Endangered Sunda pangolins back to nature

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park, has released 24 rescued pangolins back into a protected area in central Vietnam.

Over 20 officers from SVW/CPCP, WWF and the rangers from the reservation arrived at the release location with the pangolins and were divided into four groups to release the pangolins at four different areas.

The pangolins arrived in good health, and were offered a meal of frozen ants before being released back to the forest. Each pangolin was released 300 meters apart.

Nguyen Van Thai, director of SVW, said: “This is the second time we have released confiscated pangolins back to the wild. In June 2015, 35 Sunda pangolins were released back into the wild.

“The pangolin is one of the most trafficked animals in the world. The two species of pangolin in Vietnam are facing extinction. The release of these rescued pangolins helps increase the population of pangolins in the wild. To make sure that the pangolins will be safe in their new habitat, we cooperated with WWF to ensure law enforcement and protection in the area with 40 forest protection officers.”

In August this year, SVW conducted a rapid assessment of the current protected status of the forest, the habitat and resources available for released pangolins, and forest protection management in the area.

Tran Quang Phuong, CPCP manager, said: “Currently, we are still taking care of many rescued pangolins from Thanh Hoa Province. However, we are being denied permission to release these animals as they have been identified as criminal evidence.  We hope that the authorities will reach a solution for this issue and change the law of criminal evidence management, so that our conservation work runs smoothly.”

Saigon Times