Black Crested Gibbon

East Asia


Nomascus concolor


  • Habitat loss due to residential and commercial development
  • Trapping and hunting

The Black Crested Gibbon is categorised as an ape species and not belonging to the monkey family. This almost completely arboreal primate of Southeast Asia uses brachiation or arms swinging to move from one tree to another, with its long powerful arms enabling it to move very fast to avoid hunters or predators.

Both sexes have body weight from 7 to 10 kg during adulthood and have black hairless faces. Males have a pure black coat but females are yellowish-beige in colour. Its arms have a measurement that is twice the size of its body length, making them the gibbon species with the longest arm length relative to body size. It upholds a matriarchal society with females usually leading loud, long songs that are used for defence, mate attraction, pair bonding, or mate defence.

Destructive local forest use and hunting are the two biggest threats to the Black Crested Gibbon. Local taboos don’t deter the capture and killing of these animals for subsistence, for pet trades, and for use in medicinal products. Human encroachment also limits areas where they can live in peace or even find enough food without competition.