News Brief (E418, May 26, 2011)
Dien Bien: Seizure of wildlife transported by bus
The Cong An Nhan Dan online newspaper reported on May 20 that the police, in cooperation with the Forest Protection Department of Dien Bien province, stopped a bus and discovered 15.8 kg of wildlife including 9.2 kg of snakes and 6.6 kg of turtles.
The evidence and subject involved were transferred to the local authorities for further investigation.
Rhino horn is not a medicine
In recent years, the world has seen a serious decline in the number of rhinos due to illegal hunting of these animals for their horns. According to an expert, the world only has about 26,000 individuals of this species left, mainly in Africa and Asia. Hundreds of rhinos are the victims of illegal hunting every year and the number is increasing exponentially. The primary markets for rhino horn consumption are Vietnam and China. In spite of the fact that rhino horn is just a form of keratin, such as human hair and nails, many Asian people still believe that powdered rhino horn is a medicine that can treat many diseases.
Methods that have been implemented to stop the illegal hunting of rhinos have not been as successful as anticipated and the numbers are continuing to decline rapidly.
It is therefore necessary to have more resolute procedures and law enforcement in place combined with stricter penalties for the illegal trafficking and poaching of rhinos. In addition, we need better international collaboration to stop illegal hunting of rhinos and assistance from institutions of traditional medicine to raise awareness of rhino horn consumption in the main markets of this trade.
Viet Nam and Laos plan improved collaboration on illegal wildlife trade
From 23 to 27 May, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry and other relevant authorities are hosting two workshops with government counterparts from Laos. The aim of the workshops is to build on recent bilateral efforts to monitor the illegal cross-border trade of wildlife.
The organization of these workshops is one of the priorities under the “Collaboration plan on protecting forests, monitoring and halting illegal timber and wildlife trade and smuggling in the period 2009 – 2012”. The planwassigned by the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry and Laos Department of Forestry in 2009.
The meetings will take place in Quang Tri and Quang Binh provinces in north central Viet Nam. The international border gates in this area play an important role in the trade between Laos and Viet Nam, and are also considered hot spots of illegal wildlife trafficking across the border.
Research on consumption of wild animal products
According to a recent survey conducted by Wildlife At Risk (WAR), nearly 51% of surveyed residents, who live and work in Ho Chi Minh City, have used wild animal products. Of the 51% surveyed, 48.4 % of people have consumed wildlife products more than three times per year. Government officers and people with higher education levels have a tendency to consume wild animal products more often than other groups, such as people with a lower social working position or those with a lower education level.
The survey aims to gain a better understanding of the behavior, knowledge and attitude of residents and students towards consumption of wild animal products in Ho Chi Minh City.
The full report is available for download at:
Quang Binh: Establishment of the first Nature Reserve
The Thiennhien.net online newspaper reported that the Vice Director of Quang Binh province has signed scientific certification to establish the Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve (NR). This is the first NR in Quang Binh province. The NR covers an area of 19.188 hectares with 987 plant species and 241 animal species. Many of these animal and plant species belong to IUCN and the Red Book of Vietnam.
The Khe Nuoc Trong NR is located in Le Thuy district, upstream of Long Dai and Kien Giang rivers, and is an important bird area in Vietnam, South Asia and East Asia.
Rich people spend big money on ivory
An article in Dan Viet online newspaper reported many rich people are now spending a lot of money to buy elephant tusks or products made from ivory. According to a person hired by ivory buyers to evaluate the quality of tusks, the traders usually buy low price ivory, improve the appearance of the ivory and then sell it for a much higher price. There are still many rich people who will pay a lot of money for this ivory.
The dictionary of Vietnamese plant and animal species
A dictionary of Vietnamese plant and animal species was drafted in 1996 with the assistance of the Vietnam Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources. The dictionary was drafted to establish a basis for the planning, development and reasonable use of biological resources as well as for the proposal of effective measures to protect the fauna and flora of Vietnam.
The book focuses on the classification of animals and plants and categorizes them into their system, varieties, species and subspecies. Each species has information on the species name and classification nomenclature, classification features, biological characteristics, ecological distribution, valuation, samples studied, and those under evaluation.
For the first time, Vietnam has formal and reliable material on biological resources and the diversity of Vietnamese organisms. These documents also have high scientific value and provide information for biological and environmental researchers.
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)