How many doucs live in Son Tra?
VietNamNet Bridge - At least 1,335 red-shanked doucs are believed to be living on Son Tra Peninsula. But many scientists are doubtful about the figure, which was released in a recent workshop by GreenVet, an NGO. 


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They believe that no more than 300-400 doucs still live there.

Vu Ngoc Thanh from the Hanoi National University of Natural Sciences, Director of Douc Langur Foundation, said on Dan Viet that it takes a lot of time to determine the exact number of doucs Son Tra.

Commenting about the report about 1,335 red-shanked doucs living in Son Tra released by GreenViet, Thanh said the figure is ‘too impressive’.

“If it is true, it is necessary to grow more plants to have more food for doucs and take other actions to preserve such a high population of doucs,” Thanh said.

Thanh is one of Vietnam's leading primate experts. He was awarded a prize from the International Primatological Society (IPS) and the Ho Chi Minh Award for Science and Technology.

Estimates can be based on tallies of doucs in a certain area and then estimating the number of doucs in larger areas, or tallying the number of doucs directly and then adding the numbers up.

At least 1,335 red-shanked doucs are believed to be living on Son Tra Peninsula. But many scientists are doubtful about the figure, which was released in a recent workshop by GreenVet, an NGO. 

“Both methods need a long time to implement, because it is necessary to approach doucs in season or find their food sources,” Thanh said. 

“We have been conducting research on Son Tra since 2006. The number of doucs we have counted is much lower than the figure released by GreenViet,” Thanh said on Tuoi Tre.

Also according to the expert, no matter which method is applied, researchers need to find the boundaries where herds of doucs live. But is difficult to determine the boundaries because of limited conditions in terms of researchers, time and money.

“If we cannot find the boundaries of living areas, we will count the same doucs many times when doucs move to other places to seek food or to avoid people,” he explained. 

Meanwhile, Nguyen Manh Tien from the Da Nang Forest Rangers’ Unit said the figure released by GreenViet is an ‘unofficial figure’ which is just for reference.

Da Nang City has released statistics about the numbers of doucs. In 1989, it estimated that there were 400. The figures were 170 in 2007 and 300 in 2009.

Scientists have repeatedly warned that the tourism boom in Son Tra peninsula may damage the ecological system and threaten the habitat of the red-shanked douc, considered the symbol of Da Nang City.

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Thanh Mai

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