Cao-vit Gibbon

East Asia


Nomascus nasutus


  • Habitat destruction
  • Poaching

The Cao-Vit Gibbon which also goes by the name Eastern Black Crested Gibbon is considered as the second rarest ape in the world and can be found in southeast China and in northern Vietnam. Between 1960 and 2000, there were no sightings of this arboreal primate which is why it is one of “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates”.

Like apes, gibbons lack a tail and its arm to body ratio is the longest of any primate in existence. The only difference between a male and female Cao-Vit Gibbon is its black and buffish-yellow colour, respectively. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, flowers, and leaves with a preference for figs but it will also eat insects and birds’ eggs.

It is now precariously close to extinction due to overhunting and rapid habitat loss. Most of the land patches where it can found are destroyed to make way for livestock grazing and collection of firewood. Because of diminishing natural environment where it can find protective dwellings and food to survive, the tendency is either to starve or be forced to move someplace unsuitable or more vulnerable to predators.