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No end yet to wildlife harvest

Update: May, 06/2013 - 09:52
A Sunda Pangolin climbs on a tree after being released in the Cat Tien National Park. — Photo Courtersy of Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Programme in Viet Nam

HA NOI (VNS)— Preventing the illegal consumption of wildlife and protecting the nation's biological and zoological biodiversity needed the involvement of people in all levels of society, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Bui Cach Tuyen, said on Friday.

Tuyen was speaking at a meeting of the steering committee of a group to promote wildlife conservation in Viet Nam project.

The event was held by the Viet Nam Environmental Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The conservation project is being financed by the Global Environment Fund through the World Bank.

Tuyen said the ministry aimed to reform wildlife conservation in Viet Nam, and raise public awareness about biodiversity.

The three-year project will be given a trial run in Ha Noi until 2014. Its first component focuses on improving the legal framework and policies, while a second aims to develop a reporting system on illegal wildlife trading and consumption.

The final component will raise public support and awareness of wildlife and biodiversity protection.

When finished, the project will provide handbooks to instruct law enforcement, including a list of endangered wildlife.

Included among 10 countries with rich biodiversity, Viet Nam is home to 10 per cent of all species in the world, while its territory accounts for less than 1 per cent of the earth's surface.

Pangolin released in south

The first rehabilitated Sunda Pangolin had been released in Cat Tien National Park in southern part of Viet Nam, the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Programme (CPCP) in Viet Nam on Friday announced.

It was the first time in Viet Nam that a project has been set up to monitor the survival and movements of released pangolins. It is hoped that the results of this work will guide future release programmes that will reinforce depleted populations of the animal.

Six pangolins have responded well to the rehabilitation programme and will be transferred and released, one at a time, in Cat Tien National Park.

Programme manager Tran Quang Phuong said: "Re-introductions of confiscated pangolins has previously been conducted by forest rangers; however, these were done without comprehensive health checks and follow-up monitoring.

The success of the new release method remains unknown and there is a risk animals can transmit diseases into wild populations. Therefore the success of the project will be a key reference for future reintroductions of Sunda Pangolin into the wild.

The Sunda Pangolin is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as being globally threatened. It is one of the most exploited species of mammals in South-east Asia.

The species is hunted for its meat and to satisfy the demand for wild meat and for scales and skin for use in so-called "Chinese traditional medicine".

Populations are further threatened by rapid habitat loss. — VNS


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