News & AnalysisPRIMATOLOGY

Last-Ditch Effort to Save Embattled Ape

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Science  28 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6016, pp. 390
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6016.390

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The Hainan gibbon may be the world's most endangered primate. By the latest tally, there are only 22 Hainan gibbons—one family with 11 members, another with seven members, and four loners—remaining in their last refuge, Bawangling National Nature Reserve on southern China's Hainan Island. Here, rangers and scientists hope to prevent the first primate extinction in recorded history. Government protection and high fecundity have helped the species recapture some lost ground, giving researchers reason for guarded optimism.