The illegal trade of the douc langurs in Vietnam OACL.pdf (2.49 MB)

The illegal trade of the douc langurs (Pygathrix sp.) in Vietnam – January 2010 to December 2020

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posted on 2023-10-24, 03:59 authored by Alexandra McEwanAlexandra McEwan, Tilo Nadler, Owen NevinOwen Nevin
All three species of douc langur existing in Vietnam, the red-shanked, the grey-shanked, and the black shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus, P. cinerea and P. nigripes) are categorized as ‘Critically Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. All populations in Vietnam are relatively small and fragmented. Nevertheless, the illegal trade of these species is occurring at an alarming rate despite their protection under Vietnamese laws. The case files about douc langur seizures collected and logged on the Education for Nature’s Wildlife Crime Incident Tracking System (ENV) from January 2010 to December 2020 provide background for analysis. During this period, a total of 684 douc langurs were seized in 80 cases. Black-shanked douc langurs were seized in 46 cases with a total of 560 animals, representing 82% of the confiscated douc langurs. Grey-shanked douc langurs were seized in 10 cases with 69 animals (10%), red-shanked douc langurs were seized in 20 cases with 50 animals (7%), and in 5 cases a total of 5 unidentified (1%) douc langurs were confiscated. The main trade route commences from the southern and central provinces of Vietnam, nearby the main distribution areas of the species. The trading route then moves northwards to the Chinese border to cross the border, where the animals are sold for higher profit than they would fetch in Vietnam. One of the main identified trade centers is Binh Phuoc Province in South Vietnam which borders Cambodia not far from the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area. This protected area harbors one of the largest known populations of black-shanked douc langurs and provides the primary source for hunting and illegal transboundary trade of douc langurs. However, Vietnamese populations of that species suffer as well from hunting and trading. In Central Vietnam, Kon Tum and Gia Lai Provinces are among the main trading hotspots for all three species of douc langurs. Here, red-shanked douc langurs are mainly sourced from nearby Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area in eastern Laos and probably also from Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Central Vietnam. Grey shanked doucs are most liked extracted from Vietnam’s central highlands. In Northern Vietnam, the capital city Hanoi forms a trade corridor towards the north through to Bac Kan and Cao Bang Provinces, where the trade moves across the border to China. Urgent measures and activities with focus on the key provinces of the trade are necessary to reduce the illegal trade with these ‘Critically Endangered’ species.






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Peer Reviewed

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Open Access

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Era Eligible

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Vietnamese Journal of Primatology

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