Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    Minister announces third success for critically endangered primate at Perth Zoo

    2/01/2001 6:30 PM

    Perth Zoo has further cemented itself as a major breeding centre for critically endangered animal species with the birth of a Silvery Gibbon.

    Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said the male Silvery Gibbon was born on November 24 to the zoo's successful breeding pair of Gibbons - one of only four in managed facilities in the world.

    The yet unnamed male is already making strong progress and will be an important addition to global efforts to help the survival of the species through managed breeding programs.

    Mrs Edwardes said the most recent birth provided a valuable opportunity to raise public awareness to the critical status of the Silvery Gibbon.

    “Success in programs such as this one ensures a breeding population outside of those animals surviving in the wild in Indonesia,” she said.

    Silvery Gibbons are native only to the Indonesian island of Java. Estimates place the remaining species population there at less than 2,000. The population is fragmented into many sub-populations not large enough or diverse enough to be viable without active conservation management.

    Mrs Edwardes said there were only four known breeding pairs of the species in captivity in the world.

    “Perth Zoo's adult pair, female ‘Hecla’ and male ‘Jury’, have produced three healthy young since the program began five years ago,” she said.

    “One of those three, ‘Khusus’ born in 1995, was recently moved to the United States to add new genes to breeding and conservation programs there.

    “This species is on the very edge of extinction. To have had not just one but three successful Silvery Gibbon births in five years is a tremendous achievement for Perth Zoo and for the future of the species.”

    The breeding success of Perth Zoo has been underlined by the recent birth of three Sumatran Tiger cubs, eight slender-tailed Meerkats and six Rothschild’s Giraffes.

    Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9421 7777