Number of Gibbons now stands at 300
Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Bangladesh has lost ninety percent of its Hoolock Gibbons reserve in last 20 years, reducing the estimated total only to an endangered mere 300 from a big stock of 3,000 in lush green forests of greater Sylhet, Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts, reports agency.

“The loss of the wildlife was caused mainly from deforestation and habitat losses,” Professor Mohammad Anwarul Islam, chief executive of Bangladesh Wildlife Trust, told BSS in an interview Monday.

Prof Anwar said, steps should be taken immediately to enact new laws and their tough enforcement for conservation of the critically endangered primates, which can help otherwise to bring back wildlife biodiversity in habitats. The hoolock needs continuous canopy within forests for their survival.

He said, the Hoolock Gibbons widely know as ‘Ullukh’ entirely depend on trees for food and shelter, but the fragmentation of habitats and restricted movements due to forest cuts have made the species critically endangered. The protection and restoration of habitats along with making communities aware can protect rest of the living Hoolock, he added.

According to statistics, Hoolock Gibbons are one of endangered primates in the world, and critically threatened species in Bangladesh. The Hoolock Gibbons, which lives mainly on fruit, also eat leaves, flowers, buds, insects and spiders for an average life span of 25 years.
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