Strengthening community-based conservation on biocultural species of Eastern Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys), and its habitats in Kheshorter-Thawthee-pworgaw community forest of the Salween Peace Park, Karen State, Burma.
This project aims to implement community-led law enforcement and monitoring, traditional forest management based on spiritual customs, gibbon population inventories, and the establishment of a local advocacy team. The IUCN status review (Brockelman & Geissmann, 2019) indicates that hunting, habitat loss, and fragmentation are the largest threats to the species throughout it’s remaining range, but Karen State represents one of the only sites where important populations are subject to seemingly manageable pressures. Since hunting of gibbons is prohibited by Karen law, throughout community forests, local communities have shown a significant interest in taking charge of protecting them from outside threats
The project aims to conserve the Hoolock gibbon by implementing activities below.
- Patrolling the areas to stop illegal poaching; the local people do not hunt gibbon since it is a biocultural species, but they are often illegally poached by people from neighboring states, so it is important to patrol regularly to stop poaching activities.
- Surveying to monitor the population; we did not know the number of the gibbon individual in the area well, but roughly estimated to be between 28-30 groups so surveying more is required to know the population better for effective management.
- Reforesting degraded corridors to connect gibbon population to other habitats, to promote viable population.
- Conducting awareness raising in schools, communities to revitalized knowledge lost, enhance cooperation in conservation and performing forest ordinations to sustain spiritual connection with nature play vital role in successful Indigenous People conservation