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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Buff-cheeked Gibbon
Fig 1
ゥ  Andie Ang
Fig 2
ゥ  Andie Ang
Fig 3
ゥ  Andie Ang





Family : Hylobatidae
Species : Nomascus gabriellae

Head-body length : 50 cm
Tail length : no tail
Weight : 6-10 kg

The Buff-cheeked Gibbon (or Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon) inhabits tall, undisturbed, primary evergreen and semi-evergreen forest. The species is also reported from some bamboo forests. Its altitudinal range is from the lowlands to above 2000 metres in parts of southern Vietnam.

Its diet comprises fruits, leaves and flowers taken high up in the canopy.

Males have dark brown to blackish fur on much of the body, with distinctive, long, buffy to orange-red fur on the cheeks. The fur on the crown is somewhat crested.

Females and infants are pale buff to light orange-brown throughout, however adult females have a distinctive black crown.

The face in both sexes is devoid of fur, and the skin is dark grey to black.

Both sexes are highly vocal : their loud, ascending hoots are made early to mid-morning. Bonded male-female pairs call as a duet, and this serves to advertise their paired status to other nearby gibbons.

This species occurs in southern Laos, parts of Cambodia, and southern Vietnam. A significant population exists in the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area in Cambodia. 

The Buff-cheeked Gibbon is endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

Figs 1 and 2: Male feeding on ripe fruits high in the canopy. After being plucked one-handed, each fruit would be quickly chewed and the unwanted portion, presumably the skin, would be spat out. Note the confident grasp this gibbon has on the tree branch.

Fig 3 : Wide-angle view of typical habitat of this species i.e. tall, primary forest.

All photos extracted from video filmed in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam by Andie Ang.

References : M5

Pollard, E., Clements, T., Nut, M.H., Sok, K., Rawson, B. 2007. Status and Conservation of Globally Threatened Primates in the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, Cambodia. Wildlife Conservation Society.

Links :

Wildlife Conservation Society : Unexpected Large Monkey Population Discovered