|Forest rangers at Hương Trà Town received two rare macaques from a local resident early this month. — VNA/VNS Photo Đỗ Trưởng|
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — More than 80 captive wild animals in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế have been handed over to authorities this year, before they were all released back to nature.
Better public awareness on wildlife protection greatly contributed to the handovers, said director of the provincial Forest Protection Department Lê Ngọc Tuấn.
Tuấn said that many people handed over wild animals that are in danger of extinction like Javan pangolin, small lorise, white-cheeked gibbon, red-faced monkey, pig-tailed monkeys, long-tailed monkeys, brocade pythons, and some rare turtle species.
Thừa Thiên-Huế Province currently has more than 288,400ha of forest including 211,200ha of natural forest. The province is also home to Bạch Mã National Park, Phong Điền Nature Reserve, Sao La Conservation Area, with a total area of up to tens of thousands of hectares.
Located in central Trường Sơn Mountain range, the forests of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province have high biodiversity, with about 134 species of mammals and more than 500 types of birds.
The forests are well-known for many endemic species such as saola (Pseudoryx Nghetinhensis), giant muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis), Trường Sơn muntjac (Muntiacus truongsonensis), striped civet (Chrotogale owstoni), Sao pheasant (Rheinardia ocellata), Trường Sơn striped rabbit (Nesolagus timminsi), yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus annamenis), the brown-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix spp) and many other species of the pheasant family (Lophura spp).
Tuấn said that many international co-operation projects to maintain the biodiversity system were implemented in the province.
These include the project "Sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation", the project “Raising public awareness and strengthening law enforcement to reduce demand for wildlife in Việt Nam” and the project of carbon storage and biodiversity conservation.
In mid-July 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development co-ordinated with Animals Asia to launch the project "Việt Nam Bear Rescue Centre Campus II" in Bạch Mã National Park. The centre covers an area of 12.7ha with a construction cost from the non-refundable aid of Animals Asia worth US$10.5 million.
To be completed in 2026, the centre will have the capacity to raise and rescue more than 300 bears received from private bear breeding facilities.
“These are good signs for wildlife protection in the province as well as in the central region,” Tuấn said, adding that his department also operated a confidential hot line to receive reports on wildlife violations.
“The hotline 08.4477.3030 opened from April this year creates a professional, timely and effective communication channel between people and forest rangers, contributing to the conservation and protection of wildlife in the province,” Tuấn said, adding that the forest protection department also conducted communication activities on social networks.
Deputy Head of the Forest Protection Department of the province’s Hương Trà Town Trần Văn Vinh said that through the dissemination of the law at grassroots level and communication campaigns on social networks, changes were made as many people voluntarily reported and handed over wildlife animals.
From the beginning of this year until now, the department received six pig-tailed macaques and red-faced monkeys, and three turtles. The animals were then returned to the wild thanks to coordination between the department and the Phong Điền Nature Reserve Management Board .
Early this month, local resident Trần Văn Hùng from Đông Hòa Village, Bình Tiến Commune in Hương Trà Town voluntarily transferred an eight kilogramme pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) and a nine kilogramme red-faced macaque (Macaca arctoides) to the Forest Protection Department of Hương Trà Town.
Now, the department is taking care of and completing the procedures to release the animals back to nature reserves with suitable habitats.
In middle of July, a resident in Phú Bài Ward, Hương Thủy Town found a Java pangolin on the side of the street and took it to forest rangers.
At that time, the pangolin was in poor health so it took forest rangers a number of days to take care of it. — VNS