When South-east Asia’s forests fall silent


For decades, people across South-east Asia have been hunting wild animals for food. But commercial pressures and cheaper snaring methods are causing the region’s forests to be emptied faster than they can be replenished — with repercussions for human and forest health.


They were taken to the wildlife rescue centre not in cages but in fine mesh bags, as though they were already fresh meat being sold by the gram.

But the four ferret badgers were still alive and kicking.

The mammals had been literally rescued from the jaws of death.

VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA – Local policemen had seized them from a restaurant and taken them to Save Vietnam’s Wildlife’s facility located within Cuc Phuong National Park, about a two-hour drive from Hanoi.

“The restaurant bought them from people who caught them from the forest,” said Mr Tran Van Truong, who as captive coordinator is in charge of the facility’s operations. “They are a bit stressed now, but they seem okay otherwise. We can probably release them back into the wild after a few days.”

Not all of man’s wild quarry are as lucky.

Demand for bushmeat and exotic pets from city dwellers is contributing to the emptying of South-east Asia’s forests. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Demand for bushmeat and exotic pets from city dwellers is contributing to the emptying of South-east Asia’s forests. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Trapping wild animals for bushmeat may be illegal in Vietnam, but the practice is still widespread in the country. In other parts of South-east Asia too, the Covid-19 pandemic and its likely origins in the wildlife trade has had nary an impact on the region’s appetite for wild meat.

Wild animals are still being taken from the forests in large numbers, to be eaten or kept as pets, and we discovered how voracious appetites for them were still during visits to Vietnam and Cambodia in September.

Wild animals sold at a market in Ho Chi Minh City. VIDEO: ANTON L. DELGADO
Wild animals sold at a market in Ho Chi Minh City. VIDEO: ANTON L. DELGADO

Tiếp tục đọc “When South-east Asia’s forests fall silent”

Sri Lanka fuel shortage takes massive toll on efforts to save wildlife


  • Sri Lanka continues to face the brunt of the worst economic crisis in the country’s history, with depleted foreign reserves resulting in acute fuel shortages nationwide.
  • The shortages and limited rations are affecting conservation efforts, including the timely treatment of wild animals, regular patrolling to thwart poaching, and mitigation actions to limit human-elephant conflict.
  • Fuel allocations for the wildlife conservation department have been halved, and both wildlife and forest officials say this has made operations extremely difficult.
  • The threat of forest fires also looms as the dry season gets underway, which typically calls for more patrols to prevent burning by poachers and forest encroachers.

COLOMBO — Anyone who’d ever seen Maheshakya in the wildernesses of Kebithigollewa in Sri Lanka’s North Central province agreed that, as elephants went, he was an exemplary specimen with large tusks. Earlier this year, he got into a fight with another elephant, which left Maheshakya seriously wounded. As he lay in pain, still alive and conscious, a poacher cut off one of his tusks. Twenty days later, Maheshakya was dead.

In the time since Maheshakya had suffered his injuries during the fight, veterinarians from the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) were able to check on him just twice. Before this year, Maheshakya would have received many more visits, possibly preventing the loss of his tusk and subsequent death. But Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic crisis, the worst in the country’s history, meant that was not to be.

“If we had more opportunity to treat the elephant and visit frequently, there was a chance of saving his life. But we did not have fuel in our vehicles to make this journey regularly,” said Chandana Jayasinghe, a wildlife veterinary surgeon at the DWC.

Sri Lanka has declared bankruptcy and lacks foreign reserves to import essential goods for its people, such as medicine, fuel and gas. Kilometers-long lines at gas stations have become a permanent scene throughout the country, and although a rationing system is helping shorten the wait times, what little fuel is available isn’t enough for wildlife officials to do their regular work. This leaves response teams, like the one Jayasinghe works on, often unable to go out on rescue missions.

The Attidiya Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Colombo receives several calls a day regarding injured animals, but has been forced to reduce operations due to fuel being in short supply. Image courtesy of the Attidiya Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Rescue operations affected

Tiếp tục đọc “Sri Lanka fuel shortage takes massive toll on efforts to save wildlife”

Unwanted tigers face uncertain future after years of captivity


By Le Hoang   February 17, 2022 | 02:02 pm GMT+7

Financial problems and complicated procedures have created a situation in which 11 tigers raised in captivity for 15 years remain unwanted in north-central Vietnam.

In 2007, Nguyen Mau Chien, a local in Thanh Hoa Province, bought 10 tiger cubs weighing around seven kilos each from an unidentified seller and brought them from Laos to Vietnam to raise near his home in Xuan Tin Commune of Tho Xuan District.

