
How to characterize the Hoolock Gibbons?
Male Hoolock Gibbon: Males appear black-coloured to dark-brown coloured with remarkable white eye-brows. They have thick and soft fur. They vary between 60 to 90 cm in size and 6 to 9 kg in weight. You will see white eye-brows in the black coloured face of the male.
Female Hoolock Gibbon: Females appear creamy-whitish colored to light-grey coloured with remarkable dark hair on their chest and neck. Their coats appear thick and soft. They vary between 60 to 90 cm in size and 6 to 9 kg in weight. You will see white to creamy-white coloured circles in the black coloured face of the female.
Let’s Know More About It! So, keep reading…
Where is Hoolock Gibbon found in India?
Hoolock Gibbons are undoubtedly the only apes found In India and these are majorly seen in the North-East States of India.
The forests of north-east India are well known for its rich biodiversity, and so they also support a remarkable population of the Hoolock Gibbons in India.
The North-East Indian states where Hoolock Gibbons are seen include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
In the states of Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram the Hoolock Gibbons can be widely seen.
People often get confused that Hoolock Gibbon is a species in India. That’s not true!
In total there are 3 Hoolock Gibbon species out of the 3, only 2 are found in India and the other 1 species is found in Southern China and Myanmar.
The Western Hoolock Gibbon which is also known as Hoolock hoolock, and the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon which is also known as Hoolock leuconedys are majorly found in India.
Western Hoolock Gibbons are widely seen in North-East India as compared to the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon.
Places in India where Hoolock Gibbon can be seen
|Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary||South Tripura District, Tripura|
|Ntangki National Park||Peren, Nagaland|
|Namdapha National Park||Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh|
|Sonja Wildlife Rescue Centre||40 km from Tura, in Silsotchigre, Meghalaya|
|Assam State Zoo||Guwahati, Assam|
|Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary||Mariani, Jorhat, Assam|
(It is the only one to house Hoolock Gibbons in the entire Central, Western, and South India.)
There are 3 different species of Hoolock Gibbon…
Yes, there are 3 different species of Hoolock Gibbon. Out of these 3 only 2 species are found in India.
Keep reading to know more…
1. Western Hoolock Gibbon
In India, it is found in all the states of north-east India, and its availability is restricted between the south of the Brahmaputra river and east of the Dibang river.
Outside of India, it is found in eastern Bangladesh and north-west Myanmar.
It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN List of Species. Its population has highly decreased by at least 50% over the past 40 years (approximately three generations) primarily due to hunting and habitat loss.
Over the coming 40 years, this decline is likely to reach similar proportions due to continuing habitat loss and hunting taking place constantly due to meat and medicinal purpose.
Long ago, it was highly found in the plains of Arunachal Pradesh which is the northeasternmost state of India.
At present, due to the major habitat loss, these are not seen in Arunachal anymore.
2. Eastern Hoolock Gibbon
In India, this species is found in the extreme eastern corner of Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Outside of India, it is found in Myanmar in the east of the Chindwin River, such as the Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary, and in southwest Yunnan of China.
It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened species.
This species is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve remarkably.
It is therefore considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
This Eastern Hoolock gibbon is a highly forest-dwelling primate and prefers a continuous canopy of the trees and jungles.
This makes them vulnerable to loss of habitat as it is located in the extreme eastern corner of India.
3. Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon
This Hoolock Gibbon species is not found in India. It is predominantly found in China and parts of Myanmar only.
This species is not found in India because, it inhabits primary evergreen, scrub, and semi-deciduous hill forests, as well as mountainous broadleaf forest, but it cannot survive in the pine-dominated forest.
In China, these species are found on Mt. Gaoligong. And in Myanmar, this species is found between the Irrawaddy-Nmai Hka River and the Salween River.
It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN List of Species. Its population has highly decreased primarily due to hunting for meat, and medicines, and also due to excessive deforestation.
IUCN has predicted that due to hunting and deforestation, a population loss equalling or exceeding 50% can happen over three generations, between the years 2000 and 2045.