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Asian Primates

A Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group
Volume 5, No. 3-4, December 1995/March 1996



N. Ruggeri and R.J. Timmins

Wildlife Conservation Society

c/o 2313 Willard Avenue

Madison WI 53704 USA


Since the 1940ís, very little information has been available on the status of wildlife in Laos. In 1992, wildlife surveys began as part of a protected area system development project headed by the Lao governmentís Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with help from IUCN and a Swedish-funded forestry project. Eighteen areas have been officially designated as National Biodiversity Conservation Areas (NBCAs), and twelve others are proposed for protection, together covering over 15% of Laosí total land area (Berkmuller et al., 1995). The wildlife surveys aimed to assess human pressures, identify areas of high conservation importance, and provide management recommendations for these NBCAs. The surveys conducted thus far have focused on areas within the Annamite Mountains and Mekong Plains of central and southern Laos. This paper provides an initial summary of diurnal primate records during this period. The data were first presented at the 1996 joint IPS - ASP meetings in Madison, Wisconsin (Timmins and Ruggeri, 1996). The status and conservation of all species in Laos will be covered in greater detail in forthcoming papers.

Depending on the taxonomy used, between 14 and 18 species of primates are known from Laos, including two species of loris (Nycticebus), five macaques (Macaca), three Trachypithecus langurs, the Douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus), and at least four species of gibbon (Hylobates). Eleven of Laosí 13 diurnal species have been recorded during the last four years of surveys.

Primate Populations

Although quantification of primate populations in Laos has not been possible, with the exception of gibbons in a small number of areas (Duckworth et al., 1995), extensive surveys have resulted in over 300 encounters with diurnal primates. This allows a qualitative and comparative asessment to be made of primate populations in the Annamite Mountains and Mekong Plains regions of Laos.

Macaques (Macaca spp.)

The pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and the Assamese macaque (M. assamensis) appear to be the most widely distributed macaque species in the areas surveyed. The majority of the pigtail macaque records have been from below 600 m in degraded and secondary forest habitats, pine forest and semi-deciduous habitats of the Mekong Plains region, becoming more scarce in the evergreen forests of the Annamite Mountains. This species appears to be broadly sympatric with the rhesus macaque (M. mulatta ) in the north and long-tailed macaque (M. fascicularis ) in the south.

Assamese macaques also are widespread through central and southern Laos but are found predominantly in the evergreen forests of the Annamites, making this species broadly allopatric with pigtail macaques. They have rarely been encountered in heavily degraded or semi-deciduous habitats. Interestingly, it appears to be the most common species of macaque within areas of karst limestone. The species appears to be broadly sympatric with stumptail macaques (M. arctoides ) over their range.

Rhesus macaques have perhaps the most restricted range of all the macaques so far recorded in Laos. Over 40 of the 47 encounters with the species occured in riverine habitats, many of which were degraded. The species appears to be absent, or at least very uncommon, below approximately 15o N.

The long-tailed macaque appears to be restricted to southern Laos and has only been recorded below 16o N. The species appears to have similar habitat requirements to the closely related rhesus macaque. There have been very high encounter rates from riverine habitats at one site, while other non-riverine records have been from degraded forest habitats, particularly mosaic habitat types.

Although stumptail macaques have been found over much the same range as Assamese macaques, they appear to be somewhat less common. There have been 14 encounters with this species from five areas. As with the Assamese macaque, several of the lowest altitudinal records have come from limestone areas.

Langurs (Trachypithecus spp.)

Two subspecies of Francoisí langur (Trachypithecus francoisi ) have so far been recorded from Laos. Both have been seen in the central region, predominantly associated with a homologous limestone formation that stretches across central Indochina. This limestone covers over 3500 km2 in Laos. In the west of this limestone area, the subspecies T. f. laotum, which has a very distinctive white band around the head, has been found to be locally common. However, in the eastern portion along the Vietnamese border, an all black form has been found, apparently bordering the range of the subspecies T. f. hatinhensis in Vietnam. There appear to be no natural barriers among these three forms.

There have been only seven encounters with the silvered langur (T. cristatus ). The species appears to be restricted to the south, with a distribution similar to the long-tailed macaque, south of 16o N. Most records also have come from the lowlands in riverine, degraded and mosaic habitats.

Phayreís langur (T. phayrei ) appears to be a northern species, with only six records from seven areas, all to the north of 17o30í N. The species appears to occur at low density in a wide variety of habitats, including limestone, riverine, evergreen and degraded forests. Reports suggest that this species may be more common in northern Laos.

Douc Langur (Pygathrix nemaeus )

The Douc langur appears to have a wide distribution within central and southern Laos, with over 40 encounters from seven areas. Records have come from a wide altitude range, from 200 to 1400 m. Although apparently common at at least three sites surveyed, the species is scarce in several others, and is probably absent from the extreme south. Douc langurs appear to have declined or been lost from several areas in recent years, particularly from degraded forest areas and smaller isolated forests. They appear to be more susceptible to human pressures due either to hunting or habitat degredation than several of the macaque species.

Gibbons (Hylobates spp.)

No recent field information has been gathered on the lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) although it probably still survives in forests west of the Mekong river in northern Laos.

The pileated gibbon (H. pileatus ) has been found only west of the Mekong in the far south, where approximately 500 km2 of suitable lowland forest remains in Laos.

There have been no further records of the black gibbon (H. concolor) since the discovery of H. c. lu from a locality in northwestern Laos earlier this century.

The white-cheeked/yellow-cheeked group of gibbons (H. leucogenys/gabriellae) appears to be the most widely distributed of the diurnal primates in Laos. They have been recorded in most areas surveyed, over a wide altitudinal range of 100 to 1800 m. At least two forms have been found, although their taxonomy and distribution remains unclear. The highest calling densities have been associated with the largest tracts of least disturbed forest. In the two largest of these areas, each with a forest cover of over 1000 km2, gibbon populations are estimated to comprise between 400-6000 groups. Gibbons have disappeared from smaller tracts of forest and several selectively logged and other degraded areas, probably as a direct result of human persecution.


Of particular importance in a global conservation context are the Lao populations of Francoisí langur, Douc langur and the white-cheeked/yellow-cheeked group of gibbons, all of which are restricted to Indochina. The populations in Laos of each of these species possibly are the largest in the world. The protected area complex within central Laos (four NBCAs and three proposed areas) may be the most important for primate conservation, supporting five other diurnal primate species in addition to these three. The southern complex of protected areas also is important (two NBCAs and three proposed areas), particularly for gibbon populations, and supports at least seven diurnal primate species, including two not found in the central protected area complex.

It is clear that the majority of primate species still have relatively large populations within Laos. This, despite intense hunting pressures, is due mostly to the large size of forested areas that serve as the greatest protection for the primate populations. Unfortunately, the designation of protected areas is unlikely to offer much increased protection in the near future due to a lack of funds, trained personnel and conservation infrastructure. The forested areas continue to be cleared for cultivation, commercial logging and hydropower development. Surrounding these areas is a country that is turning to a consumer economy, including expanding markets for wildlife products. Much further attention, both in research and funding, needs to be brought to Laos if primate populations are to be protected.


Berkmuller, K., Evans, T.D., Timmins, R.J. and Venevongpet (1995) Recent advances in nature conservation in the Lao PDR. Oryx 29:253-260.

Duckworth, J.R., Timmins, R.J., Anderson, G.Q.A., Thewlis, R.M., Nemeth, E., Evans, T.D., Dvorak, M. and Cozza, K.E.A. (1995) Notes on the status and conservation of the gibbon Hylobates (Nomascus) gabriellae in Laos. Tropical Biodiversity 3:15-27.

Timmins, R.J. and Ruggeri, N. (1996) Status of primates in Laos. Paper presented at the XVIth Congress of the International Primatological Society and the XIXth Conference of the American Society of Primatologists, Madison, Wisconsin.





Carey P. Yeager

The Louis Calder Center

Fordham University

Armonk NY 10504 USA

Current populations of proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) have been estimated to be less than 5,000 individuals (Yeager and Blondal, 1992). The largest protected population is located in Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. More recent census work suggests that this protected population estimate may be too high.

Data collected in Central Kalimantan suggest that proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) are found in low densities (less than one group per 2 km of riverbank) [unpublished data; Chalmers, 1992; Yeager, 1993]. There are a few small forest reserves (at least two or three on local maps) located in these areas, but the total protected population is extremely small (probably less than 50 animals per reserve). In addition, proboscis monkeys are regularly hunted for food in this area. In Banjarmasin, Southern Kalimantan, high densities (approximately 60 individuals per km2) were observed on small forest fragments (less than approximately 100 ha) located on islands and river edges (unpublished data; Yeager, 1993). Many trees were stripped of foliage and as fragments were isolated and probably comprise less than 5% of the landscape; it is unlikely that these populations are viable long term. The total protected population in the Banjarmasin region is approximately 51 individuals, located on the Pulau Kaget Reserve.

In Brunei Darussalam, there is no officially protected population. The total population size of Brunei Bay appeared to be less than 600 animals, with a density of 4.78 individuals per km2 (Yeager, 1995). The total population size for Sarawak, Malaysia, is approximately 1000, with approximately 300 animals protected (Bennett, 1986).

Since 1989, approximately one third of the local habitat at Natai Lengkuas Station, Tanjung Puting National Park (Indonesia) has been severely degraded from a combination of fire, logging and illegal gold mining (Yeager, 1992). Changes in proboscis monkey group stability, mean group size and group composition have been observed. Group stability appears to have declined. One adult female with an infant changed groups at least four times during a one-year period. Mean group size for male groups declined from 12.1 in 1985 to 11.0 in 1995.

The sex/age composition (adult male: adult female: infants: immature) has shifted from 1:5:4:2.6 in 1985 to 1:4.9:4.1:1. There has been a significant decline (160%) in the number of immature individuals (juvenile and adolescents) per group. As there has not been a significant increase in the size or number of non-reproductive groups (groups containing immatures and adult males) in the area, it would appear that the immatures are either suffering higher mortality rates or are emigrating out of the study area. Very young juveniles were observed in non-reproductive groups, indicating that immatures may be leaving their groups at an earlier age.

