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Rare monkey found deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands Tin ảnh

(20:52:54 PM 03/03/2016)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Recent survey by Fauna & Flora International finds 500 grey­shanked doucs.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 3 March, 2016 ­ A population of at least 500 grey­shanked douc has been uncovered by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) during a recent field survey conducted in Kon Tum Province, Vietnam. This almost doubles the known global population of this enigmatic and beautiful primate.

 Rare monkey found deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands


“To discover a large population of one of Vietnam’s most rare and precious animals is truly an honour,” said Trinh Dinh Hoang, who led the survey effort. Prior​  to this discovery, the entire species was thought to have only 800­1,000 individuals remaining, and consequently has been listed as one of the 25 most endangered primates globally. 
Restricted to the forests of central Vietnam, the main threats to the beautiful grey­shanked douc are ​ deforestation, habitat fragmentation and hunting. Doucs are targeted for the illegal  wildlife trade and are hunted for bush meat, traditional medicine and pet trade.


Rare monkey found deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands

FFI Country Director, Dr Ben Rawson said, “This really is Vietnam’s monkey; it is found nowhere else. This new population provides hope, but the species is sadly still on the brink of extinction – something that FFI is working hard to prevent.” ​ FFI has worked in Vietnam since 1997 with a strong focus on conserving Vietnam’s native primate species through government and community partnerships. 
The recent discovery has been strongly supported by Vietnamese corporations including Galaxy Media, REE Corporation and Asia Commercial Bank. “There is a growing interest among the corporate sector in supporting the conservation of Vietnam’s unique biodiversity,” said Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, Chairwoman/CEO of REE Corporation. “We have an obligation to contribute to a lasting legacy in relation to our natural heritage.” 


Rare monkey found deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Tran Hung Huy, Chairman BOD of Asia Commercial Bank noted, “This discovery is an encouraging indication that our investments are showing tangible results; that through strategic partnerships businesses can positively impact biodiversity conservation.”

Despite the good news of the find, doucs are still listed as Critically Endangered. “It will take the combined efforts of government, local communities, civil society, scientists and donors to ensure the long­terms survival of this species, but this is a step in the right direction,” added Dr Rawson.


Rare monkey found deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Recent survey by Fauna & Flora International finds 500 grey­shanked doucs.

Species:​  Grey‐Shanked Douc Monkey (​ Pygathrix cinerea​ )

Status:​  Critically Endangered

Population Status:​  1000‐1500 individuals

Range​ : Central Vietnam Highlands
About the grey‐shanked douc

The douc monkey is a primate that comes in three species; gray shanked, red‐shanked, and black‐shanked.  Arboreal by nature, the douc inhabits the forests of Vietnam in groups of 4‐30. Each species has a tail about the same length of its body (56‐76 centimeters) and the gray‐shanked douc has a golden face, white chin, and gray coat covering most of its body. 
Grey‐shanked doucs engage in grooming to remove parasites and to establish and strengthen bonds between group members. This is usually done before resting for the night. Groups usually consist of a male, several females and their offspring, however these groups can come together into larger bands of up to 30 animals. Grey‐shanked doucs are primarily folivorous but also eat other plant parts such as seeds, fruits, and flowers. They have specialized stomachs and symbiotic bacteria which allows them to break down leafy material. 
Why are they endangered?

Humans remain the primary threat to the grey‐shanked douc. Large scale deforestation across much of their former range has meant that the species is restricted to a few, often isolated, forest blocks. 

Hunting with guns or arboreal snares has also impacted the last remaining populations; with the hunted animals being used for food, traditional medicine or exotic pets.
The grey‐shanked douc is classified as Critically Endangered on both the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and Vietnam’s Red Data Book; the highest level of threat possible. It has been consistently listed as one of the 25 most most endangered primates in the world.  
FFI’s work to protect the grey‐shanked douc Identifying this new population of grey‐shanked doucs is only the first step; FFI is beginning a new phase of work to conserve the most important parts of the newly found population. FFI’s approach involves engaging local communities and government authorities to collaboratively reduce the impacts on primates and their habitats. FFI is determining the feasibility of developing a community‐based ecotourism project where all proceeds would go to local communities. FFI is also developing a project to work with local communities to conduct forest protection activities.