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Genetic differentiation of agile gibbons between Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia.

Hirohisa Hirai, Azusa Hayano, Hiroyuki Tanaka, Alan R. Mootnick, Hery Wijayanto, and Dyah Perwitasari-Farajallah

The gibbon (Hylobatidae) is a group of small apes rich in biodiversity that have adapted to the tropical rain forest of South-East Asia and radiated into numerous discrete species (12-14). Some aspects of their classification are still controversial, in particular the differentiation of subspecies (Groves, 2001; Brandon-Jones, et al., 2004; Mootnick, 2006), which is important for the conservation of these endangered apes. The locality is a critical parameter for diagnosing subspecies of this group, which is morphologically very diverse (e.g., pelage pattern) (Marshall & Sugardjito, 1986; Mootnick, 2006). Thus it is important to use animals of known origin for genetic studies to deduce the radiation of the family of Hylobatidae, which is crucial for planning the conservation of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) (Crandall, et al., 2000; Frankham, et al., 2002). We have aimed to collect samples from gibbons of know origin, and consequently have been able to demonstrate essential cytogenetic and molecular genetic differentiation of agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis) between Sumatra and Kalimantan. These results provide important information on their biogeography and ESUs, which are preliminary data providing a basis for future comprehensive evolutionary genetic investigations of small apes. We summarize the essential points of the data obtained so far, and give our point of view in this chapter.

The Gibbons: New perspectives on small ape socioecology and population biology (S. Lappan, D. Whittaker eds), Springer, pp. 37-49, 2009.


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