Similar increases in habitat degradation have been occurring throughtout the park over the past decade. Presumably this is also affecting their group size and group structure. This population is the largest protected population of proboscis monkeys in the world. If recruitment at the immature stage continues to decline, this threatened population will be at risk of local extinction.


Bennett, E.L. (1986) Proboscis monkeys in Sarawak: their ecology, status, conservation and management WWF-Malaysia/NYZS report no. MAL 63/84.

Yeager, C.P. (1992) Changes in proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) group size and density at Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. Tropical Biodiversity 1:49-55.

Yeager, C.P. (1995) Does intraspecific variation in social systems explain reported differences in the social structure of the proboscis monkey (Nasalis Larvatus)? Primates 36:577-584.

Yeager, C.P. and Blondal, T.K. (1992) Conservation status of the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) at Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. Pp.220-228 in G. Ismail, M. Mohamed and S. Omar eds., Forest Biology and Conservation in Borneo. Yayasan Sabah Center for Borneo Studies, Publication No. 2.

Table 1. Estimates of Proboscis Monkey Group Size and Density

Location Group Size Ind. Den./Km2 Year


Camp Leakey 6.6 ~33.0 1980-81

Natai Lengkuas 12.1 62.9 1985

10.8 ~52.0 1992

~11.0 ~57.2 1995

S. Buluh Besar ~11.0 ~25.0 1989

Moera Tehweh ~5.0 1993

Banjarmasin ~11.2 1993


Samunsam ~13.3 1970's

11.4 11.9 1984-86



Brunei Bay 20.0 14.4 1962

~10.8 4.8 1991




Agustin Fuentes

Department of Anthropology

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA 98926-7544 USA


Elsworth Ray

Department of Anthropology

University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720 USA

The Mentawai Islands of Siberut, Sipora and North and South Pagai lie 85 to 135 km off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. These islands have the highest density per land area of endemic primates (three at the species level and one genus) and a little studied and unique fauna and flora. The Mentawais also suffer from rapid deforestation and land degradation. The northernmost island, Siberut, has recently received much attention (including being named a biosphere reserve), while the southern islands, Sipora and North and South Pagai, have been relatively ignored by the general scientific community.

Sipora and the Pagais contain all four endemic Mentawai primates, and at least three of them are endemic at the subspecific level. These primates are: Kloss's gibbon (Hylobates klossii), the Mentawai Island langur (Presbytis potenziani potenziani), the pig-tailed langur (Simias concolor concolor), and the Mentawai macaque (Macaca pagensis pagensis ). No complete primate census of the southern islands has been performed and only a handful of researchers have observed the Mentawai primates on these islands (Fuentes, 1994, 1996, in press; Fuentes and Olson, 1995; Fuentes and Tenaza, 1996; Kawamura and Megantara, 1986; Olson, 1992; Tenaza, 1987, 1989; Tenaza and Fuentes, 1995).

Sipora and the Pagai Islands were the most recently colonized by humans (approximately 200-400 years ago) and are the most heavily impacted of the Mentawai chain (ICMP, 1995; Fuentes, 1994; Tenaza, 1987). It was on the Pagais that Christian missionaries first began converting the indigenous Mentawains, that logging companies began intensive, large scale felling, and that a cash economy and its subsequent impact on forest/marine products collection were felt. However, all three of these islands contain remaining tracts of forest and other habitats that are utilized by nonhuman primates.

This report is the product of a recent census and survey of the Pagai Islands in 1996 (AF and ER), the results of observations and interviews with Mentawai Islanders conducted in 1989, 1992 and 1996 (AF) and a review of the existing literature on the Mentawai primates and the southern Mentawai Islands. This report presents our estimates of the current status of primates and their habitats on Sipora and the Pagais.


Sipora, at 845 km2, is the third largest Mentawai Island. The human population as of 1995 was reported to be approximately 9,000 inhabitants living in one large town (Sioban) and numerous villages throughout the island. Estimates of total forest cover remaining vary but, given that logging has been extensive and that four logging companies remain active, previous estimates of 20% of the total land mass (as of 1990) are probably too high. Conversations with local officials in the main town of Sioban in March of 1996 suggest that 10-15% is a more realistic number at present. This would represent approximately 85-127 km2 of remaining forest. Known primate density for areas of North and South Pagai primary forest (Tenaza, 1987; Fuentes, 1994; Fuentes and Ray, in prep) is between 33.7 (minimum estimate) and 59 (maximum estimate) individuals per km2, based on both calling and transect methods at two sites (Brockelman and Ali, 1987; Brockelman and Srikosamatara, 1993). Using these numbers provides a crude estimate of the Sipora primate population at approximately 2,865-4,280 (minimum) or 5,000-7,500 (maximum) in primary forest.

Most of Sipora's arable land has been converted to wet rice cultivation and swidden agricultural plots, and large tracts of land have been cleared for maize and other dry crop agriculture for settlements of transmigrants from the island of Java. Also, the logging companies' few replanting efforts have concentrated on monoculture (primarily various eucalyptus and Shorea spp.). Given these land use practices, the potential land available for primates outside of the remaining primary forest is rather small. Additionally, according to individuals from Sioban, erosion has recently begun to affect previously logged or utilized, then abandoned, hillsides throughout the island.

Hunting of the four Mentawai primates is still practiced on Sipora. Although the utilization of traditional hunting methods has dramatically decreased (see Tenaza, 1987, 1989 for the Pagais), they have been replaced with more opportunistic hunting ventures using air rifles. At present there are no Mentawai primates left around the town of Sioban; however, hunters from Sioban occasionally travel to the north of the islands to take monkey, gibbon and bird prey. In addition, opportunistic hunting is quite common in any forest areas near villages or along logging roads and intervillage paths.

The Pagais have a total land area of 1,675 km2 (approximately 775 km2 for North Pagai and 900 km2 for South Pagai) and make up over 25% of the total Mentawai land mass. The 1995 human population was reported at approximately 22,000, with about 4,000 in the main town of Sikakap (and its immediate area) and the remaining population spread throughout 47 small villages. Previous estimates (1990) of forest cover suggested 17-20% of the primary forest remained (R. Tenaza, pers. comm.), but our recent visit to the Pagais suggests that this number is no longer accurate. The entire 400 km2 timber concession on North Pagai has been logged, and the main logging company is now in the final stages of extraction on their 500 km2 concession on South Pagai. Additionally, at least one company presently is involved in intensive logging activity in many of the coastal areas of both North and South Pagai. If we assume a reduction to 15% primary forest cover and use the primate population density estimates calculated from the two sites on North and South Pagai (see above), we estimate a total of 8,467-14,833 primates remaining in primary habitat.

Unlike much of Sipora, on the Pagais there remain many tracts of disturbed secondary forest and mixed swamp forest (see WWF, 1980 for forest descriptions; ICMP, 1995). Observations of primates in very disturbed habitats on the Pagais have been reported by Fuentes (1994, pers. ob.), Olson (1992, pers. comm.) and R. Tenaza (1987, pers. comm.). Given that some areas not described as primary forest cover are utilized by the Mentawai primates and that these areas make up an area possibly equal to or larger than the remaining forest cover, it is possible that the actual number of Mentawai primates on the Pagais is substantially larger than 8,467 - 14,833. In fact, the non-primary areas utilized by primates in the Pagais may be as high as 10-20% of the land area. However, it is important to note that only two of the four primate species (the Mentawai Island langur and the Mentawai macaque) have been reported to regularly utilize these disturbed areas, and one (Simias concolor ) to infrequently use them (Fuentes, 1994; Fuentes and Olson, 1995; Tenaza, 1987).

The rate of hunting varies around the Pagais. In general, hunting is no longer done with bow and poison arrows but rather with air rifles with poison pellets. However, organized primate hunts are infrequent. The standard hunt consists of two or more men armed with air rifles moving through the forest shooting at any animal they come across. This has led to the local extinction of many primate species around villages and in what were once favored hunting areas. A good example of this would be Simalegu islet near Sinakak village on South Pagai, which R. Tenaza reported to contain approximately 60-70 Simias concolor in 1986. Our recent surveys of this islet coupled with interviews with the local villagers confirmed that there are at most 1 or 2 groups remaining on the islet (4-12 animals). Regular hunting by at least one village, possibly two, has decimated this isolate population in ten years. On the other hand, the area surrounding Betumonga village on North Pagai, where hunting is infrequent, has numerous groups of all four primate species. Interviews with the villagers, in 1992 and 1996, revealed that there are only a few hunters left in the village and that hunting for primates only occurs about 5-7 times a year. As the younger men move away from traditional hunting and subsistence collection towards cash crop/forest product collection for the emerging cash economy, the actual predation danger on the local primates is reduced.


For the Mentawai primates on the island of Sipora the future looks bleak. The government of Indonesia has more transmigrants scheduled for the island, four logging companies remain active, and forest product extraction (primarily rotan) continues at a breadneck pace. A growing human population and no scientific research taking place or proposed coupled with no protected forest areas indicate very little chance of Sipora's primates surviving long into the next century. Although isolated pockets of monkeys may survive, it is most likely that the four species of Mentawai primates have no future on the Island of Sipora.

On the Pagais the situation, although bleak, has a few promising notes. The southern end of South Pagai Island is not scheduled for any logging activities, has a very small human population and posesses much primary and swamp forest utilized by the Mentawai primates (potentially as much as 3,000+ ha on the southern peninsula and small islets). Additionally, this area has been put forward by R. Tenaza as a potential marine/forest reserve. On North Pagai the only large stand of forest remaining is in the southwestern region (Betumonga region, about 1,000+ ha of primary/mixed forest). In this area research was conducted in 1991 (M. Olson), 1992 (A. Fuentes) and is currently the site of a two-year research project headed by L. Paciulli of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. It is highly likely that as long as research projects are being undertaken in this area both the forest and the primates within it will be protected.

