Cat Ba langurs put under strict protection
VietNamNet Bridge - The Cat Ba langur, or golden headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), is on the list of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world.


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The Cat Ba langur



Director of the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project (CBLCP) Neahga Leonard recently travelled with a group of journalists from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba Island. 

Most of the journalists, who joined the trip organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), knew more about Ha Long Bay than Cat Ba island. 

Cat Ba Island, a UNESCO recognized biosphere reserve, has high biological diversity and many rare animals and plants. These include an animal species which can only be found in Cat Ba – the Cat Ba langur.

The langur has become a symbol for the archipelago. The number of Cat Ba langurs dropped by 98 percent within 50 years, from 2,500-2,700 in the 1960s. The population is scattered around the islands in several isolated sub-populations.

In the 1990s, when Cat Ba became better known as a tourism point, Cat Ba langurs were hunted by poachers.

In the 1990s, when Cat Ba became better known as a tourism point, Cat Ba langurs were hunted by poachers. 

There are only 60 now, according to IUCN, and they are facing risks – losing their living environment and poaching. The massive deforestation to get land for cultivation and uncontrolled tourism development on Cat Ba Island are also big threats.

Vietnam is one of 12 countries with the highest diversity of primates in the world. It is listed among the top three countries which have the highest number of primate species in danger of extinction, according to GreenViet. 

Of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world, there are three which can only be found in Vietnam.

"Extremely endangered means they are on the brink of extinction," said Neahga. "There are 11 primate species in extremely critical conditions in Vietnam.”

“Without a buyer, there is no killer” is the famous slogan of WildAid’s rhino protection campaign. 

In the past, the species was hunted for medicinal purposes. Many projects, however, aim to change people’s perceptions.

One of the success stories involves Vu Huu Tinh, known as the best langur hunter on Cat Ba Island, who knew everything about the habitat, habits and characteristics of the animals. 

But now, Tinh is the head of CBLCP’s team fighting illegal poaching. With his experience and knowledge about langurs, he and his co-workers work hard to ensure the safety of the langurs.



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