International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 567–582 | Cite as

A Comparison of Hylobatid Survey Methods Using Triangulation on Müller’s Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri) in Sungai Wain Protection Forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

  • Lauren J. Gilhooly
  • Yaya Rayadin
  • Susan M. Cheyne


Density estimates are a common tool for assessing potential changes in primate populations over time and for evaluating important habitat characteristics such as preferred food sources. There are several different methods for estimating the density and population of wild primates, though the accuracy of these methods across different habitats and species is difficult to assess. We calculated the density of the population of Müller’s gibbon (Hylobates muelleri) in the pristine and regenerating forest in Sungai Wain Protection Forest in East Kalimantan, Indonesia from May to July 2012. We collected data on the location of bonded pairs and compared the results of two different density estimate methods: triangulation and point transect sampling using Distance software. The triangulation method yielded population estimates of 486.9 ± SD 132.6 individuals in the pristine forest and 274.3 ± SD 179.0 in the regenerating forest. Distance analysis produced population estimates of 580.5 ± CV 20.6 and 388.4 ± CV 23.4 individuals for the pristine and regenerating forest, respectively. The difference in the density estimates between methods was not significant. We hypothesize that point transect sampling overestimated group density based on the unusually high estimate, but further investigation into the accuracy of point transect analysis using Distance with respect to gibbons is needed. We conclude that triangulation remains an important tool for hylobatid surveys because of its efficacy in locating gibbon groups using acoustic detection.


Borneo Distance sampling Point transect Triangulation 



We thank the Indonesian State Ministry of Research and Technology for granting permission to conduct research in Sungai Wain Protection Forest. This project was funded by AZA Ape TAG and Les Vallée des Singes. We gratefully acknowledge Pak Agus, Wiwit Sasatramidjaja, and local Sungai Wain Protection Forest staff and students for their help with logistics and data collection. We thank Dr. Gabriella Fredriksson for her valuable knowledge on the history of Sungai Wain Protection Forest. We thank Drs. Thad Bartlett, Warren Brockleman, Marina Cords, David Lee, Joanna Setchell, Carl Traeholt, and five anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous drafts of the manuscript. The manuscript was greatly improved through the numerous discussions on gibbon conservation and survey methods at the 25th Congress of the International Primatological Society. We also thank Hellen Bersacola, Dr. David Ehlers Smith, Dr. Eric Rexstad, and Danica Stark for their assistance with distance analysis and map design. This research was conducted with the approval of Oxford Brookes University and in accordance with the British Sociological Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren J. Gilhooly
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yaya Rayadin
    • 2
  • Susan M. Cheyne
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Forestry FacultyMulawarman UniversitySamarindaIndonesia
  3. 3.School of Social Science and HumanitiesOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, The Recanti-Kaplan Centre, Department of ZoologyOxford UniversityOxfordUnited Kingdom
  5. 5.Orangutan Tropical Peatland ProjectPalangka RayaIndonesia

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