Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists Find Endangered Grey-Shanked Doucs in Vietnam

Newly Discovered Population Boosts Hopes for Monkey’s Survival

A team of scientists from WWF and Conservation International (CI) has discovered the world’s largest known population of grey-shanked doucs (Pygathrix cinerea), increasing chances that the Endangered monkey can be saved from extinction.

The grey-shanked douc is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates and has only been recorded in the five central Vietnamese provinces of Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, and Gia Lai. Fewer than 1,000 individuals are believed to still exist, and until now, only one other population with more than 100 animals was known.

“This is an exciting and important discovery because of the large size of the population,” said Barney Long, Central Truong Son Conservation Landscape Coordinator for WWF Greater Mekong – Vietnam Program. “It’s very rare to discover a population of this size with such high numbers in a small area, especially for a species on the brink of extinction. This indicates that the population has not been impacted by hunting like all other known populations of the species.”

Recent surveys in Que Phuoc Commune in Quang Nam Province recorded at least 116 animals (the number of individuals observed), with an estimated population of over 180 individuals. To date, only a small part of the area has been surveyed, meaning significantly more doucs may live in the adjacent forest.

“To put it into a human perspective, this discovery is like finding a new country with over 1 billion people in it,” said Ben Rawson, a Regional Wildlife Biologist for CI’s Indo-Burma Program. “We now have a much greater opportunity to overcome the very serious threats faced by this species and prevent its disappearance from our planet.”

Grey-shanked doucs, first described in 1997, are tree-dwelling colobine monkeys with orange faces and tufts of whiskers. Like many primate species in Vietnam, they face an uncertain future due to hunting and habitat loss. A 2006 IUCN assessment determined that 65 percent of Vietnam’s primate taxa are Endangered or Critically Endangered, making the country one of the highest global priorities for primate conservation.

A WWF survey team first discovered the new douc population in August 2005 while studying the region for possible establishment of a new protected area. Two recent joint surveys in adjacent areas involving scientists from WWF’s Greater Mekong Program and Conservation International’s Indo-Burma Office revealed the significance of the find.

Tran Khanh Duong, who led the most recent surveys, was trained through CI’s Primate Conservation Training Course operated in collaboration with Hanoi University of Science, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Frankfurt Zoological Society. He then received a small grant and mentoring to run the surveys, showing the impact on primate conservation and career development from such training and funding programs.

“When I gave up economics to pursue my passion for wildlife, I never dreamed that I would be able to make such an impact,” Duong said. “I look forward to continuing my work at the site to ensure that this population is protected.”

The doucs are located in the proposed “Central Quang Nam Species and Habitat Conservation Area”, which the Quang Nam Forest Protection Department (FPD) hopes will receive full legal protection by the Provincial People’s Committee. Establishment of this protected area will protect the globally important population of grey-shanked doucs, along with a herd of elephants that live in the lowland forests to the south.

Currently, the area is threatened by illegal logging and hunting, as well as the construction of a new road that would bisect the forest. A new management plan developed by Que Son FPD with WWF support that aims to protect the douc and elephant populations long into the future awaits final approval and financial support form the Provincial People’s Committee.

The surveys were funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WWF-US and the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation. WWF has been supporting Quang Nam and adjacent provinces through its Central Truong Son Landscape Conservation Program for over six years and rangers from across Quang Nam and Thue Thien Hue provinces have been trained in primate surveying, monitoring, and conservation methods.

Tom Cohen | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>