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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 160512992

Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus Avunculus) population density in response to variations in habitat and anthropogenic disturbances in North Vietnam

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 160512992) - Tonkin snub-nosed monkey - Awarded $4,724 on June 20, 2016

This project was designed with the single  goal of improving stability for the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey populations, of which few remain. In recent decades agricultural practices and hunting have caused population numbers to plumet, to the extent that they are now believed locally extinct in some areas. The two most significant populations occupy small pockets of highly inaccessible limestone (karst) mountain areas in the Ha Giang province. One population (Khau Ca) is an established Species and Habitat Conservation Area (SHCA) whilst the other (Tung Vai) was declared to be transformed to a SHCA over the next five years. In collaboration with a locally based NGO and local Vietnamese guides and conservationists I designed a project to collect invaluable data on this little known species to understand how it uses it's habitat as a means of producing a recomendation on the zoning of the SHCA for the Ha Giang Provincial Council.

Research of the Tonkin snub-nosed populations in Ha Giang province of northern Vietnam are continuing.  Initial plans to collect data on population density in the northern most Tung Vai population have been altered due to the fact that the research team didn't see any memebers of the population during five weeks of surveys. It is unclear if this represents a decrease in numbers at this point. Thus, a follow up, high intensity survey is scheduled to take place from late October to mid November which should give us a better idea of the population's true size. Given the rarity of this species this is unfortunate but very important news to come from this study already which indicates the population may continue to decline despite a Critically Endangered status on the IUCN redlist and it's inclusion as one of the 25 most endangered primates for over a decade. As 

Research will continue on the southern, Khau Ca population of R.avunculus to complete a home range survey to provide crucial information on habitat and home range. This information is used in evaluating whether habtiat is suitable to support the population. I will also be looking at a comparison between the two sites to understand how the habitat varies and if this could imply any variations in population densities.

Conservation education and awareness efforts from Fauna and Fauna Internation - Vietnam Programme and myself continue. To keep up with Tonkin snub-nosed monkey news, conservation efforts and the research as it progresses you can visit the facebook page or the blog and conservation site.  



Project 160512992 location - Vietnam, Asia