Illegal trading of primates remains a large problem despite first birth of baby gibbon in the wild from rescued parents
Tuesday, 07 November 2017
A leading primate conservation researcher at Oxford Brookes University has welcomed the arrival of a baby gibbon - the first of the species to be born in the wild to parents that were rescued from the pet trade.
However, the illegal trade of the
species remains a significant problem and more needs to be done to protect
As reported by the BBC, Professor Vincent Nijman and researchers at Oxford
Brookes have seen evidence that pet shops and sellers –
many in South East Asia – have openly advertised baby gibbons for sale as pets.
Nijman notes that “"no-one
is being punished”. Those who “come across a baby gibbon and have the option to
capture it, they are motivated to do it. It represents money and doesn't
represent any risk."
The problem is not exclusive to baby gibbons and a recent investigation led by Professor Nijman was published earlier this year on the problem of
illegal trading of orangutans in Indonesia.
notes that orangutans have been protected in Indonesia since 1931 and are not
allowed to be traded or kept as pets. The investigation found that between 1993
and 2016 at least 440 orangutans were formally confiscated but that only seven
successful prosecutions took place with lenient sentences which are “too low to
act as a deterrent”.
conservation research is an area of expertise at Oxford Brookes. Over the last 16 years, over
450 students have worked to conserve primates through the University’s MSc and
PhD in Primate Conservation.
A separate report
earlier this year was co-authored by 31 internationally recognised experts on
primate conservation, including academics from Oxford Brookes, and called for
urgent action to protect the world’s dwindling primate populations.
information on primate conservation at Oxford Brookes can be found on the Oxford Brookes website.