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Vocal Diversity and Taxonomy of Nomascus in Cambodia

  • Roger Konrad
  • Thomas Geissmann
Article

It is usually thought that Nomascus gabriellae is the only Nomascus sp. in Cambodia. We studied vocal diversity among different wild populations of Nomascus in Cambodia to assess their taxonomic relationships and to examine whether their vocal patterns correspond to forms previously described for Nomascus leucogenys siki and Nomascus gabriellae. We tape-recorded crested gibbon songs in southern Mondulkiri Province, in central Rattanakiri Province, and in 2 different districts of the Virachey National Park in northern Rattanakiri. We also tape-recorded typical songs of Nomascus leucogenys siki near the type locality of the taxon in the Bach Ma National Park in central Vietnam. We analyzed 40 song bouts from different gibbon groups, including 151 phrases of 33 females and 235 phrases of 39 males. Discriminant analyses revealed marked separation of the most southern songs (Mondulkiri) from those of all other localities. Vocal differences among the 3 gibbon populations in northeast Cambodia (Rattanakiri) are less pronounced; they do not differ more among each other than each of them differs from the northernmost sample from Bach Ma (Vietnam). Vocal characteristics of the study populations revealed no cline, and populations do not differ significantly in vocal variability. We conclude that Cambodian crested gibbons represent 2 distinct taxa: Those from southern Mondulkiri are Nomascus gabriellae, those from northeast Cambodia (Rattanakiri) closely correspond to the sample from Bach Ma (Vietnam) and, together with the latter, represent a different taxon. We provisionally assign them to Nomascus leucogenys siki because of the close geographic distance between Bach Ma and the type locality of the taxon. We postulate that a taxonal boundary exists between southern Mondulkiri and central Rattanakiri and discuss the possible factors that may have acted as distribution barriers.

KEY WORDS:

crested gibbons diversity hylobatidae songs Nomascus systematics 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Several people kindly made their tape-recordings of wild crested gibbons available to T. Geissmann that we either included in the analysis or that stimulated our study: Peter Davidson, Frédéric Goes, Trinh Dinh Hoang, Tim Redford, Craig Robson, and La Quang Trung. Richard Paley (FFI, Cambodia Programme Co-ordinator), Frank Momberg (FFI, SE-Asia Programme Co-ordinator), Ben Rawson, Tom Clements (Technical Advisor, WCS Cambodia), Andrew Maxwell (Technical Advisor, WWF Cambodia), and Carl Traeholt (Technical Advisor, FFI Cambodia) generously facilitated our field work. We thank Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCS) for providing logistic support during some of our field trips. We thank Ben Rawson, Meng Hor, Roth Bunthoeun, Chea Virak, Mon Samuth, Sok Vuthin, Thak Sophat, Kam Pon, Kuntejae, So Kun, Ka Ian, Sud Bonme, La Quang Trung, Trinh Dinh Hoang, and Lucy Tallents for assistance in the field. The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Project (BPAMP) facilitated the field trips to Virachey National Park. We acknowledge the support of Klaus Schmitt (Senior Project Advisor) and all staff members of the BPAMP. Koy Sokha, director of Virachey National Park, and Im Sokhon (Ministry of Environment Lomphat District) kindly gave permission to undertake field work in Virachey National Park and Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary, respectively. We are grateful to Alexandra Müller and 2 anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on earlier versions of this manuscript and to Dominic Schuhmacher for helpful advise in multivariate analysis. R. Konrad received financial support from the A. H. Schultz Foundation and the SANW (Schweizerische Akademie der Naturwissenschaften), and T. Geissmann from the FFI bureaus in Phnom Penh/Cambodia and Hanoi/Vietnam.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anthropological InstituteZürich UniversityZürichSwitzerland

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