Central province to restore forest for endangered langurs

Update: February, 18/2019 - 10:00
A gray-shanked douc langur (pygathrix cinerea) is seen living in a forest area of Đồng Cổ Village, Tam Mỹ Tây Commune of Núi Thành district in Quang Nam Province. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Ái Tâm
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NAM — The central province plans to allocate a fund of VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million) to restore a 100ha forest as a safe habitat for a herd of gray-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) living in Đồng Cổ Village, Tam Mỹ Tây Commune of Núi Thành district in 2019-28.

Vice chairman of the provincial people’s committee, Lê Trí Thanh said the state budget would provide 60 per cent for the fund, while the remainder would be taken from NGOs or community and businesses.

Thanh said the fund would help isolate human activities on log farms in the area from the gray-shanked douc langurs, and conserve 30ha natural forest as a safe shelter for the endangered primates.

The fund would be used for compensation of 70ha acacia log farm of 30 households living in six villages in the area.

As planned, the province would design the habitat of the langurs as an eco-tour site in serving for research and the primates study centre among conservationists in the world and Việt Nam.

The province, in co-operation with the Centre of Biodiversity Conservation, GreenViet and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), plans to include the forest area as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Green Annamites Project.

A communication banner set up in Núi Thành district to warn about the living area of the gray-shanked douc langurs among community. — VNS Photo Công Thành

According to the province, the Green Annamites Project will be invested with approximately US$24 million in Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên-Huế provinces in assisting Việt Nam’s transition to climate-smart and low-emission development through improved forest protection, enhanced biodiversity conservation, and increased resilience of communities in 2016-20.

Currently, the herd of the langurs has been narrowed in a 10ha primary forest as the fast growing development of acacia log farm – one of the most profitable woods in the central region.

In a recent report by the province’s Forest Protection Division, a herd of about 50 gray-shanked douc langurs was found living in the forest over the past 10 years.

Local community and the district ranger force established a voluntarily team to protect the endangered primates from being hunted in recent years.

According to experts from the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Việt Nam Primate Conservation Programme, 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.

Last year, the province allocated nearly 19,000ha for an elephant conservation centre in two communes – Quế Lâm and Phước Ninh – in the mountainous Nông Sơn district. — VNS