A joint-patrol team of rangers and locals check a habitat of the gray-shanked douc langur -- an endangered primate -- in Núi Thành district of Quảng Nam Province. WWF-Việt Nam and GreenViet agreed to work together in protecting the primates. VNS Photo Công Thành
QUẢNG NAM — The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Việt Nam and the Centre of Biodiversity Conservation, GreenViet, will work together on a project to protect the gray-shanked douc langurs in the central province’s Núi Thành district in 2020.
Director of GreenViet, Trần Hữu Vỹ, said the one-year project would help improve forest patrol skills to protect a herd of gray-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) – a critically endangered species – living in Đồng Cổ Village of Tam Mỹ Tây Commune.
The project, with funding of VNĐ350 million (US$15,000) from WWF-Việt Nam, will help provide knowledge and skills for a team of 10 volunteers from the village.
“It is a significant effort made by the community to protect the endangered primates. They (local villagers) patrolled the 30ha primary forest area – where the primates live – following irregular visits at nearby log farms,” Vỹ said.
“We provided equipment, the Spatial Monitoring Reporting Tool (SMART) for conservation and protection of wildlife, data recording during jungle trips over a total of 150ha of protective zone,” he said.
He added the project would include improving awareness among the community and illegal hunters on wildlife and protection of biodiversity.
A fire-free zone was set up on a 70ha log farm – a safe habitat for the gray-shanked douc langurs, he added.
Chairman of the provincial people’s committee, Lê Trí Thanh, said the province had been seeking a fund of $4.4 million to restore a 100ha area as a safe habitat for the gray-shanked douc langurs.
Currently, the herd of the langurs has gathered in a 10ha-area of primary forest due to the development of acacia log farms.
According to a report by the provincial Forest Protection Division, a herd of about 50 gray-shanked douc langurs was found living in the area in 1997.
The local community and district rangers established a voluntary team to protect the endangered primates from being hunted.
According to Dr. Hà Thăng Long, head of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, some 1,000 gray-shanked doucs have been found in forests of five provinces, including Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định, Kon Tum and Gia Lai.
The gray-shanked douc langur is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list as one of the world’s 25 critically endangered primates. — VNS