Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Thanh Hoa (VNA) – Groups of Indochinese gray langurs living in the Xuan Lien Nature Reserve in the central province of Thanh Hoa are on the verge of extinction due to local residents’ hunting, the Reserve’s management board said.

According to head of the Reserve Division under the provincial Department of Forest Protection Mai Van Chuyen, the primate is on the red list of threatened species in Vietnam and the world. The species is currently found only in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and China.

The species is also listed in the IB groups of Decree 32/2006/ND-CP on Management of Endangered, Precious, and rare Species of Wild Plants and Animals, and the list of rare animals that need prioritised protection.

He said the protecting the primate is difficult due to illegal hunting and habitat degradation.

Director of the Reserve Nguyen Dinh Hai said his agency made efforts to stop the hunting, citing a series of measures to protect the primate, such as enhancing patrol and preventing surreptitious wood cutting, free grazing and illegal entry into the reserve.

Natural regeneration of forests has been fostered, while efforts to raise locals’ awareness of the protection of the animal have been intensified, he added.

The Reserve conducted studies of the Indochinese gray langurs from 2013-2015 to define the number of primates and groups and their living habit, Hai said.

To date, as many as seven groups of Indochinese gray langurs with about 200 individuals have been found to live in areas in Bat Mot and Yen Nhan communes in Thuong Xuan district.

Survey results showed Xuan Lien reserve is home to the largest number of the Indochinese gray langur in Vietnam.

Scientists recently also discovered several rare flora and fauna species in the reserve, including Muntiacus rooseveltorum, a species of muntjac which was believed to have become extinction 85 years ago, and an unknown plant of the Aristolochiaceae family which is named Aristolochia xuanlienensis.-VNA