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Back Stories » Vietnam » It's a Race Against Time to Save Quang Nam's Critically Endangered Grey-Shanked Doucs

The grey-shanked douc, a monkey native to several central Vietnamese provinces, is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered.

Due to habitat loss, food shortages and harsh weather conditions, a grey-shanked douc troop in Nui Thanh District in Quang Nam Province is facing the threat of extinction, Thanh Nien reports. There are currently 20 grey-shanked doucs living in a 10.54-hectare area of old-growth forest in the Hon Do area.

After a field trip to the douc troop's habitat on August 9, Quang Nam's local authorities have started trying to save the rare primate group by reviving their habitat and eliminating hunting and deforestation.

"The troop's habitat was divided and fragmented because of local tree plantations. Thus, the province's solution is to buy acacia farms from residents living in the area of Hon Do mountain in order to expand the habitat of the douc troop. In addition, the province will start replanting forests to ease their movements as well as ensure food sources for the primate troop," said Le Tri Thanh, Quang Nam's vice chairman.

Several locals in Quang Nam told VnExpress that ten years ago, the grey-shanked douc population in the area was approximately 100 and started shrinking when many forests were cleared to pave way for acacia plantations.

Listed as one of the world's 25 most endangered primates by International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC PSG), the International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI), the grey-shanked douc is often the victim of habitat loss, live capture, and hunting for bushmeat and traditional medicine purposes.

[Photo via Mongabay]

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