While his intent in making the purchase was not stated, demand for tiger parts for medicinal purposes has been high in Vietnam and China for a long time.

Chien was fined VND30 million ($1,300) for animal trafficking and tasked with raising the cubs.

In 2008, Chien bought another five tiger cubs from Laos and was fined the same amount. Once again, he was asked to raise the cubs with support from local authorities and the ranger force.

Tiếp tục đọc “Unwanted tigers face uncertain future after years of captivity”

Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says


by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong on 25 November 2021

  • Only one in every seven wildlife seizures made in Vietnam in the past decade has resulted in convictions, a new report by the U.K.-based Environmental Investigation Agency has found.
  • Low numbers of arrests and prosecutions highlight problems of weak enforcement and a lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies, the researchers said.
  • Three-quarters of the shipments originated from African countries, they found, with numerous large-scale seizures indicating transnational organized crime.
  • With pandemic-related restrictions easing, the worry is that the cross-border wildlife trade will come roaring back even as Vietnam struggles to follow up on investigations into past and current seizures.

Tiếp tục đọc “Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says”

The young Vietnamese helping tackle the illegal wildlife trade


Trang Nguyen is a rarity in Vietnam where civil society is viewed with scepticism and most young people want more lucrative careers.

Trang has won international recognition for her work including the Future for Nature Award [Theo Krus/Courtesy of Trang Nguyen]
Trang has won international recognition for her work including the Future for Nature Award [Theo Krus/Courtesy of Trang Nguyen]

By Sen Nguyen10 Sep 2021

Standing on top of a four-wheel drive looking out at a central Kenyan wildlife reserve wearing a bucket hat and walking boots, Trang Nguyen stands apart from most Vietnamese who prefer European charm and East Asian wonders for their holidays and photographic memories.

But Trang is no ordinary traveller.

The 31-year-old founder and executive director of WildAct, a Vietnamese conservation NGO, travels the world as a wildlife conservation scientist.

Tiếp tục đọc “The young Vietnamese helping tackle the illegal wildlife trade”

Vietnam Biodiversity


Vietnam has been ranked the 16th most biologically diverse country in the world! Diverse ecosystems provide clean water, soil stability, buffers against storms and climate shocks as well as a basis for tourism. Biodiversity conservation is an essential component of achieving sustainable, resilient development. This Biodiversity Week we are celebrating Vietnam’s biodiversity status with 16 facts! 


On the mainland, there are 15.986 species of flora and 10% among them are endemic species. As for fauna, or more commonly known as animals, there are more than 100 endemic species of birds alone, and almost 80 types of mammals! Vietnam is home to 30 National Parks with more animal species than popular safari destinations such as Kenya and Tanzania. 

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam Biodiversity”

Endangered crane absent from Vietnam’s Ramsar site

By Hoang Nam   December 15, 2020 | 08:00 pm GMT+7 VnExpress

Losing their natural habitat and food source, red-crowned cranes no longer call a national park in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta home.

For three decades, Tram Chim National Park in the reed fields of Dong Thap Muoi in Dong Thap Province has been famous as a natural habitat for the large East Asian red-crowned crane, among the rarest in the world and classified “endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

Tiếp tục đọc “Endangered crane absent from Vietnam’s Ramsar site”

Southeast Asia is in the grip of a biodiversity crisis


Rich in wildlife, Southeast Asia includes at least six of the world’s 25 “biodiversity hotspots” – the areas of the world that contain an exceptional concentration of species, and are exceptionally endangered. The region contains 20% of the planet’s vertebrate and plant species and the world’s third-largest tropical forest.

In addition to this existing biodiversity, the region has an extraordinary rate of species discovery, with more than 2,216 new species describedbetween 1997 and 2014 alone.

Global comparisons are difficult but it seems the Mekong region has a higher rate of species discovery than other parts of the tropics, with hundreds of new species described annually.

Habitat loss

Southeast Asia’s biodiversity is under serious threat; some parts of the region are projected to lose up to 98% of their remaining forests in the next nine years. It’s also thought to be the world’s most threatened region for mammals. Tiếp tục đọc “Southeast Asia is in the grip of a biodiversity crisis”

Critically Endangered Giant Fish on Menu at Luxury Restaurants

FROM THE OUTSIDE Nha Hang Lang Nghe, in Danang, looks like any other respectable restaurant in Vietnam. Tables are invitingly laid out in the shade of a lush garden, and festive traditional art lines attractive brick walls. Families laugh over hot pots, and businessmen clink glasses.

