Cases of fatal electrocution of the endangered Javan Gibbons (Mammalia: Primates: Hylobatidae) by power lines

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Yoonjung Yi
Soojung Ham
Rahayu Oktaviani
Mia Clarrisa Dewi
Muhammad Nur
Ani Mardiastuti
Jae C. Choe


Human-made structures are often deadly to wildlife. Power lines from electric poles can cause serious injury and even death of wildlife via electrocution, especially of arboreal primate species that can easily access power lines. Here, we reported three cases of wild ‘Endangered’ Javan Gibbons Hylobates moloch electrocuted by power lines along a road between a tea plantation and a village adjacent to Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park area, West Java, Indonesia. In all cases, the adult male Javan Gibbons jumped and grabbed a power line hanging at the edge of the forests and immediately died. Our case reports highlight that power lines can have a critically adverse effect on the survival of wild animals, particularly on highly arboreal species such as Javan Gibbons. We argue the need for mitigation plans (e.g., cable insulation) for power lines in areas at risk. Such areas should be determined based on wildlife habitat monitoring and the study of ranging behaviors, focusing on areas with high risks of electrocution. 

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