However, the general trend in the Pagais is one of continued logging activity, dramatically increased forest products extraction and sporadic primate hunting. The government of Indonesia also recently re-designated North Pagai as a site for the transmigration program.


With the increase in human population the area needed for subsistence gardens and cash crops increases. This increase in forest conversion for gardens (near the coast) coupled with the extensive logging activities (throughout the islands' interior) dramatically decreases the available habitat for nonhuman primates. Many of these primates will be forced into suboptimal habitats and thus be easier prey for occasional human predation. Overall, the effects of increased human population, continued deforestation and sporadic hunting continue to have a major impact on the populations of Mentawai primates of the islands of Sipora, North Pagai and South Pagai.

It is very likely that unless the southern South Pagai region is officially designated a reserve, and is enforced as one, and researchers continue to show interest in the Betumonga region of North Pagai that these areas will succumb to the external pressures as well. While there are probably well over 12,000, possibly as many as 20,000, Mentawai primates remaining on these southern islands, that number could well be halved before the end of the next decade.


We would like to thank Primate Conservation, Inc., Lilian Hirt and the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley for the funding of this research. We also would like to thank Ricardo Simanjantuk and Januar Sakrebau for their assistance in the field, Berlin and Pak James and family for their hospitality, and the people of Betumonga, Sinakak, Sikakap, and Sioban for all of their assistance.


Brockelman, W.Y. and Ali, R. (1987) Methods of surveying and sampling forest primate populations. Pp. 23-62 in C.W. Marsh and R.A. Mittermeier, Primate Conservation in the Tropical Rainforest. Alan R. Liss, New York.

Brockelman, W.Y. and Srikosamatara, S. (1993) Estimation of density of gibbon groups by use of

loud songs. American Journal of Primatology 29:93-108

Fuentes, A. (1994) The socioecology of the Mentawai Island langur (Presbytes potenziani ) Ph.D. thesis University of California at Berkley

Fuentes, A. (in press) Evolution of social organization in the Mentawai Island langur (Presbytis potenziani)). Proceedings of the XVth Congress of the International Primatological Society. Current Primatology.

Fuentes, A. (1996) Feeding and ranging in the Mentawai Island langur (Presbytis potenziani). International Journal of Primatology 17:525-548.

Fuentes, A. and Tenaza, R.R. (1996) Infant parking in pig-tailed langurs (Simias concolor). Folia Primatologica 65:172-173.

Fuentes, A. and Olson, M. (1995) Preliminary observations and status of the Pagai macaque (Macaca pagensis). Asian Primates 4(4):1-4.

ICMP (1995) Siberut National Park and integrated conservation and management plan.

Biodiversity Conservation Project in Flores and Siberut, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Loan 1187-INO.

Kawamura, S. and Megantara, E.N. (1986) Observation of primates in logged forest on Sipora Island, Mentawai. Kyoto Overseas Research Report of Studies on Non-Human Primates 5:1-12

Olson, M. (1992) Habits of the four sympatric Mentawai primates in the Pagai Islands, Indonesia. M.S. Thesis University of the Pacific.

Tenaza, R.R. (1987) Studies of primates and their habitats in the Pagai Islands, Indonesia. Primate Conservation 8:104-110

Tenaza, R.R. (1989) Primates on a precarious limb. Animal Kingdom 92(6):26-37.

Tenaza, R. and Fuentes, A. (1995) Monandrous social organization of Pig-tailed langurs (Simias concolor) in the Pagai Islands, Indonesia International Journal of Primatology 16:195-210.

World Wildlife Fund (1980). Saving Siberut: A Conservation Master Plan. WWF, Switzerland.




Anwaruddin Choudhury

The Rhino Foundation for Nature

in NE India

c/o The Assam Co. Ltd.

Bamunimaidam, Guwahati 781 021


Bherjan, Borajan and Podumoni are three tiny reserved forests (RF) located in the plains of the Tinsukia district of eastern Assam. Bherjan RF ( 27o32'N, 95o 23'E ) covers an area of 1.05 km2, Borajan RF ( 27o25'N, 95o 22'E ) 4.93 km2 and Podumoni RF (27o 32'N, 95o19'E) 1.76 km2. The three areas are disjunct and separated by tea plantations and human habitation.

Six primate species occur in these tiny pockets, making them among the best areas for primate observation, photography and conservation-education. A detailed survey was carried out in September and November 1995 (Choudhury, 1995). The species recorded were: slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina), rhesus macaque (M. mulatta), Assamese macaque (M. assamensis), capped langur (Trachypithecus [=Presbytis] pileatus) and hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock).

The slow loris was not uncommon in the past. In Bherjan one was recorded in 1991, suggesting its continued presence. In Podumoni, the last confirmed records were in the 1960's. There are similar reports from Borajan.

The pigtail macaque is still common in the forests. Two groups totaling about 40 monkeys were observed in Bherjan. A group of 16 macaques was observed in Podumoni RF while two groups totaling about 45 were seen in Borajan RF. It is possible that at least one more group was in both Podumoni and Borajan. Total population number is around 130 with the group size ranging from 16 to 25.

Although the rhesus macaque is common in the adjacent tea gardens and villages, it does not occur in groups in any of these forests. Only a few lone males were observed, often stealthily following either a group of pigtail or Assamese macaques.

The Assamese macaque is also common in all of the forests. Three groups totaling about 40 monkeys were observed in Bherjan RF. Another group was observed in a bamboo grove on Athelbari Tea Estate, north of Bherjan. In Podumoni, two groups with more than 24 macaques were seen. In Borajan, 15 monkeys were observed in two groups. It is possible that one more group was in both of these forests. The total Assamese macaques in these forests is more than 100 with group-size varying from four to 17.

No report of any past record of the stumptail macaque (Macaca arctoides) could be found in Bherjan and Podumoni RF's. However, a few reports have been received from Borajan RF. But no evidence of present existence could be found. Borajan was once contiguous with Upper Dihing (west block) RF, where the macaque is still found in small numbers. Tea plantations and human habitations have separated the former area from the larger latter area. The stumptail macaque may now be treated as locally extinct in Borajan RF.

Two groups of capped langurs totaling about 25 occur in Borajan RF. In Podumoni, a group of five was observed on several occasions. However, the species has become locally extinct in Bherjan RF. The langurs nearest to Bherjan RF are found in the village woodlands of Hatipoti, 3.5 km north, where only two are surviving. The total estimated population, including those of Hatipoti, is around 40. Group size ranged from five to 15, excluding the langurs of Hatipoti.

Around the late 1960's, the hoolock gibbon vanished from Podumoni RF. It also is on the verge of extinction in Bherjan RF, with only a lone female surviving. In the early 1970's, some seven to eight gibbons were in Bherjan, but they were reduced to a pair in 1986-87. The male subsequently was killed by some tea garden laborers in 1987-88, and since then the lone female has been without a mate. Outside the reserve, however, there are gibbons in at least three village woodlands. The nearest population, consisting of three males, is only 200 m away from the northeastern corner of Bherjan, but still this small gap has become a significant barrier for the gibbons. This shows the vulnerbility of the species to even small gaps in forest habitat.

About 30 gibbons in seven groups have been located in Borajan RF. Three groups have been studied in detail. There was one lone male and one lone female. These solitary animals were not attached to any group. Group size ranged from three to five.

Habitat destruction is the major threat to the survival of primates in these tiny forests. Original rain forest has been destroyed to a great extent in Podumoni and Borahan RF's. In Bherjan RF, plantations of deciduous trees now cover more than half of the area but the condition of the habitat is still better than that of the other two areas. Poaching is not a serious problem in the areas, and this is the main reason for such abundance of primates in tiny pockets.

To protect the surviving primates (may not be viable for long term), a proposal has been submitted to the Government of Assam, for declaring these forests as a wildlife sanctuary (in short, may be called BBP Sanctuary) (Choundhury, 1995). It is very likely that the sanctuary will be notified within 1996 as the response from the government was positive.

The results of detailed field observations on behaviors such as time-budgeting, ranging, reproduction, feeding and ecology are being analyzed for future publication.


Part of this study was supported by a Conservation Small Grant from the American Society of Primatologists. For assistance during field surveys, I thank the local Forest staff posted at Bordubi Beat (Borajan), Bherijan and Podumoni, and also many local villagers and tea garden laborers. Nur Hussain, Dilip Handique and Babul Denath accompanied me on many of the trips, and I thank them all.


Choudhury, Anwaruddin (1995) Wildlife Survey in Bherjan, Borajan, & Podumoni Reserved Forests of Tinsukia District, Assam, with a proposal for a Wildlife Sanctuary. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati.





Mochamad Indrawan1, Dedi Supriyadi1,3, Jatna Supriatna2,3, and Noviar Andayani2


Indonesian Foundation for the Advancement of Biological Sciences

Jalan Nusantara Raya 174

Depok 16421 INDONESIA

2PSB-Center for Biodiversity and Conservation

Universitas Indonesia

Depok 16424 INDONESIA


3Graduate Program on Ecology and Conservation Biology

Universitas Indonesia

Depok 16424 INDONESIA

The Javan gibbon or Owa (Hylobates moloch ) is one of Indonesia's six gibbon species, a globally threatened endemic and the rarest among its congeners (Marshall and Sugardjito, 1986; Eudey, 1987). The main strongholds of this magnificent lesser ape currently lie in Ujung Kulon National Park and Mount Halimun National Park in West Java and Mount Slamet in Central Java (Kappeler, 1981; Asquith, 1995). Current estimates of its numbers vary between 300 and 2000 (reviewed by Supriatna et al., 1994). Continuous monitoring, more extensive surveys, and more systematic studies of this species are desirable.

During 28 - 31 December 1995, we surveyed Gunung Pongkor (on the northwest of Mount Halimun) to determine the local status of the gibbon. We recorded gibbons and, in addition, the grizzled leaf monkey or Surili (Presbytis comata), another Javan endemic which is threatened. These primates were observed in hill forest, at an altitudinal range of approximately 500 - 1000 m asl. The locality constitutes an addition to the 24 previously documented localities of the Javan gibbon (Asquith et al., 1995).

