News Brief (E411,April 7, 2011)
Thua Thien-Hue: Red-shanked douc langur released into the wild
According to Thiennhien.net online newspaper, on April 4, a 12 kg red shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus) was released into the wild at Phong Dien Nature Reserve (NR) in good health. A local resident voluntarily handed over the rare langur he found it in the forest after Thua Thien-Hue authorities made him aware of the law.
The red shanked douc langur belongs to group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be exploited and used for commercial purposes.
Rare wild animals transferred to Cuc Phuong NP
Two elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata) and a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) were recently transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park (NP) by the Quang Ngai Forest Protection Department (FPD). Quang Ngai FPD seized the tortoises at a local restaurant and the cat from poachers who tried to abandon the animal after they were discovered by authorities.
The leopard cat belongs to group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP- the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be exploited and used for commercial purposes. The elongated tortoise belongs to group IIB of Decree 32/ND-CP – the group of rare wild animals restricted to be exploited and used for commercial purposes.
New frog species discovered in central Vietnam
Vietnamese and Australian scientists have discovered a new species of frog the Leptobrachium leucops. The first recorded specimen was found along the border between Lam Dong and Khanh Hoa provinces at an altitude of between 1,558 and 1,900 meters.
This new frog species can be distinguished from similar frogs by its small body size and dark belly and the upper portion of the irises which are white.
Rare turtle’s habitat discovered in central highlands of Vietnam.
On April 4, Saigoitiepthi online newspaper reported that a group of scientists from Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Sciences have discovered that Lam Dong Province in the central highlands is the habitat of the indochinese box turtle (Cuora picturata). The scientists found eight turtles in the forests of Langbian plateau during a study conducted from July 2010 to January 2011. Scientists have never seen the turtle in the wild before making this a very significant discovery to help preserve this endangered species.
Dong Nai: People moved to protect wild elephants
According to Tuoitre online newspaper, the authorities of Vinh Cuu district, Dong Nai province have decided to move more than 1.000 local residences from the center of Vinh Cuu’s NR and Relic in order to guarantee the safety of the people, conserve nature, and avoid the current serious conflict between people and wild elephants in this area. The NR also proposes to set up electric fences in some areas around the NR and Relic to protect the wild animals, especially the elephants.
In another article, on April 4, Tuoitre online newspaper reported that the Quang Nam authorities said at least five wild elephants have been killed over the past seven years at three districts in Quang Nam province. Most of the elephants were found dead without their tusks.
Dak Nong: Hotspot of deforestation again
The forest in Tuy Duc district, Dak Nong is being seriously destroyed. Since the beginning of this year, 1 hectare of forest has disappeared each day. In addition, many companies allowed to rent the lands or forest are in violation through further deforestation. This means hundreds of hectares of primeval forest are being mercilessly dismantled.
On April 5, according to Tien phong online newspaper, about 150 local residents brought saw machines into the forest to chop down the trees. The local authorities and FPD could not stop them as there were too many people and they were armed with hand made guns.
Ho Chi Minh City: Public’s activities in environmental issues
The student union of Ho Chi Minh city recently launched a film making contest with the title: Green Environment. The contest aims to raise public awareness on environmental protection and encourages young people to participate in environmental protection activities.
In another activity, the students of Ho Chi Minh University of Agriculture and Forestry completed a puzzle with the title:”Vietnamese youth act for environment”. This is recorded by the Vietnam Guinness Book of Records as the biggest puzzle on environmental issues.
Thailand: Country’s largest ivory seizure
According to Datviet online newspaper, on April 1, Thai authorities confiscated two tons of elephant tusks after they were smuggled through Thailand by ship. Authorities said this was the country’s largest ivory seizure.
Experts say that due to the increase of seizures at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport traffickers have had to send their illegal hauls by ship and this is the first time Thailand’s Customs Department has seized ivory smuggled by ship.
Under Thailand's Wild Animal Reservation and Preservation Act, possession of elephant tusks without a permit is punishable by up to four years in jail or a fine up to 1,330 USD or both.
Nguyen Bich Ngoc
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)