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Cat Ba Island


Conservation benefit: Fast boat for villagers guarding the golden-headed (Cat Ba) langur population

Date Approved: 11.2003

In 2002, Seacology began support for a langur-guarding program, instituted by the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations. The program puts local residents in charge of guarding langurs from poachers.

Since Seacology started funding the program, there has been a 20 percent increase in the Cat Ba langur population. This is very significant because there was a substantial decrease in the population for each of the preceding 20 years. Seacology is providing a fast boat to help the guardians protect the langurs from illegal hunting.

Project Updates

July 2005

Participation by local families in the langur guardian program has continued to increase, and illegal activities within and beyond Cat Ba National Park are declining due to the increased presence of the langur guardians. The number of langurs increased to 62 individuals in 16 subpopulations in 2005, up from 53 individuals in 2000.
However, the species remains more fragmented than other closely related species at only 3.7 individuals per unit vs. average 9.2 individuals per unit for similar species. This is partly due to the continuing threats to the langur habitat, including unregulated development activities, poaching, forest destruction and uncontrolled tourism. The Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project has succeeded in establishing stronger cooperation with Province and District government departments to help them increase langur protection and work toward reducing negative encroachments.

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January 2005

In summer 2004, a small boat was provided for the Langur Guarding Program. This boat is being used for additional patrols of the guardians, cooperative patrols of langur guardians and commune forest protection groups, and emergency operations of langur guardians, forest rangers and staff of the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project. Most of the areas that are now under the protection of local people used to be favorite destinations of local hunters, woodcutters, and bee-collectors. Since the implementation of the protection measures, the human impacts on land and in protected fjords have clearly been reduced. Signs of human presence, other than the protection staff, can now only rarely be found. Hunter trails further inland and in the immediate vicinity of langur groups have not been active since protection activities began.

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July 2004

Participation by local families in the langur guardian program has continued to increase, allowing for a wider patrol area beyond the Cat Ba National Park boundaries and into the more rugged areas of the surrounding fjords. The patrol boat is scheduled to be delivered to Cat Ba Island and the langur guardians this summer. During the first year of this project, there was a 20 percent increase in the Cat Ba langur population. Park officials expect to see another population increase during the second birth peak time this July and August.

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