Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus

Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus

Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus


Indonesia, Thailand, Sumatra

The Siamang lives in primary and secondary semi-deciduous and tropical evergreen forest. All levels of the canopy are used, although emergent trees are required for resting and sleeping.

Siamangs are known for their booming boisterous calls and super close families. They are endangered from complex threats including #palmoil. You can save them by boycotting #palmoil in the supermarket. It’s the #Boycott4Wildlife via @palmoildetect

Siamangs occur at lower densities in secondary forest, but can persist in secondary areas. They range from the lowlands up to 2,000 m in elevation in some areas of Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia (Yanuar 2009), with preferences for lowland and submontane/montane forest types. The species’ status in Malaysia is more uncertain, however, as with Sumatra, oil palm expansion has been identified as one of the main causes of deforestation in Peninsular Malaysia (Miyamoto et al. 2014). Also, as in Sumatra, rates of forest loss have accelerated over the last several years and are likely to range between 70-100% within the range of Symphalangus syndactylus.

Between 1985 and 2007 on Sumatra, over 40% of the conceivable habitat for this species was lost to fires, logging, road development and conversion to agriculture or plantations (Laumonier et al. 2010). The forests, where they remain, are extremely fragmented (Margono et al. 2012). Agricultural expansion (e.g., coffee, oil palm, and rubber). While some of the populations of Siamang in protected areas appear secure today, a number of these protected areas are merely gazetted or proposed. As such, the future of the siamang is even uncertain in many of these protected areas, and will depend on vastly improved conservation efforts.

Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus - Asia GIF

This species is threatened by forest conversion, mining, road construction, human encroachment and opportunistic poaching for pet trade and human consumption on Sumatra, with these threats often extending to populations in national parks and protected forests.

IUCN Red List

Siamangs have no protection or conservation in place in Sumatra…

This endangered primate faces an uncertain future, most are kept as pets and very little is done to inforce the law to protect them. The outcome to this is they are kept in shocking conditions as pets in Sumatra. This female is 8 years old and has been kept in this same cage for that whole period. I gained access through a friend, this is what I witnessed. Sad thing is there are no NGO’s to help these and the other primates caught and thrown into the pet trade. There is nowhere for them to go when rescued apart from the zoo. While taking this I had to act like a tourist who was interested in Siamangs otherwise I wouldn’t have gained access to this unseen hell. Part of me wishes I hadn’t seen such torment.

Craig Jones – Wildlife Photo Journalist, Conservationist

Photos and videos: Craig Jones – Wildlife Photo Journalist, Conservationist

Support the conservation of this species

This animal has no protections in place. Read about other forgotten species here. Create art to support this forgotten animal or raise awareness about them by sharing this post and using the #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife hashtags on social media. Also you can boycott palm oil in the supermarket.

Further Information

ICUN endangered logo

Nijman, V., Geissmann, T., Traeholt, C., Roos, C. & Nowak, M.G. 2020. Symphalangus syndactylus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T39779A17967873. Downloaded on 05 February 2021.

Craig Jones Wildlife Photography – Sumatra Behind the Scenes

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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