Protecting Saola for now and the future in Lao PDR
The Saola is a Critically Endangered ungulate, and one of the most threatened large mammals in the world. It is found only in the Annamite Mountains of Lao PDR and Vietnam. The main threat for the species is extensive, illegal, trade-driven snaring in its range. WRS is supporting the IUCN SSC Saola Working Group, for improved protection, particularly snare collection, in areas with the most important Saola subpopulations, to keep Saola from slipping irreversibly to extinction.
With the help of this support, in 2015 alone, more than 58 poacher camps were destroyed and 1,758 snares were removed at Xe Sap National Protected Area (Laos). The results remained roughly the same as those of the preceding year. This calls for the need to have continual patrolling vigilance and effort. But it is still an achievement and a crucial step in the effort to save Saola as well as the rest of the wildlife species found in these areas.
Feeding ecology and nutrition in Crested Gibbons and Red-shanked Doucs
Crested gibbons (Nomascus spp.) and Doucs (Pygathix spp.) are among the least studied primates in the world, yet all of them are globally threatened in the wild. One of the first steps into developing conservation plans for these species is to understand their ecological requirements. This requires both in-situ and ex-situ research.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore supports Project Anoulak for the in-situ research on the Southern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus siki) and the red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, Lao PDR. This study focuses on their behavioural ecology, including feeding habits. To complement the data collected in the wild, nutrient digestibility studies are conducted in captivity, to understanding how much of the food nutrients consumed in the wild are actually required by the animals’ physiology. The Ex-situ study is being conducted in three institutions: Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, Vietnam; Mulhouse Zoo, France and Singapore Zoo, Singapore.
Left: Red-shanked Douc
Right: Buff cheeked gibbon