Based on calls and sightings, at least three groups occured in the survey area, which encompassed approximately 5km2. On four occasions, visual encounters were made with one to three individuals foraging in early morning and in late afternoon, but the brevity of the study did not allow for identification of individuals or groups. Breeding was indicated by the presence of a female gibbon with a nursing infant at the forest edge.

The forest habitat with gibbons is inside a government supported gold mine enterprise, on the northern border of the national park. The forest is moderately disturbed at many places due to the mining activities, including the presence of trails and camps, machinery noises, and underground dynamite explosions. The forest also is fragmented, having been populated by humans for at least 50 years, with the accompanying presence of agriculture and mixed gardens.

Based on limited interviews with the human population, the gibbon appears to have been hunted rarely, at least in recent times. Killing gibbons is considered taboo locally. At times, however, outsiders reportedly have shot adults to capture infants, to be sold later as pets to city markets. According to an anonymous hunter/soldier (pers. comm.), such hunters usually expressed remorse afterwards, having seen that fallen gibbons can behave "human like", apparently putting their infant's safety ahead of their own. At Ciguhua village a young gibbon estimated to be one and a half years old was kept by a local, who developed an emotional (protective) attachment to the ape and was unwilling to sell her at any price. The survey has thus raised an interesting question: if hunting pressure were eliminated, could the gibbon survive in disturbed forest habitat?

It is tempting to assume that since gibbons locomote by brachiation that they must require a more or less closed canopy. We estimate that in a number of places visited by gibbons the tree canopy cover ranged between 50% and 80%. Although their habitat has been fragmented and degraded by activities related to mining, the gibbons appear to exist in considerable numbers, use the forested areas regularly, as also reported by Bapak Aten, a National Park ranger (pers. comm.) and reproduce. The present study seems to indicate that the Javan gibbon may be able to tolerate disturbed habitats, which perhaps parallels observations of other gibbon species in Malaysia apparently surviving in logged forests (Johns and Skorupa, 1987). These observations provide hope for long term survival of gibbons in mined or disturbed forest.

Possible mechanisms that could account for primates surviving in moderately disturbed habitat include the following. Studies on the orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus abelii ) in Ketambe forest, north Sumatra, by Madhu Rao and Carel van Schaik (in prep) show that the impact of logging can be compensated for quite adequately by a change in fruit production, even though the ape has to spend more time in energetically costly locomotion foraging in the logged forest. The same thing may be occurring with gibbons: the intensity of past explosions and local clearing does not necessarily affect the fruit availibility of remaining forest for the Javan gibbons (C.P. van Schaik, pers. comm.). Only long term research will yield the proper answer.

Fragmentation of gibbon habitat may affect the gene pool, however, by leading to inbreeding of the local population. We suggest therefore that conserving the existing forest corridors would be of prime importance in maintaining Javan gibbon habitat in Gunung Pongkor.


This survey was part of a large project for conservation of the Javan gibbon, supported by Riset Unggulan Terpadu grant from the Government of Indonesia's Dewan Nasional (awarded to Dr. Jatna Supriatna). For permits and logistic support, we thank the most helpful staff members from Gede-Pangrango and Halimun National Parks and P.T. Aneka Tambang. For able field assistance, we thank Cheppie M. Kahfi (YABSHI) and Pak Ateng (Halimun National Park). Helpful discussions and comments were most kindly provided by Carey Yeager, Carel van Schaik and Warren Y. Brockelman.


Asquith, N.M., Martarinza and R.M. Sinaga. (1995) The Javan Gibbon (Hylobates moloch): Status and conservation recommendations. Tropical Biodiversity 3:1-14.

Eudey, A.A., compiler (1987). Action Plan for Asian Primate Conservation: 1987-1991. IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Gland.

Johns, A.D. and J.P.Skorupa. (1987) Responses of rainforest primates to habitat disturbance - A review. International Journal of Primatology 8:157-191.

Kappeler, M. (1984) The gibbon in Java. Pp. 32-43 in Preuschoft, H.L., Chivers, D.J., Brockelman, W.Y. and Creel, N., eds. The Lesser Apes: Evolutionary and Behavioural Biology. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

Marshall, J.T. and Sugardjito, J. (1986) Gibbon systematics. Pp. 137-185 in Comparative Primate Biology, Volume 1: Systematics, Evolution and Anatomy. Alan R, Liss, New York.

Supriatna, J., Tilson, R., Gurmaya, K.J., Manangsang, J., Wardojo, W., Sriyanto, A., Teare, A., Castle, K. and Seal, U.S., eds. (1994) Javan Gibbon and Javan Langur Population and Habitat Viability Analysis Report. IUCN/SSC Captive Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley, MN.



The 68th Meeting of the Species Survival Commission was held on 11-12 October 1996 in Montreal, Canada, and preceded the first session of the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 13-23 October 1996.

Species Survival Commission

Russell A. Mittermeier, in his capacity as chairman, reported on the past triennium's activities of the Primate Specialist Group. No separate meeting of the PSG was held. In addition to the specialist group reports and several sessions on such topics as the Biodiversity Conservation Information System (BCIS) and the SSC's advisory role to international coventions, there were Red List training sessions, to experiment with the application of the new IUCN criteria for threatened species, and communications working groups, to examine the problems of implementing action plans, in which all attendees participated. George Rabb formally stepped down as Chair of the SSC at the conclusion of the meeting: the George B. Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship established in his honor was officially announced (see below).

IUCN Congress Awards

Conservation leaders were honored by IUCN Commissions during the World Conservation Congress. Dr. George B. Rabb, outgoing chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC), received the Peter Scott Medal for Conservation Merit, presented by Jay Hair, president of IUCN. The Commission on National Parks and Protected areas (CNPPA) presented the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award to three individuals, including two Asian recipients, Mr. H.S. Panwar and Mr. Abeedulah Jan. Mr. Panwar worked to protect natural areas in India for 25 years. He developed India's Project Tiger, one of the world's leading conservation projects. Mr. Jan, during 35 years of service, initiated programs to establish and fund protected areas in Pakistan.

IUCN Election Results

Yolanda Kakabadse, founder and presently Executive President of the Latin American Future Foundation, Quito, Ecuador, was elected President of IUCN and became the first woman and South American to hold the position.

David Brackett, Director General of the Canadian Wildlife Service, was elected Chair of the Species Survival Commission.

The following candidates were selected as Regional Councillors for Asia. With the exception of Mr. Claparols, who represents the Ecological Society of the Philippines, all of those elected had served previously as IUCN Council members.

East Asia

Mr. Antonio Claparols (Philippines)

Mrs. Akiko Domoto (Japan)

Dr. Le Quy An (Vietnam)

West Asia

Dr. Sadiq Al-Muscati (Oman)

Ms. Khawar Mumtaz (Pakistan)

Mr. Mohammad S. Sulayem (Saudi Arabia)




In October 1996, George B. Rabb stepped down after serving seven years as volunteer Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. Throughout his career, he has contributed to intellectual, scientific, and theoretical understanding of wildlife and the strategies required for its conservation. A herpetologist by training, he began his career at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo as the Director of Research and Education, and in 1976 he was appointed Director of the Zoo and President of the Chicago Zoological Society. In 1976, Dr. Rabb also began his involvment with IUCN as the representitive of IUDZG - The World Zoo Organization, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), and the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. He became volunteer Chair of the SSC and a member of IUCN's Council in 1989, and has taken a leadership role in building strong links between the international in situ and ex situ conservation communities with an emphasis on knowledge and technology exchange.

During Dr. Rabb's tenure as Chair, SSC's membership has grown from 2,400 to 7,000 volunteer experts in various fields of wildlife conservation. More importantly, Dr. Rabb has promoted new ways of thinking and the formation of relevant and timely new conservation policies and tools such as:

Developing and implementing scientifically based quantitative criteria to assess degrees of extinction threat (IUCN Red List categories);

Forging new understanding and interdisciplinary approaches needed to create policies on sustainable use of natural resources and re-introduction of species to their native habitats;

Enabling the volunteer network to contibute actively to formulation of global policy, and to secure financial resources needed to implement critical conservation actions;

Building new networks of expertise to explore issues of global conservation concern such as possible links between amphibian population declines and global causes, and the detrimental impacts of invasive species.


The George B. Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship honors Dr. Rabb's important accomplishments on behalf of conservation. An endowment fund will support one internship per year, to be awarded to a graduate student pursuing study in the area of conservation biology or related communications. Interns will work on specific SSC projects. Students from all areas of the world will be encouraged to apply.

Location of the internship will vary according to current SSC programatic priorities and the skills and interests of the most highly qualified canidates. Options include SSC's head office (IUCN headquarters, Gland, Switzerland), IUCN regional and country offices, offices af the SSC Chair and Vice Chairs, and partner conservation organizations. The SSC Chair, in consultation with Dr. Rabb and the SSC staff head, will select a panel of experts to choose the most viable internship candidate.

The George B. Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship Endowment has been established to support the internship. The minimum gosl for the endowment is US $200,000; funds exceeding this amount will support related activities (e.g., publications or meetings related to the intern's work) and/or additional internship positions.

The George B. Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship will further SSC's continuing pursuit of knowledge, enhance its role as a leader in conservation, and continue the legacy begun by its honoree during his years as SSC Chair.

Donations, or requests for additional information, may be sent to the following address:


George B. Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship Fund

1400 16th. St., NW, 5th Floor

Washington, DC 20036 USA


Russell A. Mittermeier

Conservation International

2501 M Street, N.W.*

Washington, DC 20037 USA

We are pleased to announce the creation of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, a new charitable foundation dedicated exclusively to primate conservation. This foundation was created by the late Margot Marsh of La Jolla, California, a long-time supporter of a wide variety of primate research and conservation efforts, who died in May 1995.

