Working with a number of stake-holders (including the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, IUCN, the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Cuc Phuong National Park and the Xuan Truong Enterprise), SUNDASIA is helping to establish a detailed picture of modern species biodiversity within Tràng An.
Data obtained during a preliminary entomological transect survey undertaken in September 2016 are currently being analysed by colleagues at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Following discussion with stake-holders and collaborators, a camera-trap survey of vertebrate fauna will take place in the property. Camera-traps will be set in September 2017 and retrieved, in the first instance, in November.
The zooarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental data generated by the project will help to characterize longer-term trends in the biodiversity of the massif and comparable tropical limestone karst habitats, including in response to different scales of environmental and climatic change; considerations central in today’s conservation management planning (e.g. see Rabett et al. 2017). The project’s ambitions in this regard are aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (notably 6 and 15).
Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) is a Vietnamese endemic primate categorised as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is consistently listed as one of ‘The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates’. Its current distribution is restricted to a small number of karstic areas of northern Vietnam. The need to protect existing reserves and instigate new ones has been highlighted in the ’Urgent Conservation Action Plan for Primates in Vietnam to 2025, Vision 2030’ (May 2017, Decision 628 QD-TTg) and follows recommendations in the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group UNEP Action Plan for Asian Primate Conservation: 1987-91.
Building on the success of the first reintroduction effort of this species in what is now the Van Long Nature Reserve (also in Ninh Binh province – shown above), a collaborative initiative between the Vietnam Primate Conservation Program, the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, Cuc Phuong National Park, the Tràng An Management Board, and the SUNDASIA Project is aiming to establish a trial population within the Tràng An World Heritage Site as a crucial step towards safeguarding this species.
(Featured image & images 1-2: T. Kahlert; image 3: R. Rabett)