The Gibbons of Ratanakiri
Cambodia's first ever experience.
A simply amazing experience for all wildlife lovers to see the incredibly rare ‘northern yellow-cheeked gibbons’ in their natural habitat in the Ratanakiri province of Northeast Cambodia. This rare and endangered species of gibbon was only discovered in 2010 with an estimated 500 groups at the site, this is the largest known population in the world!
In the west of Ratanakiri province, lies a luscious forest called Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area. This protected 550 square km area is home to this extremely important gibbon population, as well as a host of other endangered species.
‘See Cambodia Differently' in partnership with 'DutchCo Trekking Cambodia’, ‘Conservation International’ and the local communities have put together an exclusive one night gibbon spotting trek, the first of its kind in Cambodia.
It's a unique experience for enthusiastic wild life spotters and those who are interested in biology and nature conservation. Only very small groups of between 2-6 visitors are allowed to visit the site making this an extremely special opportunity indeed.
The northern yellow-cheeked gibbon.
Based on population surveys conducted in 2009, there are an estimated 500 groups of northern yellow-cheeked gibbons at the site; each group consists of two adults and their juvenile offspring. The gibbon species in Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area was described for the very first time in 2010 in a multinational collaborative effort by primatologists throughout the region and with data contributions from Conservation International researchers at the site.
The (VSSPCA) was extremely important to the discovery of the species and genetic material recovered from the faeces of the wild gibbon group helped demonstrate that this indeed was a new species.
The discovery of new apes are incredibly rare and the opportunity to see this species in their natural habitat is all the more unique. This new species, Nomascus annamensis, has not yet been assessed for is threat status by the World Conservation Union (IUCN Red List), however it is extremely likely that they will be listed as Endangered.
At the site it is possible to see and follow a family group of an adult male, adult female, a sub-adult, a juvenile and an infant. Gibbons are monogamous with groups generally consisting of 2 adults and up to 3 offspring. When the offspring reach maturity at around 7 to 10 years they leave the group to find a mate in another part of the forest to raise their own offspring. Gibbons are fiercely territorial of their areas of the forest and make their claims known through ritualistic vocalisations.
The gibbons live in perfect harmony with the Kavet people who consider the gibbons as extremely important; they are not hunted but respected and share the jungle together. This in stark contrast with many other areas in Southeast Asia, where gibbons and other primates are persecuted and hunted for bushmeat, for their perceived medicinal properties, or for the trade in pets. That such a healthy population persists in this area is a testament to the importance of the site and its relatively untouched nature. We hope that responsibly showing you the gibbons in their natural environment will help preserve this species and the area for generations to come.
Why come Gibbon spotting with us.
- We are the only official partnership that has direct access to the gibbon sites, which are part of an ongoing conservation research project.
- Being escorted by specialist guides and researchers you have a much higher chance of seeing the gibbons, estimated to be about 70%.
- Our project is environmentally responsible and has taken many steps to ensure that the welfare of the gibbons is at the centre of everything we do. You will not just get the opportunity to see gibbons in the Veun Sai-Pang Conservation Area as the site is teeming with other wildlife. The site is incredibly important biologically, and is also home to two other newly discovered species; the ‘Iridescent short-legged lizard’ and ‘Walston’s tube-nosed bat’.
- The site is managed by a community-based ecotourism group made up of democratically elected community members. All profits which go to the community are spent by the community on developing the community. Local people are also employed in positions such as trackers, guides and wildlife enforcement, which help maintain the forest and wildlife for their long-term benefit.
- Responsible nature tourism such as that we provide gives support to poor local indigenous communities and threatened wildlife. Help us to make this project the success it deserves to be.
$390 per person for 2 people.
$290 per person for 3 to 6 people.
Groups consist of 2-6 people only.
The treks are available from November 1st through June 16th.
All meals, specialist guides and rangers, 1 night at the jungle gibbon research centre, conservation and gibbon fee, moutain bikes, boat and ferry costs, equipment hire, suport vehicle and pre-tour evening briefing.