I had the great privilege of knowing Margot Marsh for 13 years, and was able to enjoy her company on various trips, including one to Madagascar to see lemurs and another to Kenya and Rwanda to see mountain gorillas and some of the savanna-dwelling species of Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. Margot was extremely knowledgeable about primates and human evolution, not to mention many other aspects of biodiversity, and was a great friend and supporter of many of our organizations. We should all be honored that she saw fit not only to remember us in her will, but also to ensure that the kinds of projects that she supported during her life would continue receiving support in the future.

The Primate Specialist Group was specifically mentioned in Margot's will, as were some of our newsletters, journals and action plans, so she clearly recognized the value of our group and the critical role that it plays in global primate conservation activities. In recognition of this, some of the first projects supported by the Foundation have been aimed at ensuring the continuity of publications such as Neotropical Primates and Asian Primates. We are extremely grateful to this wonderful friend, and will miss her all very much.

The mission of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation is straightforward: "to contribute to global biodiversity conservation by providing strategically targeted, catalytic support for the conservation of endangered nonhuman-primates and their natural habitats".

Project guidelines are as follows, with preference being given to projects that have one or more of the following characteristics: (1) projects focusing on endangered nonhuman primates living in their natural habitats; (2) primate projects being conducted in areas of high overall biodiversity and under great threat (e.g. "threatened hotspots", "megadiversity countries") to ensure maximum multiplier effect for each project; (3) projects being carried out by nationals from the tropical countries to increase local capacity for implementing biodiversity conservation; (4) projects that strengthen international networks of field-based primate specialists and enhance their capacity to be successful conservationists; and (5) projects that result in publication of information on endangered primate species in a format that is useful both to experts and the general public.

Projects should contribute to at least one, and preferably more, of the following themes: (1) Enhancement of scientific understanding/knowledge of the target species/ecosystem; (2) improved protection of a key species, habitat or reserved area; (3) demonstration of economic benefit achieved through conservation of a species and its habitat, as compared to loss thereof; (4) increased public awareness or educational impact resulting from the project in question; and (5) improved local capacity to carry out future conservation efforts through training or practical experience obtained through project participation. Recipients of awards should be prepared to designate a nonprofit organization through which funds can be allocated.

The board of directors of the Margot Marsh Foundation consists of three members, and an advisory group also has been created with an additional three members, all of them selected on the basis of their past relationship with, and knowledge of the interests of, Margot Marsh. I currently serve as President of the Board of Directors, and inquiries about how to apply for support from the foundation can be sent to me at the address below.

Russell A. Mittermeier

Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation

432 Walker Road

Great Falls, VA 22066, USA

Fax: 703-759-6879

* Please note change in address.


Conservation Awards and Grants (up to US$1500, but usually US$500) Grant proposals are solicited for conservation research or related projects, including conservation education. ASP and IPS members working in habitat countries are especially urged to apply or to help someone from a habitat country submit a meaningful project which can be a portion of a larger effort. Grant proposals must be typed in English, should not exceed 2000 words and should include a brief budget page. Recipients of grants must agree that a brief progress report, in a form suitable for publication in the ASP Bulletin, will be made within 12 months of the award. Requests for emergency support can be considered at any time for immediate action.

Subscription Award This award provides the American Journal of Primatology to worthy individuals in habitat countries who otherwise would have little access to the scientific literature on nonhuman primates. The ASP expects to support several continuing subscription awards. A nominating letter should describe the nominee's credentials and his/her related activities, and should explain why the nominee deserves to receive high priority.

Conservation Award (US$500) For students and young investigators from habitat countries who demonstrate potential for making significant and continuing contributions to primate conservation.

Senior Biology and Conservation Award (US $500 Honorarium) This award is one of ASP's highest honors. It is given to recognize an individual without an advanced degree who has made substantial contributions over many years to promote primate conservation either through direct action or via enhancement of biological knowledge or well-being of primates.

The 1997 deadline for submission of nominations and grant proposals is 23 May 1997. All awards require nominating letters. Materials should be sent to:

Randall C. Kyes, Chair

ASP Conservation Committee

Regional Primate Center

University of Washington

Box 357330

Seattle, WA 98195 USA




The Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) often receives requests for grants in support of primate studies through its Conservation Working Party. Because the Society has only relatively small amounts available in the Conservation Appeal Fund, grants are confined to specific topics. The following information is designed to show potential applicants how to apply and to help determine who is eligible.

Proposal Guidelines Proposals are invited for grants to assist with: (1)research of benefit to primate conservation; (2) short surveys to identify locations of value to primate conservation; and (3) projects involving primate conservation education.

Obligations of Grantee Grant recipients are required to present a report on the progress of the project within six months of commencement. A final report is due on completion of the project that may be used by PSGB, at its discretion, in publications, or in any way thought to be of value to primate conservation. Any publications resulting from the project should acknowledge the support received from PSGB, and copies of these publications should be sent to PSGB. Grantees are requested to produce slides and/or sound recordings, where appropriate, for non-commercial use by PSGB or others to benefit primate conservation.

Award Basis Applications are to be received by 1 March or 1 September of each year. Individual awards will be for a sum not typically exceeding 250 pounds. Award applications will be considered by the Conservation Working Party at its next meeting following receipt of applications. If two or more objections are raised by members of the CWP, the convener may, if he/she thinks fit, request the applicant to submit an amended application that addresses the committee's reservations. Grants will be awarded to members of PSGB, or to citizens of primate habitat countries who are sponsored by a PSGB member. Group training projects are not covered by this award scheme.

Recent awards include 300 pounds to the Black Lemur Forest Project, Madagascar, to employ a Malagasy education officer for 6 months; and 300 pounds for the IUCN/SSC Regional Primate Specialist Groups in south and north-east India and Bangladesh, to facilitate communication among these groups.

Application forms are available from:

Sian S. Waters, Convenor

PSGB Conservation Working Party

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA U.K.



The XIVth Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS) and the XIXth Conference of the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) were held jointly in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, from 11-16 August 1996, and hosted by the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center (WRPRC) at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. John P. Hearn was chairman of the Congress. The Congress was attended by approximately 1,300 people, making it one of the largest on record. Forty-three countries were represented. The Congress was preceded by a two-day workshop on methods in primate conservation, organized by Jeanne Altmann, outgoing Vice President for Conservation, and hosted by the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois. The 24 participants in the workshop included representatives from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal and India.

The scientific program included 544 papers and other talks and 259 posters covering all fields of primate research. Plenary sessions included "Mahale Chimpanzees Studies: Past, Present and Future" by T. Nishida, Kyoto University, Japan, the incoming president of IPS, and "Towards a New Understanding of the Ecology and Phylogeny of the Callitrichidae" by A.B. Rylands, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, editor of Neotropical Primates and the new Deputy Chairman of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group. The three-part conservation symposium of the Primate Specialist Group is described below.

A number of special interest group meetings were held during the Congress. Participants in the Indo-U.S. Primate Project, including S.M. Mohnot, A. Srivastava and C. H. Southwick, met with other interested individuals on two occasions. There was one meeting of a Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Interest Group; Noel Rowe, of Primate Conservation, Inc. (e-mail:, volunteered to coordinate informal communication among primatologists working, or interested, in the region.

The results of a competition to determine the best films/videos produced in the area of primatology since 1990 were announced during the meeting. There were two categories of entries: (1) professional films, with budgets above $25,000; (2) non-professional, independent productions. "Preliminary survey of the social organization of Rhinopithecus roxellana in Shennongjia National Natural Reserve, Hubei, China", directed by Renmei Ren, Department of Psychology, Peking University, was ranked first in the non-professional category.

Actions of the IPS Council included a vote to award the 1996 Galante Fellowship to Mr. Daoying Lan. Mr. Lan is currently enrolled in graduate study at the University of Liverpool, under the supervision of Dr. Robin Dunbar. Previously Mr. Lan was affiliated with the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Kunming, Yunnan, China, and Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China. Mr. Lan will use the Galante Fellowship to further his doctoral research on the behavior, ecology and conservation of black gibbons (Hylobates concolor) in southwest Yunnan. The new officers of IPS were introduced at the business meeting (see below). The next IPS Congress will be held in Antananarivo, Madagascar in September - October 1998 (See Meetings, this issue, for more information). [Some information was abstracted from the IPS Bulletin 23(2) and Neotropical Primates 4(3).]




The major conservation event at the joint IPS/ASP Congress was a one-and-a-half day symposium organized by the Primate Specialist Group Chairman, Russell A. Mittermeier, and former Deputy Chairman, William R. Konstant, along with the Regional Vice Chairpersons, Ardith Eudey (Asia), Tom Butynski (Africa), and Anthony Rylands and Ernesto Rodriguez-Luna (Neotropics). No separate meeting of PSG members was held.

There were three parts to the symposium. The first was entitled "Primate Conservation at the End of the 21st Century - A 20-Year Retrospective and a Look at the Next Millenium". Russell Mittermeier introduced the symposium and its objectives and reviewed global primate distributions, priority countries and regions and the current conservation status of species and subspecies. The history of the PSG was reviewed, and the PSG's activities were highlighted with the development of the Global Strategy for Primate Conservation in 1978, the World Wildlife Fund Primate Program, begun in 1979, the Primate Action Plans of the late 1980's and early 1990's, and the creation of networks for primate conservation around the world. William Konstant provided a historical review of funding sources for primate conservation. This was followed by regional reports of PSG activities and the situation in the Neotropics (Anthony Rylands and Ernesto Rodriguez-Luna), Asia (Ardith Eudey), Africa (Thomas Butynski) and Madagascar (Jorg Ganzhorn and Patricia Wright), along with a history of the role of IPS, ASP, the Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) and other institutions in primate conservation (David Chivers), a review of the development and application of tools and processes for scientifically-based management strategies for threatened species, based on small population and conservation biology (Susie Ellis), and the role of zoos in primate conservation (Anne Baker).

