White-handed Gibbon Sounds & Calls
All gibbon species are highly territorial, proclaiming their territory boundaries with exceptionally loud vocal displays. These vocalizations are often described as ‘song’, and are mostly heard early in the morning as pairs sing coordinated duets. The dominant female produces what is known as a ‘great call‘, a series of very loud notes which often accelerate in tempo and pitch. Each gibbon species has a distinctive song, and even within a single species, vocalizations can have regional ‘accents’. The complexity and structure of the ‘great call’ varies between species and because of this, is a reliable way of identifying which species may be present at a particular location.
On this page you will find examples of the sounds of the White-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar). At the bottom of this page you will find a links to sounds of a number of other gibbon species.
Listen to Gibbon Song and Calls
White-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar)
KT01 A male White-handed Gibbon singing at dawn in Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia.
The spectrogram images below illustrate typical differences in the female ‘great calls’ between northern and southern populations of White-handed Gibbons. Notice the high notes on the example on the left (from western Thailand) are steeper, more sweeping and reach a higher pitch than those in the example on the right (from Peninsula Malaysia).