How many red-shanked doucs are left on Vietnam’s Son Tra peninsula?


Updated : 05/24/2017 18:55 GMT + 7

While a recent independent study claimed that there are still over 1,300 red-shank doucs on central Vietnam’s Son Tra peninsula, primate experts believe the number to be much lower.

Red-shanked doucs are monkey-sized primates characterized by their golden face, black hands and feet, and maroon-red ‘stockings’ from their knees to their ankles.

The endangered species, native to central Vietnam, are known locally as ‘the queen of all primates’ due to their extravagant appearance.

On Monday, the Da Nang City Union of Science and Technology Associations and GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Centre held a seminar to announce their findings of the doucs’ population status on Son Tra peninsula.

“Software calculation results showed that there are around 1,335 specimens of red-shanked doucs on Son Tra, which belong to around 237 troops,” said GreenViet’s lead researcher Bui Van Tuan at the seminar.

According to Tuan, his team had used the advanced distance sampling method to estimate the density and abundance of the douc population, a process that took the first three months of 2017 to complete.

Other primate experts in Vietnam have voiced their skepticism of the organization’s independent findings however, as they contradicted most other studies that showed that the douc population on Son Tra had shrunk to between 300 or 400.

Nguyen Manh Tien, head of the forest management and nature conservation division at Da Nang’s Forest Protection Sub-Department, argued that the numbers announced by GreenViet were “unofficial” and should only be used for reference.

Tien added that GreenViet’s scientists had conducted their study in a special-purpose forest and made the announcement without the permission of relevant authorities as required in Vietnam’s Law on Forest Protection and Development.

“According to the law, findings on any provincial, municipal or national level must be announced by an administrative body,” Tien said.

“Studies on forest wildlife must be overseen by the local forest protection sub-department, in cooperation with organizations, professionals and scientists. The study must then be accepted by a scientific council before its findings can be legally announced.”

According to Tien, Da Nang City has conducted three studies of red-shanked doucs on Son Tra peninsula; in 1989, 2007 and 2009.

The species’ population in these years was said to be 400, 170 and 300, respectively.

This entry was posted in Bảo tồn sinh vật hoang dã - Wild life preservation, Môi trường - Environment, Động và thực vật có nguy cơ tuyệt chủng - Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and tagged , , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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