Five critically endangered grey-shanked douc langurs killed in Vietnam

A small monkey with a grey head and white beard looks at a bowl
Red-shanked douc langur, photo: Kung Mangkorn via Canva

Poachers in Vietnam have killed five critically endangered grey-shanked douc langurs, state media said Tuesday. Rangers found the dead monkeys during a regular patrol of forests in Quang Ngai province.

There are less than 1000 grey-shanked douc langurs in the wild, according to conservation group Fauna and Flora International (FFI). The monkeys, native to Vietnam, are killed for bushmeat, traditional medicine and the pet trade, FFI says.

The grey-shanked douc langur is listed as “critically endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

They are listed in Vietnam’s “red book”, making it a criminal offence to kill one. But law enforcement is a huge issue. “Authorities must find those responsible,” said Ha Thang Long, director of GreenViet, which works in biodiversity conservation in Vietnam’s central regions. “If we fail to… bring them to justice, this will continue to happen.”

Under Vietnamese law, poachers in such a case could face seven years in jail, he added.

Vietnam is home to some of the world’s most endangered species, including the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey and the saola, a type of mountainous antelope.

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