Saturday, October 1 2016

VietNamNews

Rare find in the northern forests

Update: September, 04/2016 - 09:00
Việt Nam’s prized primate, the Delacour’s Langur.— Photo Nguyễn Văn Trường
Viet Nam News

There has been an exciting discovery in the forests of northern Việt Nam.

A group of animals called Delacour’s langurs have been found there.

There are very few of these left in the world.

They are found living in the wild in Việt Nam and nowhere else in the world.

HÀ NỘI — The world’s second largest population of the critically endangered Delacour’s langur was recently discovered by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), giving fresh hope for one of the planet’s rarest species.

Following reports of sightings in a once largely unexplored forest in north Việt Nam, scientists from conservation NGO FFI Vietnam conducted field assessments to ascertain whether this species does indeed live in the area.

FFI Vietnam’s Biodiversity Technical Advisor Trịnh Đình Hoàng said, "Our surveys and assessment revealed that there was a population of significant size. We detected seven groups of Delacour’s langur, with the total number of primates in the population being as high as 40. Only one other area in Việt Nam has a larger population of Delacour’s langur."

Delacour’s langur is indigenous to Việt Nam, but because of human activities such as hunting, stone mining and charcoal production, it faces a severe threat of extinction with fewer than 250 left, a press release issued yesterday said.

Although they remain under grave danger of being wiped out within a decade, scientists now have renewed hope that they can be saved.

"This discovery is good news – both for the species and for the people of Việt Nam, particularly because we have also identified a number of infants and juveniles among the groups,” Hoàng said.

“This means that they are breeding and, if we can protect them, they should be able to thrive in this habitat once again."

However, Dr Benjamin Rawson, country director of FFI Vietnam, warned that urgent interventions to curb human activity such as hunting and mining were needed to safeguard these prized primates and their habitat.

Speaking at the Congress of the International Primatological Society in Chicago, he said, "We’ve notified the Vietnamese authorities of our findings and recommendations, and we continue to work alongside officials and local communities to ensure the Delacour’s langur doesn’t become this century’s first primate extinction."

Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) is a primate endemic to Việt Nam, first discovered by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1930 and described by Wilfred Hudson Osgood in 1932.

In the early 1990s, a comprehensive survey recorded 19 isolated subpopulations comprising 50 to 57 groups and 281 to 317 individuals in an area of about 5,000sq.km in north Việt Nam. More recent surveys indicated that there has been a significant decrease in both the number of groups and the number of individuals. — VNS


 

GLOSSARY

The world’s second largest population of the critically endangered Delacour’s langur was recently discovered by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), giving fresh hope for one of the planet’s rarest species.

If a type of animal is endangered there are not many of them and they could become extinct and therefore be gone forever. If it is critically endangered, there is a very good chance of them disappearing.

Rare means not common.

A species of animal is a type of animal.

Following reports of sightings in a once largely unexplored forest in north Việt Nam, scientists from conservation NGO FFI Vietnam conducted field assessments to ascertain whether this species does indeed live in the area.

Unexplored forest is area of forest that people have not been into much and therefore little is known about it.

To conduct a field assessment means to carry out a study in the forest, in this case, rather than in an office.

FFI Vietnam’s Biodiversity Technical Advisor Trịnh Đình Hoàng said, "Our surveys and assessment revealed that there was a population of significant size.

A survey means a study that involves examining something very closely.

Revealed means showed.

Significant means important.

We detected seven groups of Delacour’s langur, with the total number of primates in the population being as high as 40.

Detect means discover.

Primates are the group of animals that includes monkeys, humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, lemurs and orang-utans. Langurs are also primates.

Delacour’s langur is indigenous to Việt Nam, but because of human activities such as hunting, stone mining and charcoal production, it faces a severe threat of extinction with fewer than 250 left, a press release issued yesterday said.

An animal that is indigenous to Việt Nam comes from the country and was never brought in there from another country.

Human activities are things that people do.

Charcoal is a type of burnt wood used as fuel.

Severe means great.

A press release is a statement that a company, or an organisation, writes up when they have something to announce to the media.

Although they remain under grave danger of being wiped out within a decade, scientists now have renewed hope that they can be saved.

Grave means serious.

A decade is a period of ten years.

Renewed hope is hope that has come about, once again, after having gone away.

"This discovery is good news – both for the species and for the people of Việt Nam, particularly because we have also identified a number of infants and juveniles among the groups,” Hoàng said.

Infants are babies.

Juveniles are young creatures.

“This means that they are breeding and, if we can protect them, they should be able to thrive in this habitat once again."

Breeding means having babies.

To thrive means to do well.

A habitat is a place where a creature lives and has the correct amount of food and shelter to do so.

However, Dr Benjamin Rawson, country director of FFI Vietnam, warned that urgent interventions to curb human activity such as hunting and mining were needed to safeguard these prized primates and their habitat.

An intervention is an action that sees you getting involved in something.

To curb human activity means to put an end to it.

Safeguard means protect.

Speaking at the Congress of the International Primatological Society in Chicago, he said, "We’ve notified the Vietnamese authorities of our findings and recommendations, and we continue to work alongside officials and local communities to ensure the Delacour’s langur doesn’t become this century’s first primate extinction."

To notify someone of something means to alert them to it.

Recommendations are suggestions.

Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) is a primate endemic to Việt Nam, first discovered by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1930 and described by Wilfred Hudson Osgood in 1932.

If the Delacour’s langur is endemic to Việt Nam, it is found there living in the wild and nowhere else in the world.

In the early 1990s, a comprehensive survey recorded 19 isolated subpopulations comprising 50 to 57 groups and 281 to 317 individuals in an area of about 5,000sq.km in north Việt Nam.

Comprehensive means thorough.

Isolated means far away from others.

A subpopulation is a group that belongs to another group but lives a bit apart from it.

Comprising means “consisting of”.

More recent surveys indicated that there has been a significant decrease in both the number of groups and the number of individuals.

If there is a decrease in the number of groups and individuals, there are fewer of them.

 

 

 

 

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. In spite of the new discovery, the Delacour’s langur could be wiped out within ten years.
  2. The fact that there are infants and juveniles among the newly found population of  Delacour’s langurs means that they are breeding.
  3. The Delacour’s langurs were first discovered by Wilfred Hudson Osgood in 1930.
  4. It seems that there are more Delacour’s langurs now than there were in the 1990s.
  5. FFI stands for Forests and Flowers International.

 

ANSWERS:

 

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2016
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. True; 2. True; 3. False; 4. False; 5. False.

 

 

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