Conservation of the Critically Endangered Black-Shanked Douc Langur (Pygathrix nigripes) in Thuan Nam Forest, Vietnam

24 Aug 2020 Thuan Nam Coastal Protection Forest, Vietnam, Asia Mammals | Primates

Nguyen Huu Nghia

Black-shanked douc langur is an endemic species to Vietnam and Cambodia. Recently the species is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. The Because of poaching and habitat loss, their population is now existing in fragmented habitats. Thuan Nam coastal forest in Ninh Thuan province is believed to have one of the most important population of the langur in Vietnam. However, it is reported that the langur is threatened by poaching, land encroachment because no protection effort yet made the langur and the forest. This project will study population status of the langur and identify associate threats then recommend how the langur and its habitat should be protected and managed in the long-term.

The endangered black-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nigripes) is endemic colobine and listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN (IUCN, 2020). The langur is facing a critical future as they are found only in few fragmented areas (Nadler, 2003). The Thuan Nam has been confirmed to be to have the most viable population of this langur in south coastal provinces (Nadler, 2003). The area is dominant by deciduous forest on dry landscape with extremely dry during the dry season (from April to October).

Thuan Nam is home to other endangered species such as the Critically Endangered sunda pangolin (Manis javanicus), Endangered Yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascusgabriellae) and sumatran serow (Capricornis sumatraensis) that make the forest become an important conservation area for wildlife in southern Vietnam (Thuan Nam forest, 2019). Having such high conservation value, the forest however received very low attention. There is no little research and conservation efforts done for this forest yet. Primate and wildlife hunting seem to be common in the forest as there is no protection effort and there is no effort to document it to share with local forest management authority. If there are no immediate actions to improve understanding of the wildlife population and related conservation issues, then the douc langur and endangered wildlife will be soon vanished from this important coastal forest.

Therefore, this project focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of the douc langur population, associated threats, then proposing relevant conservation options for the forest. Our effort will not only play an important role in ensuring the survival of the endangered douc langur but also helping to protect other threatened wildlife which is sharing the same habitat with the langur.

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