Protection of rare Langur species and their habitats in Vietnam.
Vietnam was once completely covered in forest but today only about 10% of those forests remain. A population of 80 million with 225 people per square kilometre has taken its toll: overdevelopment has seen rice being grown in even the tiniest corner. Steep hilltops and mountain ranges protrude from the sea of rice fields and it is only here that intact forests still occur. Their inaccessibility protects them from destruction and offers a refuge for endangered species. One such refuge is the Cuc Phuong National Park in North Vietnam, where the endangered Delacour’s Langur occurs. There are only 300 of these monkeys with their bizarre black and white markings in the whole of Vietnam and therefore worldwide. Because their bones are in high demand in traditional Chinese medicine, langurs are illegally hunted and traded.
FZS project manager in Vietnam, Tilo Nadler, has been working to protect Delacour’s Langurs and other endangered primates since 1992. Together with the forestry department, Tilo Nadler has been able to train and motivate Cuc Phuong’s rangers. He accompanies them on their patrols to find illegally felled timber or to confiscate langurs. FZS supplies the rangers with equipment such as radio transmitters or motorbikes and assists with the building of ranger stations. Ranger work to confiscate langurs was successful from the start and no suitable institutions were available – what to do with the confiscated animals? In 1993, Tilo Nadler, along with his other duties, managed to build an animal shelter, which has increased in size over the years: Today the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre has an excellent reputation and is recognised as one of the best-managed stations in Southeast Asia. There are 16 different primate species at the station and their breeding successes confirm that conditions for the monkeys are ideal. The formation of a small captive population is secondary to the EPRC’s goal of re-introducing animals into their natural habitat.
The Primate Protection Program’s main focus is to support the Cuc Phuong National Park and Van Long Sanctuary in North Vietnam (both important retreats for Delacour’s Langurs) and conservation of endangered primates. Park management and conservation authorities are given practical assistance regarding confiscation and subsequent care of primates. The project also coordinates langur population counts or conducts their own tallies and publishes the results. Because of Tilo Nadler’s successful lobby work, there is a good chance that Van Long will be enlarged and will eventually receive national park status. To emphasise Van Long’s importance, FZS will invest more in infrastructure and public relations this coming year. Another aspect of the project is the collaboration with Cologne Zoo to re-introduce Hatinh Langurs and Red-shanked Douc Langurs from the EPRC into the Phong Nha-Ke Bang sanctuary in central Vietnam. In 2007, Hatinh langurs from the EPRC were transferred to the 20-hectare sanctuary. This year they will be monitored using radio transmitters and further re-introductions are being planned.
- Ranger training
- Supplying the Forest Protection Dept. with equipment
- Supporting Van Long’s ranger work, infrastructure, and lobbying activities to expand Van Long
- Monitoring of Delacour’s Langurs and Grey-shanked Douc Langurs
- Management assistance for Govt. agencies
- Aid for the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, EPRC
Dirk Euler, Dr. Ha Thang Long, Tilo Nadler
Forest Protection Department of Vietnam
Provinvial People's Committee of Danang, Gia Lai, Khan Hoa, Nin Binh, Quang Binh
The Vietnamese Journal of Primatology (ISSN 1859-1434) is published by the Endangered Primate Rescue Center.