Primates are a broad order of mammals ranging from typical size such as Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur weighing as little as 30 grams to the Eastern Gorilla weighing up to and over 200 kilograms. Primates are found in a range of habitats throughout Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
Viet Nam is home to 24 species of primate, half of which are endemic to our region. But sadly, most of them are now threatened with extinction.
Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus)
The Cat Ba langur is only found on Cat Ba island, Hai Phong, off the north-east coast of Viet Nam. It has the smallest distribution of any langur species in the world. The species is considered critically endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2000. As of 2006 the estimated population was 64 individuals.
Con Dao Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis condorensis)
Whilst there are varied species of long-tailed macaques in Viet Nam and around the world, this Vietnamese endemic species is limited to the Con Dao archipelago, Ba Ria Vung Tau off the south east coast of Viet Nam. The species is considered vulnerable by the IUCN since 2001. The estimated population was about 2000 individuals over the world.
Delacour’s Langur (Trachypithecus delacouri)The Delacour’s langur is found in the Northern provinces of Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, and Ha Tay. The species is considered critically endangered by the IUCN since 2003. The species population has been declining and it is estimated that about 200 individuals remain in the wild over the world.
Eastern Black Crested Gibbon (Nomascus nasutus)
The Eastern black gibbon is found in a small area in north-east Viet Nam close to the Chinese border, where it is restricted to the Phong Nam-Ngoc Khe Mountains, Trung Khanh District, northern Cao Bang province, and adjacent forest in Jingxi County, Guangxi. It is possibly still extant in neighbouring Hoa Binh province, Viet Nam, as well, and in 2002 it was additionally reported from Kim Hy forest in Bac Kan province. The species is considered critically endangered by the IUCN since 2003. The estimated population is about 130 individuals over the world.
Grey-shanked Douc Langur (Pygathrix cinerea)
The Grey-shanked douc langur is found in the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, and Gia Lai in central Viet Nam. The species is considered critically endangered by the IUCN since 2001. The estimated population in 2004 was between 550-700 individuals, declining at a rate of over 80% of the total population over the world.
Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus)
Although populations used to be widespread throughout the north of Viet Nam, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is now limited to Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan and Ha Giang and Thai Nguyen. The species is considered critically endangered by the IUCN since 1996 . The estimated population in Viet Nam is about 250 individuals.
All species of primate in Viet Nam are threatened by illegal hunting and habitat destruction. Despite all species being protected by wildlife protection law, the capture of primates is ongoing and has played a major role in the critical decline of Viet Nam’s endemic species.
Primates are hunted mostly for their use in traditional medicine and for the bushmeat trade, however they are also subject to poaching for the international pet trade. The uniqueness of many of the Vietnamese species attracts a broad range of markets.
What are we doing?
WCS Viet Nam works with the Vietnamese government agencies to build capacity and inform policy which enables effective oversight of wildlife trade activities. We conduct research on crime syndicates, locations of illegal wildlife sale/production, smuggling routes which can help local law enforcement agencies with their investigations and arrests.
We work closely with law enforcement agencies at national and local level including police and ranger and provide them technical assistance such as intelligence, species identification, legal advices to target to high-level criminal network on ivory trade.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Nguyen Van Truong and Fauna & Flora International - Vietnam Programme for their generosity that allow us to use those amazing photos of primates above.
Bleisch, B., Xuan Canh, L., Covert, B. & Yongcheng, L. 2008. Trachypithecus poliocephalus ssp. poliocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Ong, P. & Richardson, M. 2008. Macaca fascicularis ssp. condorensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Nadler, T., Xuan Canh, L., Ngoc Thanh, V. & Khac Quyet, L. 2008. Trachypithecus delacouri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T22043A9350654. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Bleisch, B. & Geissmann, T. 2008. Nomascus nasutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41642A10526189. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Ngoc Thanh, V., Lippold, L., Nadler, T. & Timmins, R.J. 2008. Pygathrix cinerea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T39827A10273229. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Xuan Canh, L., Khac Quyet, L., Thanh Hai, D. & Boonratana, R. 2008. Rhinopithecus avunculus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19594A8984679. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 July 2017.
Nadler, T., Vu Ngoc, T., and Streicher U. (2007). Conservation status of Vietnamese primates. Vietnamese Journal of Primatology. 1, 7-26.
Ha Thanh Long. 2004. Distribution and status of grey-shanked douc langur (Pygthrix cinerea) in Vietnam. In: T. Nadler, U. Streicher and Ha Thang Long (eds), Conservation of primates in Vietnam, pp. 52-57. Frankfurt Zoological Society, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Eames, J. C., Nguyen, T. V., & Le, Q. K. (2016). Edge of Extinction. The conservation of Vietnam's threatened primates. HCMC: Itaxa Company.