The second part of the symposium, entitled "Case Studies of the Critically Endangered and the Future", reviewed the conservation status of the primates most likely to go extinct in the 21st century. Twelve papers were presented which reviewed the current status of critically endangered and endangered species and species groups around the world. The Asian case studies were on the snub-nosed monkeys of China (R.M. Ren, R.C. Kirkpatrick and N.G. Jablonski); the Vietnamese snub-nosed monkey, langurs and gibbons (X.C. Le); the Javan gibbons (J. Supriatna, N. Andayani, D. Buchori, D. Supriyadi and S. Sueryadi); the four primates endemic to the Mentawai Islands (A. Fuentes); and the Japanese macaques of Yakushima (D.A. Hill and T. Maruhashi). S.M. Mohnot talked about the Indo-US Primate Project, in place of Ajith Kumar, who was to review the status of the lion-tailed macaque of the Western Ghats in India.

The final part of the symposium involved a round table discussion concerning the role of major multilateral financing and development agencies, priorities for the future, an action plan agenda, and the prospects for survival of the threatened species around the world. (Abstracted, with modifications, from R.A. Mittermeier, Neotropical Primates 4(3):89-90 [1996].)



Prof. Toshishada Nishida

Department of Anthropology

Graduate School of Science

Kyoto University

Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi 606 JAPAN

Tel: 81-75-753-4084

Fax: 81-75-751-6149


Secretary General

Dr. Dorothy Fragaszy

Department of Psychology

University of Georgia

Athens GA. 30602 USA

Tel: 706-542-3036

Fax: 706-542-3275


Vice President for Membership

Dr. Richard W. Byrne

Department of Psychology

University of St. Andrews

St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9JU SCOTLAND, U.K.

Tel: 44-334-62051

FAX: 44-334-63042


Vice President for Captive Care

Dr. Cobie Brinkman

Division of Psychology

Australian National University

GPO Box 4, Canberra


Tel: 61-6-249-2803

FAX: 61-6-249-0499


Vice President for Conservation

Dr. Ernesto Rodriquez-Luna

Instituto de Neuroetologia

Universidad Veracruzana

Veracruz 91000 MEXICO

Tel: 52-28-12-57-48

FAX: 52-28-17-63-39 or 52-28-12-57-46

e-mail: saraguat


Dr. William Roudebush

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical

University of South Carolina

Charleston, SC 29425-2233 USA

Tel: 803-792-8348

Fax: 803-792-5033


Regional Secretary for Asia

Prof. Osamu Takenaka

Department of Biochemistry

Primate Research Institute

Kyoto University

Inuyama, Aichi 484 JAPAN



The Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, announces the publication of the third edition of the International Directory of Primatology. The directory is divided into five organizational sections and four indexes. The organizational sections cover (1) geographically arranged entries for major primate centers, laboratories, educational programs, foundations, conservation agencies and sanctuaries; (2) field studies; (3) groups involved with nonhuman primate population management; (4) professional primate societies, including the membership roster of the International Primatological Society; and (5) major information resources in the field. Access to this information is supported by organizational, species, subject and name indexes.

Copies of the 1996 edition (391 pp., spiral bound) are available in the USA for $25 each, or for other countries for US$35 each via book rate. Air mail to Canada and Mexico is US$40, while air mail outside of North America is US$50. Prices include postage and handling. Checks should be made payable to: Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center.

To order a copy, please contact:

Larry Jacobson, IDP Coordinator

Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center Library

1220 Capitol Court

Madison, WI 53715-1299 USA

Tel: 608-263-3512

Fax: 608- 265-4729



The Pictorial Guide To The Living Primates

The Pictorial Guide To The Living Primates, by Noel Rowe, beautifully illustrates the diversity of the primate order. The book was published by Pogonias Press, East Hampton, New York, in 1996. The work is organized like a field guide and provides the reader with color photographs, basic information and a range map for each prosimian, monkey and ape. Each species is treated separately, with at least one photograph or illustration of 234 species. Following the taxonomy of Colin P. Groves, the publication includes most of the new species which have been described in the last decade. The book has a strong conservation message and provides the current level of endangerment for each species. The foreword is by Jane Goodall, with an introduction by Russell A. Mittermeier, chairman of the Primate Specialist Group.

Pogonias Press is offeringThe Pictorial Guide to Living Primates at a special discount of 10% to readers of Asian Primates. Hard bound editions are available at US$71.96, and soft bound copies are available at US$53.96. (Residents of New York are required to add state tax.) Postage within the USA for each copy is $4.95. For countries other than than the USA, please pay by international money order in US dollars plus $10.00 for shipping and handling. Mastercard and Visa also are acceptable. Shipment is by air mail whenever possible; surface mail may require 3-6 weeks. Please contact the following address for orders or additional information:

Pogonias Press

163 Town Lane

East Hampton, NY 11937-5000 USA

Phone: 1-800-296-6310 or 516-267-7880

Fax: 516-267-2024





The second International Conference on Indo-Australian Vertebrate Fauna will be held at the Lombok Intan Laguna Hotel, Senggigi Beach, Mataram, on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, on 10-13 December 1996.

From a zoogeographical standpoint, eastern Indonesia comprises the Wallacean region (from Sulawesi and Lombok to the Mollucan islands and Lesser Sunda islands) and Irian Jaya. The region is rich in endemic, unique and characteristic vertebrate species that are becoming rare or extinct due to the increasing human population and development. The fauna is poorly known biologically and ecologically. The objective of the conference, under the theme of "Responding to the Challenge of Global Change", is to gather scientific data on the biology, ecology and social relevance of the existing vertebrate species to develop an action plan for their sustainable use and conservation, with special emphasis on linking ecotourism with biodiversity conservation. The deadline for abstracts to be received is 1 November 1996.

All correspondence should be addressed to:

Mr. Eka Lubis

Secretariat of

Second International Conference on

Eastern Indo-Australian Vertebrate Fauna

c/o Pt. Wislinggar Panatareka

Wisma Prayitno, 3rd. floor

Jl. Raya Pasar Minggu No. 45

Jakarta 12760 INDONESIA

Fax: 62-21-798-0293



The Second International Wildlife Law Conference will be held on 8 April 1997. The Conference will bring together representatives from the academic, governmental and non-governmental sectors to focus upon the role of international wildlife treaty regimes in preserving biological diversity, and how these regimes can be strengthened to achieve this objective. Papers growing out of this conference will appear in a special symposium issue of the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law & Policy. The program will include the following.

Panel #1 will focus on the operation of the precautionary principle in the context of international wildlife agreements, including the contours of the principle in specific treaty regimes, the appropriate standards for applying the principle, and an assessment of its efficacy in protecting the viability of flora and fauna species.

Panel #2 will examine the operation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including its interaction with international wildlife conservation agreements and its implementation at the international, regional and national levels. Several speakers will speculate on the future viability of the CBD.

Panel #3 will examine one of the most controversial aspects of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling: the aboriginal subsistence whaling provision. Speakers will focus on the tension between cetacean conservation and the recognition of aboriginal peoples' rights under international law; the recent application by the Makah Tribe of the US for a grey whale quota under the provision, and the future implications of permitting aboriginal whaling outside the framework of the IWC moratorium on whaling.

Additional information may be obtained from:

Professor David Favre

Detroit College of Law at

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824 USA




A joint meeting on the Nutrition of Wild and Captive Wild Animals will be held by the Nutrition Society, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and British Federation of Zoos at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland, on 16-18 May 1997. Organizers of the meeting are Dr. Rob Young and Dr. Chris Seal. Speakers include: Ellen Dierenfeld, "Nutrition of captive wild birds - historical perspective"; Sue Crissey, "Utilizing wild foraging ecology information to provide captive primates with an appropiate diet"; Donald Lindburg, "Behaviour and nutrition of captive wild animals"; John Speakman, "Small mammal nutrition, torpor, hibernation and foraging energetics".

The deadline for poster and oral communications is 1 March 1997. For further information contact:

Rodney Warick

The Nutrition Society

10 Cambridge Court

210 Shepherds Bush Road


FAX: 44-171-602-1756






7-18 JULY 1997


Edinburgh Zoo, in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, has devised a new course in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. The course will take an animal centered approach. It will focus primarily on practical methods of improving animal welfare, which will be underpinned by a sound theoretical background. For example, a large portion of the course will focus on methods of environmental enrichment, such as management regimes and the use of devices. However, a clear distinction will be made between environmental enrichment that cures or improves a welfare problem from that which only hides it or treats its symptoms. The course is divided into four parts: (1) Methods of measuring and recording the behavior of animals; (2) Assessing the welfare status of captive animals; (3) "Global zoo perspective", or how zoos' efforts in conservation are linked with animal welfare; (4) Environmental enrichment.

The course fee is 719.15 (+VAT) pounds sterling. This fee includes lunches and course materials. Airfare and accommodations are not included. A special package is available for accommodations at the University's apartments at the cost of 161.70 (+VAT) pounds sterling. No scholarships are available. Registrants requiring financial assistance should seek alternative sources. The deadline for registration is 31 May 1997. To receive further information please contact:

Hamish Macandrew

UnivEd Training and Conference Centre

UnivEd Technologies Ltd., 11 South College Street

Edinburgh EH8 9AA, SCOTLAND U.K.

Fax: 0131 650 9019



The Orangutan Foundation Internationl (OFI) and the Tourist Promotion Boards of Malaysia and Sarawak will co-organize and co-sponsor the Third Great Apes of the World Conference to be held in Sarawak, Malaysia, during 4-7 November 1997 (tentative dates). The conference will be a follow-up to the Second International Great Apes Conference held in Indonesia in December 1991, which OFI co-sponsored with three Indonesian ministries.

The 1997 four-day conference will be held in Kuching, Sarawak. Pre and post conference tours are being planned for participants to biologically and culturally diverse areas of Malaysia and Indonesia. The conference also will be co-sponsored by Malaysia Airlines, the official airline for the conference.

The planned conference will feature over two dozen great ape specialists who will focus on a variety of issues ranging from behavioral ecology to captive management and from the impact of ecotourism to solutions in wildlife conservation. This announcement should be considered as a call for papers. Several individuals will be invited to be keynote speakers. Following the conference, OFI plans to publish the proceedings of the conference. OFI will begin accepting abstracts 1 January 1997 and papers from 15 April 1997.

