We’re gibbon guardians – both within zoos and in the wild!

Perth Zoo is home to White-cheeked Gibbons and Javan Gibbons, who are important ambassadors for their wild cousins.

But caring for our gibbons is not where our work with these small apes ends.

Global Gibbon Programs

We take a leading role in the regionally coordinated breeding program for White-cheeked gibbons, and the globally coordinated breeding program for Javan Gibbons.

That means we work closely with other zoos and wildlife parks to breed and care for these small apes, ensuring they’re around for generations to come.

As part of our role in the program, over the past 20 years, nine beautiful White-cheeked gibbons and eight Javan Gibbons have been born, many who have gone on to live in other zoos and continue to contribute to the program.

We’re experts in gibbon care, and we’re proud to lend a hand all over the world to help these incredible apes thrive. Beyond caring for our own gibbons, our teams also:

  • coordinate international conferences with gibbon experts in research, conservation, husbandry and health from all over the world to share knowledge and empower positive change for these forgotten species
  • develop guidelines for conservation projects around the world to follow on best practices to rehabilitate and release gibbon species
  • provide expert advice on how to look after gibbons for zoos and wildlife parks that are new to the species.

Gibbon Matchmaking

Our Primate Supervisor Holly Thompson is the gibbon species coordinator, also known as the gibbon matchmaker!

That means she works with zoos all over the world to make recommendations on breeding, husbandry, and animal transfers.

This important work helps ensure the population of gibbons within zoos are genetically viable, and each individual is given the social structure it needs for a happy life.

“It’s a big job and I oversee hundreds of animals across a number of different zoos and wildlife parks," Holly said. 

"As species coordinator, I make sure every animal is living in the right social group and can be matched up with the best breeding partner.

“Much like humans, gibbons are known to be monogamous so we always plan to pair for life, but as we continue to learn, this isn’t always for every individual.

“I’ve managed Javan Gibbons since 2007 and White-cheeked Gibbons since 2009 – it’s incredibly rewarding to work alongside many other dedicated conservationists around the globe, all focused on saving these small apes.”

Gibbons in the Wild

We provide funds to our conservation partner Fauna and Flora International to help them support wild habitat in Pu Mat National Park in Vietnam.

With our support, conservationists in the field can carry out population monitoring and mapping of wild Northern White-cheeked Gibbons.

Plus, it also helps our partners engage with the local community to fund forest protectors who can keep poachers and wildlife traffickers at bay!

Pu Mat National Park is one of Vietnam’s biggest national parks and provides habitat for several hundred gibbon groups. That means it’s a global stronghold for wild populations of the Northern White-cheeked Gibbon!

We are really gibbon it our all when it comes to gibbon conservation. But none of this work would be possible without you!

If you’d like to stand on the frontline of conservation with us, make a donation here.