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Assam-based primatologist presents conservation status of hoolock gibbons at global conference

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HT Bureau

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Guwahati, July 12: Dr Dilip Chetry, a senior primatologist based in Assam, recently participated in the inaugural meeting of the Global Gibbon Network (GGN) held in Haikou, Hainan, China. This significant international conference focused on the conservation of threatened Gibbons.

As a keynote speaker at the event, Dr Chetry, who leads the Primate Research and Conservation Division in Aaranyak, a renowned conservation organisation in India, presented an overview of the conservation status of hoolock gibbons in India, particularly in North East India, to a gathering of scientists and primatologists from across Asia.

Organised by the Hainan Institute of National Parks and Eco Foundation Global, the conference took place from July 7 to 9 and centered around discussions on the challenges, opportunities, and achievements in gibbon conservation.

“GGN was established with the vision of safeguarding and conserving a crucial component of Asia’s unique natural heritage—the singing Gibbons and their habitats—through the promotion of participatory conservation policies, legislation, and actions. Aaranyak, a research-driven conservation non-profit organisation, is one of the founding partner organisations of GGN, alongside 15 partners from seven countries,” stated Dr Chetry.

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Gibbons, known as the smallest and fastest of all apes, inhabit tropical and sub-tropical forests in Southeast Asia. These apes display remarkable intelligence, distinct personalities, and strong family bonds. Unfortunately, the current conservation status of gibbon species is alarming, with all 20 species at high risk of extinction. Since 1900, gibbon populations and distribution have significantly declined, leaving only small populations in tropical rainforests, according to the official website of the Global Gibbon Network.

Hoolock gibbons, a unique primate species, are exclusively found in the seven sister states of North East India. The western hoolock gibbon is categorised as endangered by the IUCN Red List, while the eastern hoolock gibbon is listed as vulnerable. Both species are included in Schedule 1 of the Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act 1972, providing them with legal protection.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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