The Siamang apes and White-handed gibbons are two of 20 species of gibbon endemic to South and Southeast Asia. They are also animal residents at Taronga Western Plains Zoo that locals may be familiar with.
The call of the Siamang apes can be heard from some Dubbo streets and the White Handed Gibbons are very vocal in zoo grounds.
Siamang apes and white-handed gibbons live in the treetops and use their strong arms and hook shaped hands to grasp branches and swing between trees.
Sadly, these species are losing forests to swing through and habitat from agricultural expansion and illegal mining.
Metals like gold, silver and copper are found in mobile phones and electronics, the ongoing demand for these metals destroys habitat and increases access, exposing previously untouched wilderness to exploitation and fragmenting forests.
Across the world, e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams. The Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 reported an increase in e-waste of 21 per cent from 2014 to 2019.
But we can all do our bit to help protect siamangs apes and gibbons as well as their wild habitats by recycling old mobile phones, electronic tablets, and their accessories.
By recycling electronics, you are helping in two ways: Metals can be retrieved from the devices and reused, thereby reducing the demand for newly mined metals from forest habitat; and money raised from recycled and refurbished mobile phones supports conservation projects in the wild.
Taronga partners with Mobile Muster and Phone Cycle to collect, recycle and refurbish unwanted phones, tablets, and accessories.
To date across both Sydney and Dubbo zoos more than 56,000 phones have been recycled, which has generated over $92,000 to support in-situ conservation projects.
So, if you upgraded your mobile phone over Christmas or have an old phone or two lying around at home you can donate them at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on your next visit. Simply drop them in the recycling box near the information desk in the Savannah Visitor Plaza.