Vietnam Project

Son Tra Nature Reserve is located near the city of Danang, the third biggest metropolitan city in Vietnam, and is the only remaining coastal rainforest in the country. The contrast between the uncontaminated reserve and the urbanized Danang is surprising and it was possible given the high military value that the reserve had in protecting Danang and the port during several wars.
Son Tra Nature Reserve is a real green lung with a rich diversity in fauna and flora. This area is also the most viable stronghold of one of the world’s most colourful primate: the red-shanked douc langur. This species is classified as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List, and Son Tra has the most visible population, counting an estimated number of 1,330 individuals. Parco Natura Viva does not host the red-shanked douc langur but has the goal of safeguarding its survival in its natural habitat.
In 2019 Parco Natura Viva, together with ARCA Foundation, ZOOM Torino and Pistoia Zoological Garden, established a cooperation with the Vietnamese organisation GreenViet for the safeguard of Son Tra Nature Reserve and one of the most emblematic primate species: the red-shanked douc langur. The red-shanked douc is a brightly coloured old-world monkey, with distinctive reddish born legs, a long white tail and a yellow-orange face. The conservation project supports Green Viet in the monitoring activity of the red-shanked douc and in the educational activity carried out with the aim of raising awareness of the local populations on the protection of Son Tra Nature Reserve and on safeguarding the douc langur.

In 2018 GreenViet opened the first education centre in Danang: Son Tra Nature Education Center (NEC). This centre organizes various learning activities for different target groups, particularly for students. Furthermore, the centre functions as a communal place where local people are involved in activities of environmental protection. The project therefore helps to bring about an attitude and behavior change to benefit nature conservation, bringing the local community to a more ecological lifestyle. Parco Natura Viva contributes also the “I love Son Tra journey” initiative, that organized guided tours in the Son Tra Nature Reserve, especially dedicated to the locals. In this way, locals have the possibility to know better Son Tra and observe some families of red-shanked douc langur in their natural habitat. Since 2013, more than 200 journeys have been organized, bringing more than 3,000 people to Son Tra to learn about nature and the red-shanked douc langur.
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Son Tra Nature Reserve:

Son Tra Nature Reserve is the last remaining coastal rainforest in Vietnam. A long time ago, Son Tra was an island consisting of 3 mountains; over time, coastal water carrying alluvial deposits formed a strip of land bridging the mainland and the island, making it a peninsula ever since.
Son Tra occupies only 0.014% of the Vietnamese territory, but counts almost 38% of the total plant family of Vietnam, and hosts 287 different animal species, including the red-shanked douc langur.

Red-shanked douc langur:

The red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) is classified as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List. In the last three generations, the species has experienced a decline of more than 50% and the prediction is that the population will continue to decline, at perhaps a greater pace. The habitat loss is a significant threat for the red-shanked douc, with large tracts of forest habitat lost due to extensive agricultural activities and infrastructure development, as well as significant portions of forest degraded during wartime. Hunting is also a serious threat for the survival of this species, since red-shanked douc are hunted by locals for subsistence, traditional medicine and for the illegal exotic pet trade.
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June 2019

Parco Natura Viva, together with ARCA Foundation, ZOOM Torino and the Pistoia Zoological Garden signed a partnership with the Vietnamese organization GreenViet, financing the purchase of camera-traps for the monitoring of the red-shanked douc langur in the Son Tra Natural Reserve and financing the education outreach program for the local community. 
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If you are interested in this project and you want to help saving the red-shanked douc langur and its habitat, there are different ways in which you can contribute. Even though this species is not hosted by Parco Natura Viva, even with your visit to the Park you will be able to make a concrete contribution to conservation, since a percentage of the value of the admission ticket is always destined to in situ conservation projects. You can also directly visit ARCA Foundation website and contribute directly with a donation. Finally, by making other people aware of the problems of animals in the wild, you can actively help spread the knowledge and guarantee a future for the red-shanked douc langur and its natural habitat.
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