Netherlands-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (NVCC)

Category Nature – Conservation

Vietnam creates new nature reserve, possible home to elusive ‘Asian unicorn’

A view over the area that is now Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve and the nearby Bac Huong Hoa Nature Reserve, photographed in 2017. Image by Viet Nature Conservation Centre/Pham Tuan Anh.

Source: Mandabay

  • Conservationists have hailed the establishment of the new Dong Chau-Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve as a major step for the protection of Vietnam’s wildlife.
  • The new reserve is home to a number of threatened species, including two species of muntjac deer (Muntiacus vuquangensis and M. truongsonensis), the Annamite striped rabbit (Nesolagus timminsi), the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), the southern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus siki), the red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus), and the crested argus (Rheinardia ocellata), which resembles a peacock.
  • Conservationists debate whether it may also shelter the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), a mysterious antelope-like bovine so rare it has been called the “Asian unicorn.”
  • Critical threats such as poaching and deforestation remain, however, and conservationists say enforcement of new protective measures will be key to the reserve’s success.

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Vietnam conservation regulations improving, but much work remains

A critically endangered douc langur (genus Pygathrix) in Vietnam. The animals are sold as pets or for medicine or meat. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Source: Mongabay

  • Vietnam made headlines earlier in the year for considering a wildlife trade ban in response to COVID-19, but such a development has not occurred.
  • Nonetheless, the country’s laws related to biodiversity conservation are robust and generally comprehensive, with strong penalties for violations in place.
  • But enforcement remains a problem, while corruption and other issues also hinder improved protection of Vietnam’s wildlife.
  • Conservation organizations have been heartened by recent legal and regulatory improvements, but caution that there is still a long way to go.

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