We can finally add gibbons to the list of sighted animals. While we have heard them hooting (a very distinctive hoot), we haven’t been able to spot them till today.
While out on patrol (he calls it patrolling but really he is just hiking), Ben heard a pair not too far away – heading in that direction, he then heard another pair hooting from the other direction. Soon he was in the midst of them and less than 10 metres away, they came pretty low to the ground and were just really mad at him for invading their territory. He saw a mother, father and two youngsters up higher swinging. He was able to watch them for about 20 minutes. Then he decided to hoot back – that scared them off right away. He then walked for about 200 metres and right in front of him a little above eye level in the trail was another female – not sure if she was part of the family or from another group.
Also today, he saw another group of languars and more hornbills who were flushed out of their fruit tree. Not a bad wildlife day. It will be interesting to see what protection can do for these animals. If we can keep the place safe enough from hunters and poachers, the wildlife which is obviously there, should start to feel safer and be more willing to come out. It is really quite a balancing act because we want them safe and to feel safe but maintaining their wariness of humans is also not a bad thing for their own good if we cannot keep the place safe. It would be ideal if they realised that a certain area was safe and they worked out where the boundaries were. We really need to get some development and training going on in the village to educate about the impact of hunting and also find other livelihoods for them that can directly come out of their non-hunting. We need some development activities which impact them directly which is also contingent on their non-hunting.
No cameras today either. I have his little compact here in Phnom Penh trying to get cleaned up – it is foggy and we were guessing that there was mould build up inside but no repair shop wants to attempt to open it up since it is not broken. I did manage to find a guy who has repaired camera traps before – I hope he can fix ours – both will not power on. It will be fun to see what what we can catch in these traps.
|This wasn’t taken by us but this is a female gibbon contemplating something… see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pileated_Gibbon_(Hylobates_pileatus).jpg for credit|