The cao vit gibbon Nomascus nasutus, also known as eastern black crested gibbon, is categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and was considered one of the world's 25 most threatened primates. The only known population occurs along the border between China and Viet Nam. Accurate information on population size and dynamics is critical for the species’ conservation, but population surveys conducted in only one country may over- or underestimate total population size because the home ranges of cao vit gibbon groups often cross the international border. In 2007 and 2016 we conducted two collaborative transboundary censuses of the cao vit gibbon populations in the Trung Khanh Cao Vit Gibbon Species and Habitat Conservation Area in Viet Nam and the Bangliang Gibbon National Nature Reserve in China. The results showed a population size of 102–110 in 2007, which increased to 107–136 in 2016. Our results indicate that previous surveys conducted separately in Viet Nam and China underestimated the global population size of this species. According to our more comprehensive surveys, the gibbon population is increasing slowly. The gibbons and their habitat are legally protected in both countries. Hunting and charcoal making have not been reported in this area since 2007. As habitat carrying capacity is a limiting factor, habitat restoration is required. However, lack of funding to protect the cao vit gibbon remains a challenge.