Yet the veneer of wholesome normality masks a dark truth: Critically endangered giant river fish are Lang Nghe’s signature dish. Although it’s illegal to sell them in Vietnam, signs at the entryway entice diners with photos of imperiled Mekong giant catfish (“tasty meat, rich in omega-3”) and giant barbs (“good for men”), while a video showing a 436-pound giant catfish being cooked and eaten plays on a screen inside. Advertisements on social media likewise boast of the delightful flavor of the enormous fish, and of their rarity.
Tiếp tục đọc “Critically Endangered Giant Fish on Menu at Luxury Restaurants”

Báo động thú ăn chơi hủy hoại môi trường và nhân tính

Phóng sự 3 kỳ

Hoàng Thiên Nga

Ai từng sống giữa những cánh rừng nguyên sinh mới hiểu được hết sự giàu có phong phú của đại ngàn, cảm nhận được vẻ đẹp hài hòa của sự cân bằng sinh thái mà con người được ban tặng từ Trái đất. Bây giờ, với số đông, điều đó chỉ còn thấy… trong phim hoạt hình, mà tài nguyên vẫn không ngừng bị tàn phá bằng rất nhiều thú chơi bạo tàn, chiếm đoạt.  

Một chú chồn hương hoang dã sắp bị làm thịt

>> Kỳ I: Báo động thú ăn chơi hủy hoại môi trường: Ăn tới… tuyệt chủng!

Kỳ II- Những cuộc chơi đẫm máu muôn loài Phong trào chơi đủ bộ chim-hoa-cá-đá vài năm qua lan rộng, từ thành thị tới thôn quê, đâu cũng có những ngôi nhà treo lồng chim lủng lẳng. Sáng sớm thong dong thưởng trà, nghe chim hót dưới giàn phong lan, ngắm mảnh vườn nhung xanh điểm vài gốc bonsai lạ mắt quanh hồ cá cảnh, non bộ chất chồng những khối đá thạch anh, mã não… Tiếp tục đọc “Báo động thú ăn chơi hủy hoại môi trường và nhân tính”

Lack of care leads to elephant rampages

Last update 11:34 | 12/01/2018
VietNamNet Bridge – For centuries, residents in Phuc Son Commune, central province of Nghe An have lived comfortably with wild elephants, but as bamboo forests – the main diet of many elephants – are replaced with industrial trees, things are changing. Many elephant herds are now finding it difficult to find enough food to survive. 
Pu Mat National Park, wild elephants, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
Elephants at the Pu Mat National Park in the central province of Nghe An. Many elephant herds in the province are now finding it difficult to find enough food to survive. — Photo: baonghean.vn

Last October, six wild elephants went on a rampage in a commune village and destroyed family crops.

The family called neighbours for help to chase the elephants away. However, the wild beasts refused to go until they had destroyed two hectares of acacias and other trees. Tiếp tục đọc “Lack of care leads to elephant rampages”

Inspection on Đà Nẵng’s projects begins

vietnamnews Update: December, 07/2017 – 08:30

An embankement of the Đa Phước International Urban Project is built on coastal Nguyễn Tất Thành Street, Đà Nẵng City. The project will be inspected by Government agencies for possible of violations. — VNS Photo Công Thành
ĐÀ NẴNG — The Government Inspectorate of Việt Nam (GIV) will begin inspection on the controversial Đa Phước International Urban project, along with all investment and construction projects on the protected Sơn Trà Peninsula.The inspection will consider land use and land management practices and forest and environmental protection on the peninsula, 10km from the city. Tiếp tục đọc “Inspection on Đà Nẵng’s projects begins”

Vietnam to launch tours through Son Doong Cave as controversial ladder installation backed

Oxalis has been allowed to take tourists through Son Doong from entrance to exit from 2018

By Tuoi Tre News

October 7, 2017, 15:01 GMT+7

Vietnam to launch tours through Son Doong Cave as controversial ladder installation backed
The ladder at the ‘Vietnamese Wall’ inside Son Doong. Photo: Oxalis
Quang Binh authorities have finally approved a plan to install a ladder inside the north-central province’s famous Son Doong Cave, allowing tourists to explore through out the world’s biggest natural cave instead of returning to exit after reaching its end.

The Quang Binh administration has green-lighted the ‘ladder solution’ despite widely objections that it may destroy the stalactites that are millions of years old inside Son Doong. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam to launch tours through Son Doong Cave as controversial ladder installation backed”