Huynh Tan Duc, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development, said the forest area in question had been allocated for acacia – one of the most profitable woods in the central region, but this stole the endangered langurs’ natural habitat.
He said the langurs now live in a 5ha primary forest, and face being hunted by locals as well as poachers.
“We will replant some indigenous species to provide food for the primates. A large area of forest will be restored from the commune to the riverhead of Phu Ninh, Bac Tra My and Tien Phuoc districts in the province,” Duc said, adding that the forest area will help connect with primary forests in neighbouring Quang Ngai province.
“The department will collaborate with local administrations and rangers to hold more patrol and protection of the langurs, and communications for local residents on the importance of the langurs,” he said.
The department will survey the langurs and their habitat in order to create a safe shelter for them in a 4,000ha forest in Tam Tra commune, Nui Thanh district, he added.
Tran Huu Vy, director of the Centre of Biodiversity Conservation, GreenViet, said that the centre will help the province track the langurs and offer more measures to protect the endangered primates.
In a recent report by the province’s Forest Protection Division, a herd of about 50 gray-shanked douc langurs was found living in a 10ha forest in Dong Co village of Tam My Tay commune over the past 10 years.
The department called for support from biologists, international organisations and wildlife protection programmes to share their experience and suggest measures to protect the langurs.
According to experts from the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Vietnam Primate Conservation Programme, some 1,000 gray-shanked doucs have been found in forests of five provinces, including Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum and Gia Lai.
Gia Lai’s National Kon Ka Kinh Park has the largest number of langurs in the country.
The gray-shanked douc langur is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list as one of the world’s 25 critically endangered primates.