Seems the Punkeys are multiplying faster than before. From The Telegraph:

The population of the world’s rarest ape has doubled after a new survey. There are now thought to be 110 Cao Vit gibbons in forests on the China-Vietnam border.

Until the latest survey by Fauna and Flora International (FFI) there were thought to be only 50 surviving gibbons.

The Cao Vit is listed as a critically endangered species and the new study will help with its future conservation.

Survey teams of biologists, government rangers and local villagers led by FFI surveyed forest on both sides of the China-Vietnam border in September last year for Cao Vit gibbon groups, counting them either by sight or by recording their evocative songs.

This is also the method they use to select contestants on American Idol.

Preliminary estimates suggest that as many as 20 family groups survive and the team were able to take pictures and make videos of the gibbon in the wild for the first time.

Gibbons were also reported in parts of the forest they had not previously been recorded in. People from Lung Hoai Village in Vietnam told project staff that they are now hearing gibbon songs near their village where they didn’t before.

FFI Vietnam project coordinator Paul Insua-Cao said: “When we realized the gibbon was rare enough to demand urgent action, we immediately began protection measures, even though we lacked the results from an exhaustive census. We didn’t want the Cao Vit gibbon to go the way of the Yangtze river dolphin, which was declared extinct last year.”

Gibbons are apes, like chimps, gorillas and orangutans, and are closely related to humans. They are native to the forests of Southeast Asia live in close-knit family groups comprising a male, 1 – 2 females and 2 – 5 offspring.

They make distinct and complex bird-like calls, called a ‘song’, which they can project up to two kilometres through the forest canopy. Adult family members sing both duets and solos (with the male and female singing different parts) in the early morning to defend their territory.

It’s like Donnie and Marie, only in the trees! And relevant!

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