Conserving the Critically Endangered Northern White-cheeked Gibbon in Vietnam

  • Focal species: White cheeked gibbon
  • Secondary species: Asian elephant, Assamese Macaque, Bengal slow loris, grey langur, Indochinese tiger, northern pig-tailed macaque, pangolin, pygmy slow loris, red-shanked douc, rhesus macaque, Saola, stump-tailed macaque
  • Countries: Viet Nam
  • Name of organisation: Flora and Fauna International
  • Support requested:
    contributions for specific items >1000 euro,
    contributions to running of project <1000 euro,
    manpower,
    materials
  • Does this project benefit local people through employment and/or capacity building: yes
  • Does this project benefit local people in other ways: Ecotourism ventures to provide livelihood opportunities.
  • This project concept is endorsed by:
    • the EAZA TAG relevant to the primary taxon
    • ASAP
    • the IUCN-SSC Specialist Group(s) relevant to the focal species

Project Description

The northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) is already functionally extinct in China (Fan & Huo 2009), and assessments of populations in Vietnam (Rawson et al 2011) and Laos (Duckworth 2008) conducted by FFI clearly show that few populations are viable. Declines of this Indochinese endemic species are recorded across its range, including in Vietnam. Pu Mat National Park represents one of the last population strongholds for this Critically Endangered species, holding over 130 groups. However, despite formal protection, hunting of gibbons is known to persist in Pu Mat, where they are actively targeted for a primate ‘bone balm’, as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Therefore, the project is extremely time sensitive.
Pu Mat National Park is one of Vietnam’s largest protected areas covering 91,113 hectares. Even in Pu Mat, the gibbon are exceptionally difficult to observe (although their songs are often heard, in the remotest areas). Pu Mat is a also priority area for other species that will benefit from the conservation interventions of this project, including the Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), which was only described in the 1990s, but is close to extinction, with no ‘safety net’ of individuals held in captivity and only extremely rare records from the wild.
The project goal is to secure the biodiversity values of Pu Mat National Park with a focus on the Critically Endangered flagship species of northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys), and enforce “No Kill” zones in the Park.
Specific activities will include: 1. Engaging local communities in forest protection, including supporting community-based conservation teams and awareness campaigns; 2. Support improvement of the enforcement of Pu Mat National Park, including the “No Kill” zones; 3. improve knowledge and capacity for biological monitoring including camera traps, biodiversity baseline surveys and vocalisation monitoring techniques.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.