Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cat Ba Island and Cat Ba Langur Amazing Island in Vietnam

The Cat Ba Archipelago is in the worldfamous Ha Long Bay, a spectacular karst formation that was invaded by the sea. Cat Ba Island and the surrounding area are nationally and internationally recognized for their importance to biodiversity conservation. Cat Ba National Park was established in 1986. It presently covers more than half of the main island. The Cat Ba Archipelago (some 1,500-2,000 large and small islands, cliffs and rocks) was designated a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 2004.

Cat Ba Island
Despite this, nature and wildlife protection on Cat Ba Island is deficient, though awareness as well as partnership and commitment with the local communities are slowly increasing. However, efforts
to effectively conserve the langurs and their habitat face major obstacles due to the need to better address the local community’s aspirations for development, and due to the steadily increasing human population, besides persistent, severe deficiencies in law enforcement. As elsewhere in the region, poaching is driven by increasingly attractive commercial gains in satisfying the immense local and regional demand for wildlife and animal parts.

Cat Ba Island

The strictest protection regime possible is necessary for the survival of all the mammals and other species on Cat Ba that are, like the langurs, targeted by the Asian wildlife trade. Cat Ba Island is the largest island in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur. This golden-headed langur is rarely seen, as fewer than 100 specimens are thought to survive in the wild, although it is the subject of a well-organised conservation programme. The Park covers both land and marine areas and has a high biodiversity, although it is at risk from too rapid an increase in tourism. Other mammals in the Park include civet cats and oriental giant squirrels.

Golden-headed langur-Cat Ba Langur

A conservation program for the golden-headed langur on Cat Ba was initiated in November 2000 by the Zoologische Gesellschaft für Artenund Populationsschutz (ZGAP), München, and Allwetterzoo Münster, Germany. The aim is to provide for their protection, reduce population fragmentation, and contribute to the conservation of the biodiversity on Cat Ba Island in collaboration with Vietnamese


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