News Brief (E426, July 21, 2011)
Group of white-cheeked gibbons discovered in Pu Mat NP
Conservation International (CI) has discovered the largest known remaining population of the critically endangered northern white-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) in Pu Mat National Park (NP). Through auditory surveying, a technique using the gibbons’ loud morning calls for identification, CI has confirmed a substantial population of 455 animals, making this the highest priority globally for conservation action for this species.
Deforestation, illegal hunting and urbanization are pushing the gibbon to become one of the most endangered species close to extinction. This new census of the population is the only confirmed viable population of this species left worldwide.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the number of white-cheeked gibbon has decreased by at least 80% over the past 45 years.
Ninh Thuan: Two hunters prosecuted for killing langurs
On July 20, the police of Ninh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province prosecuted two men from Khanh Hoa for the killing of 15 black-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nigripes). The day before, on July 19, the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Nui Chua NP found the two subjects hunting and transporting these endangered animals.
Black-shanked douc langur belongs to group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be in captivity, hunted, traded or killed.
Dong Nai: Cat Tien recognized as World Biosphere Reserve
According to local media, on July 17, the management board of the Dong Nai Nature Reserve (NR) and Cultural Site announced that Cat Tien has been recognized by UNESCO as Vietnam’s seventh World Biosphere Reserve.
Cat Tien’s primeval forest is home to 1,700 rare plants and more than 700 animals, including the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus), Green peafowl (Pavo muticus), The Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and ostrich. Many of these species are on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered animals.
The NP is also the homeland for 11 ethnic minorities. This is a model for multipurpose preservation offering the sustainable development of people and the environment based on biological and cultural diversity.
Bear and tiger samples waiting in museum fridges
Instead of being on display for museum visitors to see, thousands of samples of endangered animals, such as bear, tiger and elephant have stayed in refrigerators at the Vietnam Nature Museum – Science and Technology for 10 years.
The museum has many samples for display but has been waiting since 2000 for permission from Hanoi authorities to allow the animals to be exhibited. An 80 square meter area has been designated for the display but it will still be at least 2 years before the display can go ahead once approval is granted.
Binh Dinh: Turtle protection team introduced
On July 20, Binh Dinh Department of Fishery Resource Exploitation and Protection introduced a team of volunteers to protect turtles in Nhon Hai commune, Quy Nhon city. The core of this team includes 5 fishermen from Nhon Hai commune. Over the past 10 years green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate) have laid their eggs on many beaches in Binh Dinh province. Up until now they have only gone to Hon Kho and Hai Giang beaches to lay eggs. The main reason for this is that the turtles have been frightened away from other areas by local fishermen that have come onto the beaches to catch and collect turtle eggs.
Kien Giang: Warning on hunting wild birds
Many of Kien Giang’s wild bird species are being systematically hunted on a daily basis and it is estimated that thousands of individuals are being caught each day. However, local authorities seem unable to stop this situation.
Kien Giang province is considered to be the home of more than 250 breeding wild bird species including rare species such as sarus crane (Grus antigone), lesser adjutant (Leptotilos javanicus) and pelican (pelecanidae).
Of particular concern, is Long Xuyen quadrangle area and U Minh Thuong in Kien Giang province, areas that belong to the protected areas and world biosphere reserves. These are nature areas of high biodiversity and the environmental protection of the natural landscape, vegetation and wildlife species of birds in these areas cannot be overlooked.
Nguyen Thi 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)