A group of 500 grey-shanked douc langurs and 100 northern buffed-cheeked gibbons have been discovered in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.
A grey-shanked douc langur
The animals were found in Kon Plong District, Kon Tum Province. In 2016, a survey team of the Fauna and Flora International (FFI) conducted a systematic survey in the areas and gradually found the animals in the past five years.
The representative of FFI said that both of the grey-shanked douc langur and the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon are being threatened with extinction. The grey-shanked douc langur is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN list. The groups in Kon Plong and another group in Kon Ka Kinh National Park are the biggest grey-shanked douc langur groups left in Vietnam.
The survey team installed 130 camera traps and captured the photos of 121 mammals and birds there, many of them are rare and endangered animals like the Asian black bear and the Owston's palm civet. The Owston's palm civet is also listed as endangered in the IUCN list and they are still being hunted even inside the national park.
The rare birds found include the chestnut-eared laughing thrush. Such results show that Kon Plong has all values as an important nature reserve area in Kon Tum as well as in Vietnam. Despite the biodiversity richness, Kon Plong has to face dangers from poachers, illegal logging and urbanisation. The poaching is rampant and alarming.
Many conservationists have suggested that local authorities should set up a nature reserve to protect biodiversity.
FFI and GreenViet have worked with the locality authorities to carry out reservation programmes and set up a nature reserve area there. Trinh Le Nguyen, director of PanNature, agreed that Kon Plong deserves to be recognised as a valuable nature reserve. It also can help develop sustainable tourism in Kon Plong.
The red-shanked douc langurs, recognized as ‘queen’ of the primate species, have always been the inexhaustible inspiration of photography and wildlife lovers.
Having initially begun her involvement in wildlife protection as a volunteer with Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) in 2007, 34-year-old Le Thi Trang from Da Nang was named among the world’s top ten conservationists, called “Hotspot Heroes”