Acoustic Monitoring for Improving the Conservation of Critically Endangered Hainan Gibbon

Published: 05 July 2022
Last edited: 05 July 2022
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The Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus), one of the critically endangered species on the IUCN Red List, has only 35 individuals currently living in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforests, Hainan, China. Comprehensive tracking and monitoring are required for better conservation, but because of the difficulty in vivo tracking, acoustic equipment is needed for monitoring.


“Tech4Nature” is a global project jointly launched by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Huawei, aiming to develop more scientific protection measures, combined with the ICT industry, digital technology and IUCN Green List standards, provides technical support for the acoustic monitoring project of Hainan gibbons. To date, full coverage of 5 family groups monitoring has been achieved, automatic identification and real-time back transmission of Hainan gibbon acoustic monitoring have been realized.


East Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Local actors
Species management
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Genetic Conservation
Species Status Assessment
Species Monitoring and Research
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Infrastructure development
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Sustainable development goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Indirect through consumers
Indirect through government
Indirect through legal actors


Hainan, People's Republic of China


  • Hainan Gibbon monitoring
  • biodiversity loss
  • Relationship between human and nature


  • Hainan gibbons
  • Local communities
  • Protected areas communities
  • Academia
  • Visitors

How do the building blocks interact?

The three building blocks are carried out in chronological order. Field Research (BB1) is the basis for Sound Recording Equipment layout and installation (BB2) and so as BB2 for Data Quantification and Database Establishment (BB3). The three blocks share a common goal of acoustic monitoring and individual recognition of Hainan Gibbons. They are designed to allow for step-by-step data collection, storage and analysis to achieve the above-mentioned objectives.


  • Enhance monitoring efficiency: The equipment installed in this project can be activated by the sound of Hainan gibbons, then records the data and transmits back in real time, and can also realize automatic sound recognition, which effectively improves the efficiency of monitoring, and achieves a new stage in Hainan gibbon acoustic monitoring.
  • Assist in biodiversity conservation: The establishment of the cloud database will provide a scientific basis for the discovery of potential solitary or groups of Hainan gibbon, contributing to the biodiversity conservation in Hainan.
  • Contribute to the study of human: Hainan gibbons have a complex acoustic communication system similar to humans, and a stable monogamous or bi-marital mate system. The study of their behaviors starting from their acoustic can help us better understand the origins of human society, family, language, communication, and the evolution of other behaviors.

Contributed by

yun.xiao_41725's picture

Yun Xiao International Union for Conservation of Nature

Other contributors

International Union for Conservation of Nature
Jichao Wang
Hainan Institute of National Park
Yanfei Tang
Hainan Institute of National Park
Yaping Wu