The male is black with a pronounced crest of fur on the crown and white cheek fur that extends continuously from the ears and under the chin . The adult females are beige to yellow with black faces and a patch of brown to black fur on the top of their head.
Found in Northwest Vietnam and Northern Lao, the species did occur until recently in Southern China but is most possibly already locally extinct there.
HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
The Northern white-cheeked gibbon prefers lowland and lower montane evergreen forests, but they are currently restricted to higher altitudes due to encroachment pressure. Their diet is seasonal, comprising of various quantities of fruit, leaves, shoots, flowers and insects. Like other gibbon species, they are territorial, living in monogamous pairs with immature offspring.
The main threat to this species is deforestation through agricultural encroachment into mountainous areas and the extraction of firewood and timber from the remaining forests, especially in China and Vietnam. Hunting for food, traditional "medicines" and the illegal pet trade is also a major threat across their range.
STATUS AND CONSERVATION
The species is protected across its range. In Vietnam the Northern white-cheeked gibbon is listed in the 2007 Vietnam Red Data Book as 'Endangered' and is protected by law under Decree 32/2006 ND-CP:1B.
CITES Appendix I - this species is threatened with extinction and international trade is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.