Efforts needed to conserve rare primates in Ha Giang

Local authorities and forest rangers in the northern province of Ha Giang have worked together with the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) to conserve the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey since they were spotted in the province.

Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys in Ha Giang Province (Photo: FFI)
Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys in Ha Giang Province (Photo: FFI)

Ha Giang is the sole province in Vietnam which is home to a population of the monkeys, one of the rarest primate species in the world. In 2002, a population of 60 individuals was spotted in the Khau Ca special-use forest in Vi Xuyen and Bac Me districts of Ha Giang province. Another population, estimated at 30-60, was found six years later in the Tung Vai area in Quan Ba district.

In 2015, the Prime Minister issued a decision on the establishment of the Du Gia National Park by merging the Du Gia nature reserve and the Khau Ca Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey Species and Habitat Conservation Area in the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. The park covers an area of 15,006 ha, with 11,224 ha under strict protection.

As a result, the population of the monkey in the park rose from 60 to around 160 in 2019.

Meanwhile, the population of the monkeys in Quan Ba district’s three communes of Cao Ma Po, Ta Van and Tung Vai, has decreased to 10 from about 35 in 2007, the FFI reported, adding that their living environment has been negatively affected by human activities, particularly illegal hunting.

At present, only 5,000 ha of forests are suitable for snub-nosed monkeys’ life in this area.

According to the FFI, there are only about 250 such monkeys in the world, with most of them being in Ha Giang.

The FFI said preservation of the primate is of special significance, and stressed the need to create different populations of the primate as well as diverse gene sources.