Science and Technology News

Two precious and rare white-cheeked gibbons under protection


On 13 December 2014, the Me Linh Biodiversity Station, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) in collaboration with the Organization of Wildlife at Risk, the Ho Chi Minh City Forest Management Department and Cologne Zoo (the Federal Republic of Germany) received two white-cheeked gibbon Nomascus leucogenys belonging to a particularly precious and rare primate species, to raise for research and conservation.


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Two Nomascus leucogenys white-cheeked gibbon individuals are handed over for raising and conservation at the Me Linh Biodiversity Station (Photo by Nguyen Vu Khoi and Nguyen Quang Truong)

White-cheeked gibbon species with the scientific name of Nomascus leucogenys Ogilby, 1840 belongs to Hylobatidae Gibbon, the Primates Primate series. They are precious and rare wild animals on the endangered species list ranked at Level EN (Endangered) in the Vietnam Red Book (2007) and IUCN Red List (2014) and as a result receive priority of protected status. This gibbon species is protected by laws, under IB group (exploitation and use for commercial purposes are strictly forbidden) in Decree 32/2006/ND-CP of the Government and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

In Vietnam, the white-cheeked Nomascus leucogenys Ogilby, 1840 are scattered across the forest areas from Lai Chau to Ha Tinh. This species is facing the threat of extinction due to loss of natural habitat and being hunted illegally.

The two white-cheeked gibbons now under protection used to be transported and traded illegally in the south, before being transferred to the Cu Chi wildlife rescue station by the Ho Chi Minh City Forest Management Department in 2013. After a time of providing care and health check-ups at the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station, on 13 December 2014, authorised agencies and the Ho Chi Minh City Forest Management Department, handed them over to the Me Linh Biodiversity Station to facilitate their growth in a ecological condition that suits their natural distribution in northern Vietnam. The two rare primate individuals will be raised for the purpose of study, conservation and environmental education at the Me Linh Biodiversity Station.

Besides the nurturing and conservation of primates, the Me Linh Biodiversity Station is breeding and planting many other specious and rare animals and plants to serve the purposes of pilot study of species’ biological and ecological habits and of conservation education.

Some images on the Me Linh Biodiversity Station:

Orchid conservation garden


Room for raising reptiles, amphibians indoors


Area for raising reptiles and amphibians outdoors


Cages for raising red faced monkeys and Culi

Translated by Tuyet Nhung
Link to Vietnamese Version 

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