Pileated gibbon

Hylobates pileatus

Strictly arboreal, the pileated gibbon lives in the jungles of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, where it moves along by hanging from branches with its hands, a form of locomotion called brachiation. 

The colouration of their fur varies according to their sex: males are black and their hands, feet and ring on their head are white; while females are grey, with black chest, cheeks and head.

Breeding program

EPP - Zoo Barcelona

Natural habit

Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

Pileated gibbon
  • Distribution / Resident
  • Breeding
  • Wintering
  • Subspecies

Risk level

  • Extint
  • Extint in the wild
  • Critically endangered
  • In Danger
  • Vulnerable
  • Near threatened
  • Minor concern
  • Insufficient data
  • Not evaluated
Endangered

Taxonomy

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Hylobatidae

Physical characteristics

4- 8 Kg
Birth Weight: 150 - 250 g
45 - 64 cm
Up to 30 years in captivity

Biology

Habitat
Jungle
Social life
Gregarious
Feeding
Omnivorous

Reproduction

Gestation
193 - 225
Days
Baby
1

Discover how they are

Biology

Description

Gibbons’ arms are much longer than their feed and they do not have tail. Adult pileated gibbon females have a black spot on the underpart, from the neck to the groin, which forms an inverted triangle, while the rest of the body has a lighter hue. Males are completely black and have a white crown-shaped ring on their heads and lighter hands.

Habitat

Tropical rainforests and monsoon forests, wither in plains or in mountain regions up to 1,500 m of altitude.

Feeding

Its diet is basically composed of fruit, but it also feeds on flowers, leaves, tender sprouts, insects, eggs and small vertebrates.

Reproduction

Gestation lasts for six to seven and a half months and a single infant is born each time, which does not emancipate from its mother until its second year.

Conduct

All gibbons are monogamous. They live in small family groups, with a couple of adults and their offspring, which usually remain in the group until they reach sexual maturity. These groups occupy and defend a territory that adult couples delimit with their singing.  The female starts by making a powerful cry and then the male accompany her with shorter calls. These singing normally takes place at early morning, usually by groups that recently settled down in the area, rather than ones that have been living in the place for some time.

They are completely arboreal and use brachiation as locomotive means, swinging from tree limb to tree limb with their arms over their heads. They generally live on tall trees with few low branches and rarely spend more than one night in the same tree.

Status and conservation programs

It is a critically endangered species, mainly due to hunting for human consumption, as well as the destruction and fragmentation of its habitat in order to make space for crops, construction of hydroelectric infrastructures and for the extension of human settlements.

The Zoo of Barcelona takes part in the EEP of this species.