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Cat Tien


Posts: 108
Oct 26th - 08:27

Posted: Oct 16 2009, 07:34 AM
The Javan rhino subspecies is easily the most threatened rhino taxon in the world. WWF has taken up the task to keep them alive. This initiative is welcome and needs support.

The WWF website has this to say:

WWF have been supporting efforts in Cat Tien National Park for more than a decade. From 1998 to 2004, with funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, WWF helped build capacity in numerous fields such as enforcement, surveying and monitoring, land-use planning and zoning, conservation management, and awareness-raising. This project and the dedication of park staff has helped keep healthy populations of Vietnam’s wildlife in Cat Tien National Park, species which have become overexploited in much of the country.

The rhinos are under increasing pressure within Cat Loc district from many directions. Planned hydropower developments on the Dong Nai River and subsequent flooding, infrastructure development, increasing noise, settlement expansion and hunting are all expected to negatively affect the rhino population. Furthermore, Cat Loc is isolated by these developments from Nam and Tay Cat Tien, where better habitat exists.

With funds finally secured, WWF will conduct a comprehensive survey from November 2009 until April 2010 to assess the age and sex ratio of Cat Tien’s rhino population. Specially trained dogs are being employed from the United States to help find Javan Rhino dung. Samples of the dung will be analysed by Queen’s University in Canada. Samples will also be analysed at the Zoological Society of London, to reveal a hormone profile of the population. Genetic data is urgently needed to inform the development of a local conservation management strategy.

WWF will work in collaboration with Cat Tien National Park, the Forest Protection Department and international rhino experts, to formulate a management strategy to save the subspecies and will be looking to the government of Vietnam for support. The rhino is not only a charismatic animal unique to this country, but a flagship for conservation efforts in Vietnam.

Kees Rookmaaker

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