Thursday, November 3, 2011

Many animal species in Vietnam critically endangered

The information about the death of the last one-horn rhino in Vietnam has stunned the public, even though people well understand that the are animal is the aiming point of hunters. Scientists have immediately called on people to join forces to protect rare animals, or they, like Java rhinos, would also disappear on the earth.

Dr Dang Huy Quynh, Chair of the Vietnam Society of Zoology, said on Tien phong that a lot of rare and endemic animal species in Vietnam are facing the extinction.

Quynh said that every species only has tens or hundreds of existing individuals. There are only about 250 Sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) individuals, for example, and 80 elephant individuals. It is estimated that less than 50 tiger individuals still live in Vietnam. All the animal species are critically endangered.

Quynh said that it is very difficult to preserve the rare animal species, because the animals have high economic values, which have been always the aiming points of hunters. Meanwhile, the living environment of the animals has been endangered due to the afforestation and the climate change.

In the past, elephants could live in the west of the northern region of Vietnam. However, the serious deforestation has led to the decreases of the number of elephant individuals in the area. Some individuals are believed to have evacuated to Laos, and the northwestern region is no more the suitable place to live for elephants.

It is also very difficult to preserve tigers, because the number of live tigers is modest, while they are living in many different localities throughout the country, which means that there are few opportunities for male and female tigers to mate. Therefore, scientists have warned that the possibility to protect the race is limited.

Do Thi Thanh Huyen from WAR (Wildlife At Risk) has also confirmed that elephants and tigers in Vietnam have also been added into the list of the species facing the extinction.

Statistics showed that by 2010, Vietnam had had 100 Asian elephant individuals left in the wild. Meanwhile, just in the last two years, 19 elephants were killed. Experts have warned that if the situation cannot be improved, elephants would become extinct after 10 years.

Also according to Huyen, there are only about 30 tigers living in a wild in Vietnam. Scientists have warned that since tigers are being hunted, traded, and they are losing the ideal living environment, they would become extinct by 2022.

“If no proper solution is implemented, not only elephants and tigers, but many other animal species in Vietnam would also get extinct in a near future,” Huyen said.

Dr Huynh said that it is necessary to protect the rare animals with overall measures, especially, it is necessary to call for the support of the community.

Tran Van Thanh, Director of the Cat Tien National Park, said on Phap luat Vietnam that the national park now has some tens of animal species listed in the world’s red book. The thing that Cat Tien prioritizes to do in the immediate time is to gather strength to protect rare animals through a project which has got the approval from the government.

However, Thanh has emphasized that in order to successfully implement the project, Cat Tien needs the cooperation of relevant agencies and branches.

In related news, VnExpress has reported that FPT (the Corporation for Financing and Promoting Technology) has become the first business which commits to protect wild animal and to help encourage the protection in the society.

Deputy Chair of FPT Truong Thanh Thanh has signed an agreement on committing to protect wild animals with WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). Thanh said that FPT’s officers will say “no” to wile animals, and with the advantages in information technology and communication, FPT will help convey the message to the community.

WCS’ surveys have pointed out that businessmen are the biggest consumers of wild animals who account for 43 percent of the total clients.