The first annual gibbon conference was held last week at the Natural Science center of Greensboro, North Carolina. The conference was a result of a shared desire among zoo staff, researchers, and conservation organizations to fight to save this family of apes. Attendees were from seven different countries representing all categories of involvement with gibbons. During the conference we had many productive conversations about how we can all help conserve gibbons in the wild, while also providing the best captive care. The different presentation sessions focused on conservation, ecology, husbandry, captive management, and population management.
For me, the highlight of the conference was the talk given by the key-note speaker, Dr. Warren Brockelman. Dr. Brockelman has been studying gibbons in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand for more than 30 years while teaching behavior and ecology at Mahidol University in Bangkok. He talked for more than 2 hours about gibbon taxonomy, behavior, ecology, conservation, and new methods for counting gibbons in the wild. It was a pleasure to meet someone whose papers I have referenced 100s of times!
A few of the other interesting talks: Continue reading