Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ape song leads to discovery




Ape song leads to discovery

Ape song leads to discovery

GERMAN scientists say they have discovered a new endangered ape species in the tropical rainforests of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos after identifying it by its distinctive song.

The new type of crested gibbon, one of the most endangered primate species in the world, is called the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon, or Nomascus annamensis, the German Primate Centre said in a statement.

In Cambodia, the gibbon lives in Virachey National Park in the northeast, according to Christian Roos, who led the three-year project. “An analysis of the frequency and tempo of their calls, along with genetic research, show that this is, in fact, a new species,” the statement said.

“The discovery of a new species of ape is a minor sensation,” Roos said.

“As a scientist, I am very excited, but as a conservationist, I am disappointed because of all the problems that come with this we need to solve.”

Roos credited Van Ngoc Thinh, a Vietnamese doctoral student at Göttingen’s primate centre, for doing “most of the real work in the lab and the field”.
There is “no real estimate” of how many buffed-cheeked gibbons there are, Roos said. He said that due to major threats such as illegal hunting, illegal logging and the construction of roads and dams – even in protected areas – he expected gibbon populations to “decrease dramatically”.
The DPZ noted: “Gibbons are kept as cute pets, or they are eaten, or they are processed into traditional medicines.”
Prior to the discovery, scientists had previously assumed there were six different species of crested gibbons. Gibbons belong to the family of apes, mankind’s closest relative. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters