Northern white-cheeked gibbon

Scientific name 
Nomascus leucogenys
Northern white-cheeked gibbon

What they look like

Northern white-cheeked gibbons are a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that males and females have different coat colourings. While males have black hair all over their bodies with the exception of their distinct white cheeks, females are reddish/grey in colour, with dark brown/black hair fur on the crown of their head and back of the neck. One of the most distinctive features of the northern white-cheeked gibbon is their long arms, up to 1.4 times as long as the legs, enabling them to swing through tree canopies with ease.

Animal facts

Gibbons spend their lives swinging through the treetops, eating fruit and singing songs. They live in small family groups which usually include a pair of adults, who mate for life, and their offspring. The family will defend a territory around 20-150 hectares in size, which is up to ten times the size of ZSL London Zoo. Each morning the adult gibbons sing songs to warn rivals to stay out of their territory and to reaffirm the pair-bond between them. 

What they eat

Mostly fruit, with some leaves and insects


Subtropical rainforest

Where they live

Vietnam and Laos. They range previously included parts of China, where the species are sadly now extinct.


Deforestation and poaching.

Conservation status
Critically Endangered