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Gibbons are known for their vocal abilities. Male and female pairs duet to strengthen their bond and defend their territory. The largest of all gibbons, the siamang is also the loudest as its musical calls can be heard through dense rainforest foliage up to two miles away.

Oil palm plantations are spreading across Indonesia to the detriment of its rainforests and the siamangs that live there. In 2008, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) initiated a program to certify companies that produce sustainable palm oil without clear-cutting rainforests. Despite a slow start, markets show that manufacturing companies are responding as a record amount of palm oil was purchased from sustainable producers in March 2010.

Did You Know?

The siamang boasts a throat sac that inflates to nearly the size of its head to amplify its call.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Hylobates syndactylus

Malaysia and Sumatra

Tropical rainforest

2.5 to 3.0 ft

23 years

Zoo Location:
Gibbon Islands

Primarily fruit and leaves, some invertebrates

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Endangered)