The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) was set up in 1992 by Mr Noppadol Preuksawan, the chief of the Royal Forest Department in Phuket at that time, Mr. Thavrn Sri-Oon, Bang Pae Sub-Station chief, the Asian Wildlife Fund and an American Zoologist called Terrance Dillon Morin. In 1994 the Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF) started to support the project and we are now a research division of WARF.
1. Develop a method to successfully rehabilitate white-handed gibbons back into their natural habitat: The GRP has been testing methods of reintroduction for the past 23 years. Every reintroduction is a learning opportunity. Reintroductions remain a relatively new division of conservation movement as well as uncharted terrain for research.
2. End the demand for the illegal use of gibbons as tourists attractions and as pets: Through the education of visitors at our Center for Conservation Education and Fund-Raising, the GRP hopes to create awareness of the plight of the captive gibbon and to the role that tourism plays in the demand for baby gibbons.
3. To repopulate the last remaining rainforest in Phuket-Khao Pra Theaw Non-Hunting Area (Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation): Gibbons were poached to extinction in Phuket over 40 years ago. The GRP hopes to repopulate this forest through the rehabilitation for gibbons that were previously being held in captivity.
4. To create awareness of the importance of conservation of the environment: The GRP is also a effective resource for teaching the local community about the importance of conservation. The GRP runs education programs to enable local villagers and children to see the forest and its animals as an essential life supporting source.
5. Provide the opportunity for volunteers to study the white-handed gibbon: volunteers come from all over the world to study the white-handed gibbon. The gibbons at the GRP allow for the many forms of research, such as reintroduction methods, behavioural research of both captive and released gibbons, and research into disease of gibbons in captivity. However, As a foreign researcher wishing to undertake any category of research at any WARF project site, two requirements from the standard Nataional Reseacher Council of Thailand B.E 2525 must be met. Only once these steps are completed, can WARF consider granting permission for field work to be carried out.