The conference will be open to the public with special rates being offered on airfare and hotels by the co-sponsors. More details may be obtained from:

Orangutan Foundation International

822 S. Wellesley Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90049 USA

Tel: 310-207-1655

Fax: 310-207-1556




Faculty in the Department of Biology, University of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, are in the process of developing a teaching and research library on wildlife studies, including such topics as species habitats, conservation, management, field techniques, ecology and behavior. The faculty involved are Dr. Narit Sitasuwan, Ms. Nantiya Aggimarangsee, M.S., and Dr. Ramesh Boonratana. Currently the only literature available for student and faculty use on wildlife study is in private collections. Donations of journals, magazines, reference books, dissertations, reports and research papers would be appreciated.

Literature may be sent to the following address:

Department of Biology

Faculty of Science

Chiang Mai University

Chiang Mai 50200 THAILAND

Primate Conservation

Three back issues of Primate Conservation, the journal of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, have been published under the editorship of Anthony B. Rylands. Numbers 12-13 (1991/1992) contain two articles on the Asian region: R.P. Mukherjee, S. Chaudhuri and A. Murmu, "Hoolock gibbons (Hylobates hoolock) in Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India: The Lohit district"; Ardith A. Eudey, "Captive gibbons in Thailand and the option of reintroduction to the wild".

Numbers 14-15 (1993/1994) contain a special section edited by Robert C. Lacy on the Primate Population Viability Analysis Symposium held at the XVth Congress of the International Primatological Society in Bali, Indonesia, in 1994. Specific articles include: Warren Y. Brockelman, "PHVA workshop: Learning to help the gibbons of Thailand".

Number 16 (1995) contains five articles on the Asian region: Ajith Kumar, G. Umapathy and A. Prabhakar, "A study on the management and conservation of small mammals in fragmented rain forests in the Western Ghats, south India: A preliminary report"; T.R. Shankar Raman, Charudutt Mishra and A.J.T. Johnsingh, "Survey of primates in Mizoram, north-east India"; Rob J. Lee, "Population survey of the crested black macaque (Macaca nigra) at Manembonembo Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi, Indonesia"; Vincent Nijman, "Remarks on the occurrence of gibbons in central Java"; Douglas Brandon- Jones, "Presbytis fredericae (Sody, 1930), an endangered Colobine species endemic to central Java, Indonesia".

Information on submissions to Primate Conservation may be obtained from the editors:

Anthony B. Rylands

c/o Conservation International do Brasil

Av. Antonio Abrhao Caram 820/302

Minas Gerais BRAZIL

Fax: 55 (0)31- 441-1795



Russell a. Mittermeier

Conservation International

2501 M Street, N.W. *

Washington D.C. 20037 USA

Fax: 202-887-0192


Members of the PSG receive complimentary copies of Primate Conservation. The publication is available to non-members for US$15.00 per issue (including postage and handling). For more information, contact:

Conservation International

Department of Conservation Biology

2501 M Street, N.W. *

Washington D.C. 20037 USA

Fax: 202-887-0193

* Please note change in address.


A Survey of Wildlife Trade in Guangxi and Guangdong, China. Li Wenjun, Todd K. Fuller and Wang Sung, TRAFFIC BULLETIN 16(1):9-16.

Summary: The incidence of wildlife in trade in southern China has increased significantly following the growth in the country's economy and an expanding human population. In 1994, the authors carried out a survey of the trade in Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Nationality Autonomous Region, and areas along the border with Vietnam. Their findings indicate that, although some achievements have been made in regulating the trade, more vigorous implementation of wildlife legislation is urgently required. At a minimum, increased financial resources and training must be provided to wildlife officials in both China and Vietnam if trade control mechanisms in the region are to be strengthened. Animals traded in the largest quantities and available in most of the markets surveyed included primates (including Class I-listed pigtail macaque [Macaca nemestrina] and Francois' leaf monkey [Trachypithecus francoisi]). In Guangxi, the species most often confiscated in illegal trade were primates (stumptail macaque [Macaca arctoides], crab-eating macaque [M. fascicularis], rhesus macaque [M. mulatta], pigtail macaque and Francois' leaf monkey). Protected species most commonly in trade and confiscated in Shaoguan Prefecture of Guangdong Province between 1990 and 1994 include primates (stumptail and rhesus macaques). According to local wildlife officers, between 30% and 40% of these animals died following poor treatment and transportation facilites. Around half were released into nature reserves or other "natural habitats", and a small number were sent to wildlife breeding centers or zoos. Species that were frequently seen and available in most of the markets surveyed along the Guangxi-Vietnam border included Francois' leaf monkey (Class I), rhesus macaque and slow loris (Nycticebus coucang ) [Class I]. These are the animals most often offered at restaurants in Guangdong and Guangxi.

The Neglected Ape. Ronald D. Nadler, Birute M.F. Galdikas, Lori K. Sheeran, and Norm Rosen, editors. Plenum Press, New York, 1995.

Summary: In the past, scientific and public attention has centered on the African apes. For this reason, the sole Asian great ape, the orang-utan, has been called the "neglected ape." Over the last several years, however, this situation has been changing. In 1991, the government of Indonesia sponsored the International Great Ape Conference, which was held at Jakarta, Pangkalan Bun and Camp Leakey, Kalimantan Tengah. As the last official event for "Visit Indonesia Year 1991," this conference heralded a new era in awareness of the orang-utan and its plight as an endangered species. Following the Great Ape Conference, the first Population and Habitat Viablility Analysis Workshop for orang-utans was held in Medan, North Sumatra. Working groups established at the workshop made contributions to the Indonesian Orangutan Action Plan, designed to ensure the survival of orang-utans in their natural habitats. The following year, an international conference entitled "Orangutans: The Neglected Ape" was held at California State University, Fullerton. The conference brought together some 200 academic scientists, zoo personnel, field biologists, government officaials, and concerned lay people from Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America. This volume is a direct outgrowth of the Neglected Ape Conference in Fullerton and the Orangutan PHVA workshop in Medan. Section One provides an overview of the orang-utan species, its past and current status and its predicament, as seen through the eyes of philosophers, conservationists, and a psychologist. Section Two is devoted to orang-utan conservation and recovery plans. Section Three is devoted to demography. In Section Four, research results are presented from the two locations where long-term field studies have been conducted: Tanjung Puting and Gunung Leuser National Parks. Section Five is devoted to scientific research on the social and sexual behavior, reproduction and physical development of orang-utans and to their maintenance and propagation in captivity.

A Preliminary Survey of Long-Tailed and Pig-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis and Macaca nemestrina) in Lampung, Bengkulu, and Jambi Provinces, Southern Sumatera, Indonesia. Jatna Supriatna, Achmad Yanuar, Martarinza, Hario Tabah Wibisono, Ridwan Sinaga, Irvan Sidik, and Sofian Oskandar. Tropical Biodiversity 3(2):131-140,1996.

Abstract: We present data from a population survey of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis and Macaca nemestrina, respectively) within Lampung, Bengkulu and Jambi Provinces in Southern Sumatera. Macaques were encountered at densities ranging from 3.9 individuals/km2 to 122 individuals/km2 for M. fascicularis, and 2.5 individuals/km2 to 14 individuals/km2 for M. nemestrina. Estimated density figures for M. fascicularis, which was more commonly found in variable types of forests, was consistent with previous surveys made by Wilson and Wilson in 1977. However, a serious population decline seems to have occurred in M. nemestrina. Little information was obtained for macaque densities at higher altitudes. Rough extrapolations from available land use information resulted in estimates of minimum numbers of M. fascicularis and M. nemestrina for the three Southern Sumatera localities: 300,000 for Lampung, 450,000 for Bengkulu, and 1,300,000 for Jambi.

A Census and the Biogeography of Golden Langurs (Presbytis geei) in Bhutan. Tashi Wangchuk. TigerPaper 22(3): 1-6, 1995.

Abstract: A census of Golden langurs (Presbytis geei), locally called Raksha, was conducted in the Mangde Chu Valley of Central Bhutan. The census transect fell within the newly established Black Mountain National Park. A total of 127 individuals were sighted along the 39 km transect. Using the arithmetic mean of all animal-to-transect distance as transect width, an area of 58.5 km2 was covered as the sampling area. This resulted in an estimated density of 2.1 Golden langurs per km2 in the sample area. Using this figure with the basic formula for density calculation and the estimated distribution and ecology of Raksha, a total of 4,341 Golden langurs are estimated to survive in Bhutan.

Also, the distribution of Golden langurs in Bhutan was mapped through field surveys conducted along natural dispersal barriers such as the Sankosh river in the west and the Manas/Drangme Chu in the east. It was found that Hanuman or Grey langurs (Presbytis entellus) are able to cross the Sankosh into P. geei range due to the construction of bridges in the last two decades. The two species may be interbreeding in the Tsirang area.

Gibbon Systematics and Species Identification. Thomas Geissmann, International Zoo News 42(8):467-501, 1995.

Abstract: A study of wild and captive gibbons and museum specimens, and a survey of the literature, suggests that gibbons (genus Hylobates) include at least 11, possibly 12, species, which form four distinct groups (subgenera Hylobates, Bunopithecus, Nomascus, and Symphalangus): these are the 44-chromosome gibbons (including the Hylobates lar group and H. klossii ( 6 species); the hoolock (H. hoolock, 1 species); the H. concolor group (3, possibly 4, species); and the siamang (H. syndactylus, 1 species). A key for the identification of adult gibbons based on visual characteristics is presented, together with colour photographs and distribution maps of all recognised species (11). In addition, diagnostic vocal characteristics of all species are described and illustrated with sonagrams. (This paper is a revised and much enlarged version of an article which was originally published in German in Zeitschrift des Kolner Zoo 37(2): 65-77, 1994.)

