A scientific team, consisting of members of the Gibbon Conservation Alliance based at Zurich University and the Kunming Institute of Zoology, as well as staff members of the Nangunhe National Nature Reserve, carried out a survey in all Chinese forests reported to support white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) during the last 20 years.
The species was last observed in 1988 in the Nangunhe Nature Reserve in south-western Yunnan province, and their loud, melodious calls were last heard in 1992. After two weeks of field work, the 14 member Swiss-Chinese team realized: As a result of continued forest destruction, fragmentation and deterioration, as well as hunting, this gibbon species is no longer part of the Chinese fauna.
«This loss is particularly tragic», says anthropologist Thomas Geissmann, «because the extinct Chinese population was described as a distinct subspecies, the so-called Yunnan white-handed gibbon.» This subspecies (Hylobates lar yunnanensis) is not known from any other place. Geissmann now hopes, that the subspecies may have survived in neighbouring Myanmar, but so far, he has no evidence for this.
«The extinction of the Chinese white-handed gibbons is an urgent alarm signal, because several other ape species in Chinas are also endangered by extinction», says Geissmann. For instance the white-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) has not been sighted in China since the 1980s. Of the Cao-Vit crested gibbon (N. nasutus) in the provinces Guangxi (China) and Cao Bang (Vietnam) there are less than 50 individuals, and of the Hainan crested gibbon (N. hainanus) on the South-Chinese island of Hainan less than 20 individuals, to mention just the two most endangered species. Therefore, the scientists warn that the loss of the Yunnan white-handed gibbons may only be the beginning of an unprecedented wave of extinctions which threatens to terminate most, if not all, Chinese ape species.
«We hope that our research results will alarm the Chinese government as well as international conservation agencies and encourage them to initiate immediate efforts to save China’s last surviving apes», says Geissmann.
Beat Mueller | alfa
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering