Rehabilitation and Release of White-Handed Gibbon
Located in Maehongson Province in the North East corner of Thailand, the Lum Nam Pai Wildlife Sanctuary has been identified by the Wildlife Friends of Thailand (WFFT) as the ideal release site for many of the rescued gibbons currently held in their rehabilitation centre just outside Bangkok. These individuals have been rescued from the pet trade, and have already undergone quarantine, rehabilitation and pre-release training. The first phase of the project will be to re-establish a viable, self- sustaining family group of white- handed gibbons in this remote forest. A ‘soft release’ strategy will be employed, holding the primates in enclosures at the re- introduction site prior to release to assist them in adjusting to their new environment. Options for post-release support, such as supplemental feeding and radio or satellite tracking, are also being incorporated into the planning of the release.
Following the successful development and implementation of the rehabilitation and release methodology, WFFT and Mahidol University wish to establish the project for continued rehabilitation and release of more selected gibbon groups. This will aim to restore the gibbon population at this site and at the same time help to reduce pressure on the captive population and intake of more gibbons at the WFFT rescue centre. The experience will also inform plans to expand the gibbon reintroduction programme to provide a similar opportunity for releasing pileated gibbons at a separate site in Trang province.