Conservation Blog

Fota Funded Project in Vietnam

Fota Wildlife Park welcomed Brian Crudge back to Cork today as he gave a presentation to the staff on the work him and his colleagues at Flora and Fauna international are doing in Vietnam.

Fota Wildlife Park is collaborating with Flora and Fauna International (FFI) to help save some of the world’s critically endangered primate species in Vietnam.

South East Asia is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and its ever-increasing human population poses the greatest threat to its remaining habitats. It now has more endangered, or critically endangered, species of largevertebrates - including amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - than any other region in the world.

The loss of habitat has been one of the main factors in the decline of many species but hunting for food and medicines has emerged as the issue that will tip the survival balance to extinction for most of these endangered species in South East Asia.

Vietnam has an incredible diversity of gibbon and monkey species, many of which are found no-where else in the world. The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus avunculus and Western blackcrested gibbon, Nomascus concolor, are two of the most endangered primates in the world and have been driven to the brink of extinction by the loss of habitat and hunting.

The global populationsof each species are around 250 and 1500 individuals respectively and are only found in isolated patches of forest in just three provinces in Vietnam. Central to FFI’s e!orts to conserve endangered primates in Vietnam is ensuring that the local communities who live nearest these species are aware of the need to conserve and are involved in, and bene#t from, e!orts to conserve them.

These community conservation groups form the core of FFI’s interventions at all sites in Northern Vietnam, where endangered or critically endangered species require protection. These Community Patrol Teams (CPT) are trained, equipped and monitored by FFI, and managed by the local Forest Protection Department. Fota Wildlife Park now sponsors two of the Community Patrol Teams, each composed of six people, that patrol the forests and help protect the $ora and fauna of the area. This includes their uniforms, salary, equipment, training, technical support and management.