by Hoai Nam
DA NANG (VNS)— Viet Nam's largest troop of langurs (pygathrix cinerea) are flourishing in the National Kon Ka Kinh Park in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
"We have counted 250 langurs living in the park. This is the largest troop in Viet Nam," said Tran Huu Vy, an expert from the Viet Nam Primates Conservation Programme.
Experts from the Frankfurt Zoological Society's Viet Nam Primate Conservation Programme confirmed to Viet Nam News that seven species of the most endangered primates lived in the park, and Viet Nam was now home to about 1,000 langurs.
"We have found three kinds of monkey (Macaca leonia, Macaca artoides and Macara mulatta), two species of loris (Nycticebus bengalensis and Nycticebus pygmaeus) and gibbons (Nomascus leucogienys leucogienys)," Vy said.
The programme has provided park rangers with facilities and funding for a better control and protection of the endangered primates.
"We have provided funding of between US$18,000 and $25,000 a year to support rangers at eight stations in the park since 2010," head of the representative office of the Frankfurt Zoological Society in Viet Nam, Long said.
"The fund helps rangers patrol the park regularly in order to raise protection of the most endangered primates on the 42,000-ha reserve," Long said.
"Rangers receive an allowance and equipment for long patrols every week while they trail the endangered animals and prevent poaching," he said.
The park, which is sandwiched between the Truong Son mountain range and Gia Lai Province's Pleiku City, provides a safe habitat for the rare primates.
"The park remains untouched by local people because it is far away from the villages of the Ba Na ethnic group. As a rule, the group do not stray further than 7km from their houses to hunt, while the nearest village is 19km away from the park," Long said.
He also said the programme included the protection of 200 langurs in central Da Nang City's Son Tra peninsula.
The conservation programme also includes training courses for students from Da Nang University.
Last month, 18 students from the Da Nang-based Teachers' Training College joined a field trip to Kon Ka Kinh Park.
"We hosted the field trip for students in order to raise awareness of endangered primates at the park and educate them on how to protect these animals," Long said.
The course has trained 150 students on primate conservation and protection in Viet Nam since 2006. — VNS