Javan rhino extinction in Vietnam
On October 25, the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) confirmed the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) in Vietnam. Genetic analysis of 22 dung samples collected from 2009 to 2010 affirm that the samples all belonged to a rhinoceros that was found dead in Cat Tien National Park in April 2010. Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus, which is one of three subspecies of Javan rhino, formerly occurred in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and was rediscovered in Vietnam in 1988, and is now extinct.
Nowadays, illegal hunting has reduced many species in Vietnam to small and isolated populations. Moreover, according to WWF, inadequate law enforcement and ineffective management of protected areas, encroachment and infrastructure development occurring within and close to Vietnam’s protected areas, will only exert additional pressure on already fragile populations of species.
The death of the last Javan rhino is raising the alarm for other species in Vietnam, including the tiger, Asian elephant, and endemic species like the Saola, Tonkin snub-nosed monkey and Siamese crocodile. Without intensive protection within national parks and a crackdown on the illegal sale of wildlife, the wildlife heritage of Vietnam will only be displayed in books.
Quang Ninh: Elephant tusks seized
On October 22, Quang Ninh authorities discovered and seized 1,061 kg of elephant tusks, including 221 numbered pieces which were being illegally transferred on a ferry by a man who resides in Guangxi, China and another who resides in Hai Ha, Quang Ninh province. The subject and all exhibits were then handed over to Mong Cai police to process. This has been the biggest tusk trade case in Mong Cai, Quang Ninh ever.
Quang Tri: Wild animals released back into nature
On October 20, Huong Hoa district Forest Protection Department (FPD) released 20.5 kg of wild animals including 15 Asian leaf turtles (Cyclemys oldhamii) and three Chinese soft-shell turtles (Pelodiscis sinensis) into Bac Huong Hoa Nature Reserve. The animals were confiscated from a subject as he was travelling from Laos to Dong Ha City, Vietnam. The subject was fined VND 6.5 million.
From January 2001 up to now, Huong Hoa FPD has confiscated and processed eight illegal wildlife shipments and freed more than 200 animals weighing a total of 300 kg.
(Case Ref. 3748/ENV - Information provided by Huong Hoa FPD)
Gia Lai: Wildlife confiscated
On October 11, Gia Lai provincial authorities inspected and arrested a man who was transferring 18 kg of wild animals including a king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), two common rat snakes (Ptyas mucosus), six clouded monitors (Varanus bengalensis), a giant Asian pond turtle (Heosemys grandis), and two elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata). The animals were immediately handed over to the regional FPD. The subject is now waiting for punishment.
Hai Phong City: Two macaques voluntarily transferred
On October 21, the headmaster of a kindergarten in Hai Phong city,voluntarily transferred two macaques to the local authorities. The macaques are in good healthand authorities plan to transfer them to a rescue center.
(Case Ref. 3749/ENV)
Quang Nam: Livelihood program in marine conservation zone
In 2005, about 82.4% of the main source of income in Cu Lao Cham island came from exploiting aquatic products. Confronted with this situation, the Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area was set up.This enabled a project to be set up to help local people improve their livelihoods, by conducting activities that are more suited to conservation targets and development of the natural resources in the region. The livelihood program was implemented to support and orientate local people to expand on a green tourism model by setting up home stays, tourism transportation, and vocational training for youth, especially for tourism skills and helping develop aquatic production. In five years, the livelihood program has caused a dramatic change in the area. By changing from aquatic exploitation to marine tourism businesses, economic structure of the region has obviously changed, exploitation pressure on coral reefs has reduced, and awareness about marine resources of the local people has improved.
Hoang Hue Linh
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)