Pileated gibbons poached as bushmeat to feed illegal rosewood loggers

17 January 2017 News

17th January 2017 | Demelza Stokes | Full article at


- There were 14,000 Pileated gibbons (Hylobates pileatus) in southeast Thailand in 2005, the last time a census survey was done. No one knows what those numbers look like today. The animals are falling victim to illegal hunting, which is the most serious threat to wildlife across Southeast Asia according to a recent study.

- The gibbons are especially being poached as bushmeat in Thap Lan National Park by poachers who feed on them when they venture deep into the forest to cut Endangered rosewood trees. US $1.2 billion worth of rosewood timber was illegally smuggled into China between 2000 and 2014, where it is valued highly.

- Underfunded and under-equipped Thai park rangers regularly engage in firefights with the armed loggers, but it is believed that gibbon numbers continue to fall, as the animals are easily spotted when they sing, and are shot out of the trees.

- “In the past we used to hear [the gibbons singing] a lot, but now we don’t hear them so much. I think it’s people going into the forest to log that is affecting them,” said Surat Monyupanao, head ranger at Thap Lan National Park.


Thailand’s Pileated gibbons (Hylobates pileatus) face a new, still largely undocumented threat: illegal loggers are penetrating deep into the forests of the nation’s national parks to cut down Endangered Siamese rosewood trees (Dalbergia Cochinchinensis). While there, the poachers are feeding on the primates and other wildlife. Wildlife rangers in the country’s Thap Lan National Park have taken photos of the carnage, showing the loggers grisly harvest of gibbons and other animals for bushmeat.

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