Red-shanked douc in Da Nang threatened by tourism project

VietNamNet Bridge - Seven groups of 100 red-shanked individuals of douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) could be affected by a tourism project to be implemented in the southwestern part of Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang City.


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The investor is moving ahead with the second phase of the tourism project covering an area of 142.1 hectares. The living environment for red-shanked douc, a rare primate on Son Tra Peninsula, could be wiped out.

The coastal area in the southwestern part of the Son Tra Peninsula is the habitat of red-shanked douc. On sunny days, the crowded herds of 7-15 langur individuals for each would come there, sitting on branches or tree tops and picking up leaves to eat.

Red-shanked douc is listed as endangered in Vietnam’s Red Book, called the ‘queen or primates’, which needs to be protected unconditionally.

Son Tra is the only place in the world where people can walk near langur and take pictures easily.

Vu Ngoc Thanh, a primatology expert from the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences, who spent 40 years on the research on red-shanked douc and 10 years on Son Tra, said the project area was the living environment of at least seven red-shanked douc groups with a total of 140 animals.

Thanh, commenting on the second phase of the Tien Sa eco-tourism project, said he was concerned about the fate of the langur that he and his colleagues had tried to protect.

Thanh, one of the world’s leading primatologists, affirmed that Son Tra is the only place in the world where people can walk near langur and take pictures easily.

He said the area was an ideal site for langurs.  Of the 1,000 flora species in the locality, langurs can eat 200 of them for food. The implementation of the tourism project on Son Tra under any form will deprive the animals of the habitat, thus pushing them to the brink of extinction. 

In 2006, when implementing a research work on Son Tra Peninsula, scientists estimated that there were about 300 red-shanked doucs. 

The number of doucs is believed to increase in recent years thanks to the strict protection mechanism applied to the special-use forest (SUF). However, the animals have been put under danger because of the tourism project.

At a recent press conference held by the Da Nang City People’s Committee, reporters raised questions about the second phase of the tourism project which may threaten the life of the red-shanked douc in Son Tra Natural Sanctuary.

Nguyen Dieu, director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, said this would be a large-scale project, including 20-story buildings.


Dai Doan Ket

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