Endangered moon bear and civet populations spotted in Thanh Hoa

Friday, 2020-07-10 10:01:30
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Moon bear food found in Pu Luong forest area. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – Endangered Asian black bears and Owston's palm civets, two species listed in the IUCN Red List as well as the Vietnam Red Book, have been spotted in the forests of Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa Province.

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The Vietnam News Agency quoted Le Dinh Phuong, Director of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve Management Board, as saying that these rare species were found by camera traps set up within a scientific project on researching and conserving the species in Pu Luong Nature Reserve from 2017-2020.

After 3 years of implementing the project, natural conservationists have discovered about 11-14 Asian black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and a population of 69 Owston's palm civets (Chrotogale owstoni) living and searching for food in Pu Luong’s forests.

Phuong announced that during the project’s implementation, the board organised training for 20 officials to conduct 12 surveys and assess the status of distribution and the frequency of encountering the two species in 11 different areas in the reserve.

The scientific team have investigated and assessed threats to the two species, as well as researched their food source needs.

An Owston's palm civet triggers camera trap in Mo Cho Valley, Pu Luong Nature Reserve. (Photo: VNA)

The management board has also built 10 monitoring routes, distributed 5,000 propaganda leaflets to local people and organised meetings with 10 villages bordering the reserve to implement the management and protection measures on the precious animals.

The successful implementation of the project has helped raise the awareness of local people and authorities on the conservation of two endangered species, creating an ecological balance and biodiversity as well as contributing to the protection of wildlife in Pu Luong Nature Reserve in particular and in Vietnam in general, said Phuong.

He also shared that the Management Board of Pu Luong Nature Reserve will propose that Thanh Hoa Province authorities provide financial support to continue carrying out scientific research on preserving the two species.

The board also continues to patrol and set up camera traps to monitor the fluctuation of the two species’ populations, while improving the efficiency of law enforcement and strictly handling any exploitation, trading or transportation of forest products and wildlife, including the two endangered species.

An Asian black bear spotted by camera traps in Lau Buoc Nam Valley, in the Son-Ba-Muoi area of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Thanh Hoa Province. (Photo: VNA)

Currently, both the Asiatic black bear and Owston’s palm civet are listed in the IUCN Red List and the Vietnam Red Book. In which, Asiatic black bears are only present in primeval forest areas with few impacts from humans, including the forests of Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Meanwhile, Owston's civets have a wider active range to search for food sources, but it is hard to detect traces of these elusive carnivores in the wild.