The Gibbon Protection Society Malaysia or GPSM is a Malaysian NGO founded in 2016 by Mariani Ramli.
Our main purpose is to support the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project or GReP. Through this project we rescue and rehabilitate gibbons who were victims of the illegal pet trade. Rehabilitation is not an easy process, most gibbons require at least 5-10 years of rehab, and depending on their age and history, each gibbon needs to learn and overcome different things, as many are left traumatised by their experiences as pets. Through personalised training, we help each individual move forward, relearn their natural behaviours and prepare them for life in the wild.
Our goal is to educate the public about the threats that gibbons face in Malaysia due to human activities, and the implications of gibbon extinction. Local people must be given opportunities to learn the importance of these apes to functioning ecosystems in Malaysia so that they will acknowledge and cherish the gibbons for what they are: Malaysia’s unforgettable singing apes and a crucial member of our ecosystem.
GPSM also carries out other conservation activities, apart from gibbon rescue and rehabilitation. It supports vital conservation research on primates and their habitats, and promotes environmental education and awareness about the importance of primates within the Malaysian ecosystem. Most importantly, it aims to combat the growing illegal wildlife trade by assisting the local enforcement agencies.
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GReP)
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project or GReP began in 2013 as a way to rehabilitate primates who were victims of the illegal pet trade. Currently in a location in Raub, (in the state of Pahang of Peninsular Malaysia), the gibbon protection area of about 2 acres, is a primary jungle adjacent to the Titiwangsa mountain range.
Ideally a larger area (something like 3 hectares!) would be a better home for the 6 gibbons currently in our care. They are a mix of males and females, and of varying ages. To simply hear the gibbons “sing” in their rehab centre is certainly an awesome experience and one that is very motivating!
Following IUCN guidelines
GPSM’s aim is to rescue gibbons, rehabilitate them, enforce laws protecting them, and conserve their numbers. The ultimate goal is for these rescued and confiscated animals to be released back into the wild. The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN sets guidlines for this process. There are 8 conditions that the gibbons must meet – to be released back to the jungle.
Caring for these animals is a long, arduous process, with results only showing much later. Feeding, medicating, teaching, nurturing and caring for them – physically and mentally – is a painstaking laborious task. To ensure that they have learnt survival skills -to retrun to the wild and become a fully functional part of the natural ecosystem – is the ultimate objective of GPSM.
Mariani Ramli a.k.a. Bam Arrogancia founded the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GReP) in 2013 and the society called the Gibbon Protection Society Malaysia (GPSM) in 2016, after learning about the plight of gibbons and other primates in Malaysia.
She has a degree in animal biology, was a wildlife ranger with the Malaysian Wildlife Department for more than 10 years, has worked as a project coordinator and researcher for the Copenhagen Zoo, studying flat headed cats, and she has studied gibbon rehab from international organisations such as Phnam Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre in Cambodia and Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Thailand.
Mariani was recently a winner of the prestigious Young Leadership Awards by the Edge and has received the 2018 American Primatological Society Award. She was chosen as one of the Top Five Women in Leadership in Environmental Sustainability in 2017 and has been widely featured by both local and international media.
Her dedication is what keeps the project running despite many difficulties faced.
She currently serves as the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GReP) Director and expert advisor to the GPSM team.