Vietnam province to revive forest to save last members of rare monkey species

By Dac Thanh   August 10, 2017 | 01:48 pm GMT+7

A group of 100 critically endangered doucs has shrunk to 20 since their habitat was destroyed.

The central province of Quang Nam has initiated a plan to replant 80 hectares (nearly 200 acres) of forest to expand the habitat of a group of rare primates which locals say have been disappearing.

Agriculture officials said they will replace local timber plantations with natural forests to give the grey-shanked douc langurs somewhere to live and a fresh food source.

vietnam-province-to-revive-forest-to-save-last-members-of-rare-monkey-species

Grey-shanked doucs in Quang Nam Province. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh

They have also asked foreign management officials to maintain round-the-clock patrols of the area to prevent poaching.

The promise comes more than a month after the media reported concerns from local people that langurs in the province are slowly being wiped out due to a lack of conservation efforts.

Locals said there used to be roughly 100 members of the species in the province, but now only around 20 can be spotted.

The population started shrinking around 10 years ago when the forest was cleared to make way for acacia trees that are used for timber, they said.

Grey-shanked doucs have been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are among the 25 most threatened groups of primates in the world. The animal is native to Quang Nam and several other central provinces. Last year, the Fauna and Flora International announced a discovery of more than 500 individuals in the region, bringing the group’s global population to around 1,000.