Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)

siamang

Close to Tropical World, and opposite the otter enclosure.

Fast facts

Status Endangered

Size Up to 1m tall

Weight 10.5-14kg

Gestation 7-8 months

Young 1

Life span Up to 44 years. This age is expected to be lower in the wild.

What do I eat?

Predominantly fruit and leaves with a small proportion of insects and flowers

These gibbons can be quite fussy when it comes to eating leaves, as they will usually choose the new and young leaves instead of large, older leaves.

Where do I live?

Siamangs are found in Indonesia (Sumatra), Peninsular Malaysia and in a small area in southern Peninsular Thailand.

These animals live within semi-deciduous forests (where the trees will lose their leaves and new ones grow quickly to replace them) and tropical evergreen forests. They prefer to live high in the tree canopy, where they can move around easily, and also find food and places to rest and sleep.

Breeding

Siamangs are known to mate for life (monogamous) and will often have 1 baby every 2-3 years. Soon after birth, the young gibbon will cling on to its mother and will feed from her. The mother will continue to carry the youngster until it is roughly 1 year old, and then the male will take over most of the care.

A young siamang can stay with its parents until around 6 years old, and then it will go off in search of a mate, which can take many years! They are able to breed from around 8-9 years old.

Predators

As siamangs live high up in the trees and can be very quick when swinging through the branches, there are not many animals that will try and catch them. However it has been known for pythons to try and hunt them.

Conservation

The siamangs are facing a very uncertain future, as they are currently listed as an endangered species. These animals face many threats, but the biggest is the loss of their habitat caused by more land being used for farming and roads being built. They also face the threat of being captured and sold illegally in the pet trade. Sadly the siamang is one of the most heavily traded species of the gibbon family.

These animals are found within many national parks, and are protected by law throughout the areas they are found in. There are also many primate rescue centres that are set up to protect different primate species, including the siamang. They aim to help them if they are injured and if possible ensure they can be re-released back in to the wild. In addition the siamang can be found in captive breeding programs in several animal collections worldwide.

Did you know?

Siamangs sing together as a pair or family, it helps to make their bonds stronger and also makes them heard in their territory, which stops other gibbons trying to take over their area.

The song of siamang can last up to 15 minutes and can be heard up to 2km away!

Siamangs have an area of bare skin by their throat called a ‘throat sack’ which is used to make their songs louder and they can inflate this throat sack to nearly the size of their head!

The siamang is the largest and loudest of the gibbon family.

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Value for money and a great day outArmy Welfare Service, 18th March 2015