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Finding and saving the world’s rarest primates

By Lara J Carim, on 3 June 2011

The Hainan gibbon, a small Chinese ape, is the world’s rarest primate. Lottie Davis describes the discussion about its survival at the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology on 24 May, the International Day for Biological Diversity.

The ‘Journey to find and save the world’s rarest primates’ event provided an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to come together and celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, as well as the International Year of Forests. Organised by gibbonologist Helen Chatterjee (UCL Genetics, Evolution and the Environment), the evening sought to raise the profile of the Hainan gibbon, the world’s rarest primate.

The Hainan Gibbon. Copyright Jessica Bryant 2011.The evening was extremely thought provoking and provided a means to highlight the crises facing many relatively unknown species. With several people within the audience admitting to not knowing that the gibbon, a small ape living in China, was the most endangered ape, Helen Thirlway, the Director at International Primate Protection League (UK), reported that there are still many people who do not even know what a gibbon is.