Limitations of Captive Breeding in Endangered Species Recovery. Noel F.R. Snyder, Scott R. Derrickson, Steven R. Beissinger, James W. Wiley, Thomas B. Smith, William D. Toone and Brian Miller. Conservation Biology 10(2):338-348, 1996.

Abstract: The use of captive breeding in species recovery has grown enormously in recent years, but without a concurrent growth in appreciation of its limitations. Problems with (1) establishing self-sufficient captive populations, (2) poor success in reintroductions, (3) high costs, (4) domestication, (5) preemption of other recovery techniques, (6) disease outbreaks, and (7) maintaining administrative continuity have all been significant. The technique has often been invoked prematurely and should not normally be employed before a careful field evaluation of costs and benefits of all conservation alternatives has been accomplished and a determination made that captive breeding is essential for species survival. Merely demonstrating that a species' population is declining or has fallen below what may be a minimum viable size does not constitute enough analysis to justify captive breeding as a recovery measure. Captive breeding should be viewed as a last resort in species recovery and not a prophylactic or long-term solution because of the inexorable genetic and phenotypic changes that occur in captive environments. Captive breeding can play a crucial role in recovery of some species for which effective alternatives are unavailable in the short term. However, it should not displace habitat and ecosystem protection nor should it be invoked in the absence of comprehensive efforts to maintain or restore populations in wild habitats. Zoological institutions with captive breeding programs should operate under carefully defined conditions of disease prevention and genetic/behavioral management. More important, these institutions should help preserve biodiversity through their capacities for public education, professional training, research, and support of in situ conservation efforts.


African Primates: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, Revised Edition. John F. Oates, compiler. IUCN, Gland. Switzerland, 1996.

Summary: This is a fully revised edition of the Action Plan for African Primate Conservation, first published by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group in 1986. The plan deals with primates of continental Africa, excluding Madagascar. Sixty-four species (15 prosimians, 46 monkeys and 3 apes) are recognized in the plan, which takes account of new taxonomic research.

A revised system is used to rate species for conservation action. Species are rated on a scale of 1-5 for the degree of threat they face, and either 1 or 2 points are added based on their taxonomic distinctiveness. The threat ratings are compatible with, but not identical to, the new IUCN categories. Under this rating system, the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is the highest ranked species for action. This plan gives more attention to threatened subspecies. Forty-three subspecies and distinct local populations are identified as deserving of special conservation attention and are prioritized for action.

As in the previous plan, important sites for conservation action are identified based on the recognition of distinct regional communities. The original plan listed 42 projects across 11 regional communities. These projects included both basic surveys and reserve management schemes. The new plan reviews what action has been taken on these projects in the last 10 years: some action has been taken on 38 projects, but in 10 cases this action has been interrupted by civil war or other political instability, a growing impediment to effective conservation in Africa. Based on this review, specific recommendations for further action are made, including 24 high priority projects, of which political factors mitigate against immediate action on six, and the preparation and implementation of a Red Colobus Conservation Action Plan.

1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 1996.

Summary: The 1996 Red List was compiled and edited by Jonathan Baillie and Brian Groombridge in association with experts in the IUCN Species Survival Commission, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Birdlife International and The Nature Conservancy. With the listing of 5,205 threatened taxa, it is the most comprehensive inventory ever of threatened species and subspecies (and populations) on a global scale: the conservation status of every mammal species in the world, following the earlier comprehensive evaluation of birds, is assessed for the first time and the number of invertebrate and fish species included has risen sharply.

The new IUCN categories (Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable) and criteria, approved by IUCN council in 1994, have been adopted and applied in order to achieve a more objective system for classifying conservation status that allows comparisons to be made across species in assessing likelihood of extinction. Details of the new system can be found in the section entitled The New IUCN Categories and Criteria and in Annex 2. The format of the publication has been changed to appeal to a much wider audience while retaining scientific content, and, where possible, common names have been included for all species and subspecies. The following lists are included: List 1. Threatened Species; List 2. Lower Risk: conservation dependent; List 3. Lower Risk: near threatened; List 4. Extinct and Extinct in the Wild; List 5. Data Deficient; List 6. Subspecies and Populations; List 7. Taxa Removed from the 1996 Red List. A comprehensive index including families follows the listings.

A Pocket Guide to IUCN - The World Conservation Union, 1996-1997. IUCN. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 1996.

Summary: IUCN is a unique union of more than 880 state, government agency and NGO members spread across 133 countries. It also is a network of environmental expertise made up of IUCN staff and more than 8,000 volunteer scientists and practitioners contributing to conservation through IUCN's six global commissions. The pocket guide provides six entry points to gain access to this multifaceted resource of people, networks, programs and publications: Table of Contents; General Information on IUCN; Thematic Programmes and Networks; Six Global Commissions, including the Species Survival Commission; Regional/Country Offices and Programmes; and Information Resources. The guide will be updated periodically.

The IUCN Publications Catalogue 1996-1997, which incorporates publications from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, TRAFFIC International and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and all IUCN publications may be ordered from:

IUCN Publications Services Unit

219c Huntingdon Road

Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK

Tel: 44-1223-277894

Fax: 44-1223-277175


For all North American sales inquiries, contact:

Island Press

P.O. Box 7

Covelo, CA 95428 USA

Tel: 1-800-828-1302 or 707-983-6432

Fax: 707-983-6414



This issue of Asian Primates is dedicated to the memory of Elsie R. Marshall, who died in January 1997. She was the wife of Joe T. Marshall and his helpmeet in every sense of the word. The lives of those of us who were fortunate enough to enjoy her friendship were enriched indeed.


Financial support for the production and distribution of Asian Primates was provided by the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation.



On 15 July 1996, the 1995 Forbes list of the world's wealthiest individuals was released. Half of the top ten are Asian, reflecting the region's growing prominence and economic clout. Asia's contribution to global economic output has risen from 17 percent in 1980 to 25 percent today. Of the 447 billionaires counted by Forbes, 123 are Asian. The number of Asian billionaires by country is: Hong Kong, 19; India, 3; Indonesia, 10; Japan, 41; South Korea, 7; Malaysia, 11; Philippines, 9; Singapore, 4; Taiwan, 7; Thailand, 10. The total number of billionaires in Japan remained the same at 41 from 1991 to 1996, while the number of billionaires in the rest of Asia increased from 27 in 1991 to 82 in 1996.

On 10 September 1996, the People's Republic of China sent a pair of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) to the San Diego Zoo in California. The pandas will remain at the zoo for 12 years under terms of a loan agreement. The two are the first pandas to be allowed into the United States since 1993 when officials banned the importation of the endangered species. The position changed 18 months later when the zoo pledged to focus on research on the pandas, to be conducted by the zoo's Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES), more than on public exhibit. Under terms of the agreement with the Chinese government, the zoo will donate US$1 million annually to habitat preservation projects in China. The zoo will pay the Chinese up to US$600,000 depending on how long a cub survives, but any offspring born in San Diego remain Chinese property and will be sent to China within three years. Earlier, on 21 July 1996, two white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum)being sent as a goodwill gift by the San Diego Zoo died apparently from heat and dehydration while being trucked over 1,900 km from Shanghai to the Chengdu Zoo in western China. The San Diego Zoo is reported not to have sent specialists with the rhinos for the Chinese leg of the trip, and the Chengdu Zoo is reported to have deviated from a plan to transport the rhinos by rail.

On 11 October 1996, The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and political activist Jose Ramos-Horta, two leading figures pressing to bring peace to the troubled region of East Timor. Ramos-Horta represents the largest of East Timor's opposition guerrilla groups, Fretilin. Civil war broke out in East Timor in 1975 on the eve of independence from Portugal. Indonesia then invaded East Timor and annexed it, a move that remains unrecognized by the United Nations. In the years that followed, it has been estimated that one-third of the population of East Timor, now roughly 720,000, died due to starvation, epidemics, war and terror.

This column will resume its regular coverage of socioeconomic and sociopolitical events relevant to conservation action in Asia with vol. 6, no. 1.



Second Annual International Wildlife Law Conference, 8 April 1997,Washington, DC, USA. Contact: David Favre, Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Nutrition of Wild and Captive Wild Animals, 16-18 May 1997, Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM. Contact: Rodney Warick, The Nutrition Society, 10 Cambridge Court, 210 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7NJ, UNITED KINGDOM. Fax: 44-171-602-1756.


The Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, 9-10 June 1997, Harare, Zimbabwe. A Global Biodiversity Forum to promote links between CITES and the Convention on Biodivesity will precede the meeting on 7-8 June 1997. Contact: Simon Stuart, Head, Species Programme, IUCN, Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, SWITZERLAND. Fax: 41-22-999-00-02.


Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare International Summer School, 7-18 July 1997, Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND, U.K. Contact: Hamish Macandrew, UnivEd Training and Conference Centre, UnivEd Technologies Ltd., 11 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA, SCOTLAND U.K.

Fax: 0131 650 9019

The Third International Great Apes World Conference, 4-8 November 1997,
Kuching, Sarawak MALAYSIA.Co-sponsored by Orangutan Foundation International, the Malaysian Tourist Promotion Board and Malaysia Airlines. Contact: Gary Shapiro, OFI, 822 S. Wellesley Ave., Los Angeles CA, 90049, USA. Fax: 310-207-1556. e-mail:


XVIIth Congress of the International Primatological Society , 18 September- 2 October 1998 Anatananarivo, Madagascar. The meeting will be housed at the University of Antananarivo. Contact for registration forms and other documents: the Secretary of the XVIIth Congress of the International Primatological Society, Faculty of Sciences, Building P, Door 207, B.P. 906, Antananarivo, MADAGASCAR.

Asian Primates is published by the Primate Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, and Conservation International. Please direct all questions, comments and materials for submission to:

Ardith A. Eudey

Vice-chairwoman for Asia

IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group


Editor, Asian Primates

164 Dayton Street

Upland, CA 91786-3120 USA

Tel. & Fax: (909) 982-9832

Asian Primates is printed on recycled paper

Artwork by Stephen D. Nash

This issue of Asian Primates was printed in March 1997

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