By Mengey Eng
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| April 26, 2017
Habituation of Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae) in the forest surrounding Jahoo Gibbon Camp—Andoung Kralong’s community-based ecotourism project inside Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary—is allowing tourists visiting the area a unique insight into the life of these primates. A group of tourists recently visiting Jahoo Gibbon Camp sighted and spent over half an hour watching the gibbons.
“By spending so much time in the forest following the gibbons, they become used to our presence, meaning that tourists can come and easily observe the gibbons in their natural habitat without disturbing them,” said Ms. Harri Washington, Ecotourism Consultant in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.
Those visitors made an extra payment into the community’s development fund that can be used to develop social services in the community. The extra payment is for the privilege of seeing two globally Endangered species of primate—Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon and Black-shanked Douc Langur—in forest that is protected by the community at Andoung Kralong.
WCS, working with the local community, has been habituating two groups of Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbons in the forest surrounding Jahoo Gibbon Camp. One group is made up of a pair (a male and a female) and the other is a family group of six.
For sixteen days every month, two local gibbon researchers get up before dawn and spend the morning in the forest looking for one of our two groups, and collecting data on their behaviour and tolerance of human contact. Collected data is being analyzed, and results will be used to help improve the habituation process.