Black crested Gibbon

(Nomascus (Hylobates) concolor)




Facts about this animal

Hylobates concolor is an average-sized gibbon with a head-body length of 45-64 cm and a body-weight of about 5.6 kg. Both sexes have an crest of erect hair on the crown.


Males and females have about the same size, but there is a clear sexual dimorphism in body colour. Males are black all over, sometimes with white, fawn or reddish cheek patches and females are fawn or buff or golden with a black patch on top of the head. To complicate the situation further, there are different subspecies which are differently coloured, and infants look different from adults being whitish to fawn at birth and turning black at six months of age.


Black-Crested Gibbons differ from other gibbon species in that they do not necessarily live in strictly monogamous family group, but may be be polygynous, with an average group size of seven to eight animals. Family groups comprise one adult male, from one to four adult females, and numerous offspring of various ages. Both sexes of this species emit interactive songs. Males have a throat pouch resonating their calls. Daily calling, which begins on waking, maintains group bonds and warns other family groups away from the territory claimed by a pair or group.

Did you know?
That black gibbons practise "duetting" i.e. vocalizations which occur between the breeding male and female, and are dominated by the female? Duets are important because they help to maintain the pair bond between the breeding pair and also help to establish and maintain the territory.


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Nomascus (Hylobates) concolor
Name (English) Black crested Gibbon
Name (French) Gibbon noir
Name (German) Schopfgibbon
Name (Spanish) Gibón Crestado, Gibón negro
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Dave Watts



Range Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Viet Nam
Habitat Tropical rainforest
Wild population 1,300-2,000 (2006) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 4 reported to ISIS (2006)

In the Zoo

Black crested Gibbon


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 33 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Dave Watts

Why do zoos keep this animal

The black crested gibbon is endangered in the wild. It is an extremely appealing primate, very agile and vocal, and would thus be a good ambassador species for primate and forest conservation in its indo-chinese range. Four regions implement coordinated ex situ breeding programmes.