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Detection of a New Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) Group Using Acoustic Call Playback

Bryant, J; Brulé, A; Wong, M; Hong, X; Zhou, Z; Han, W; Jeffree, T; (2016) Detection of a New Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) Group Using Acoustic Call Playback. International Journal of Primatology , 37 (4-5) pp. 534-547. 10.1007/s10764-016-9919-8. Green open access

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Abstract

Targeted management actions informed by robust data are needed to conserve species of extreme rarity, and assessing the effectiveness of different field methods for detection and monitoring of such species is a conservation priority. Gibbons are typically detected by their daily song through passive listening surveys, but lone gibbon individuals and low-density populations are less likely to sing, making detection difficult or impossible using standard survey techniques. Call playback represents an alternative potential method for detecting gibbon presence, but there has been no empirical evaluation of the usefulness of this method in the field. We investigated the efficacy of call playback as a survey method for detecting previously unconfirmed or unknown individuals of the Critically Endangered Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus), the world’s rarest primate, in patches of good-quality forest outside the current home ranges of the three known Hainan gibbon social groups in Bawangling National Nature Reserve, Hainan, China. Call playback led to detection of a male-only call likely to have been made by a solitary male, and a previously unknown social group comprising an adult male, adult female, and an infant, increasing the number of known breeding females in the global Hainan gibbon population from five to six. Call playback therefore represents an effective tool for improved monitoring of Hainan gibbons, as well as other gibbon populations; however, it is a moderately disruptive survey technique, and should be employed sparingly, in key locations, and for short periods of time only when attempting to detect gibbon presence.

Type: Article
Title: Detection of a New Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) Group Using Acoustic Call Playback
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10764-016-9919-8
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10764-016-9919-8
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10764-016-9919-8.
Keywords: Critically Endangered, Gibbon, Nomascus hainanus, Population monitoring, Social group, Survey methods
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522017
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