Rare monkeys have babies in Ha Giang conservation area

There are very few of a certain type of monkeys left in the world.

About half of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys live in a special wildlife area in Ha Giang Province.

The monkeys have been lucky to be able to live in this special wildlife area.

They have even been having babies.

With every Tonkin snub-nosed monkey that is born there is less chance of them vanishing forever.

Hoang Van Tue, Chief of Conservation for the provincial Forest Protection Department, said the conservation of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey in Khau Ca is the result of the combined effort of the provincial Forest Protection Department and international organisations. - Photo courtesy of Fauna & Flora International

Hoang Van Tue, Chief of Conservation for the provincial Forest Protection Department, said the conservation of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey in Khau Ca is the result of the combined effort of the provincial Forest Protection Department and international organisations. - Photo courtesy of Fauna & Flora International

HA GIANG (VNS)— A survey conducted in Ha Giang Province, beginning in September, determined that 108 to 113 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus avunculus) are living in the Khau Ca Species and Habitat Conservation Area.

This is the highest number of Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys recorded in the area to date. Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are a critically endangered species, and it is estimated that there are only 200-250 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys worldwide.

The area’s management board previously announced that the highest recorded number for the protected area was approximately 90 monkeys, suggesting the population is recovering.

The survey was led by Fauna and Flora International (FFI)’s Viet Nam Primate Programme Biologist Nguyen Van Truong, and assisted by locally based community conservation teams and the University of Colorado Boulder’s research assistant team.

Ongoing conservation at this site is believed to be vital to the continuation of this species.

Hoang Van Tue, Chief of Conservation for the provincial Forest Protection Department, said the conservation of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey in Khau Ca is the result of the combined effort of the provincial Forest Protection Department and international organisations.

Tue noted that discovering newborn monkeys during the survey was an encouraging sign for the future of the species.

Meanwhile, Dr Benjamin Rawson, regional Primate Programme Manager for FFI, said “To date, this represents one of the few examples of a reversal in decline of one of Viet Nam’s Critically Endangered species, and demonstrates that with the commitment of Vietnamese authorities and involvement of local communities, wildlife population declines can be reversed.”

Also, Jake Brunner from the International Union for Conservation of Nature said, “This news confirms the importance of Khau Ca as the stronghold of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, caring for half of the global population.”

A key next step is for the provincial government to provide additional financing to this area to make protection of this population a sustainable long-term proposition, he said.— VNS

GLOSSARY

A survey conducted in Ha Giang Province, beginning in September, determined that 108 to 113 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus avunculus) are living in the Khau Ca Species and Habitat Conservation Area.

To survey something means to look at it closely by gathering lots of information about it. By determining that there are 108 to 113 of the monkeys, the people doing the survey came up with an answer based on good information, rather than one based on guessing.

Every living plant and animal has a scientific name, in the ancient language of Latin. The scientific name of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is the Rhinopithecus avunculus.

The different species of animals, or plants, are the different types of plants and animals.

A plant or animal’s habitat is the type of place where there is the correct food and shelter available for it to survive.

Conservation means protecting something, like an area of environmental importance, from being destroyed.

This is the highest number of Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys recorded in the area to date. Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are a critically endangered species, and it is estimated that there are only 200-250 Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys worldwide.

A plant or animal that is critically endangered is in a lot of trouble to survive because there are very few of its species left.

The survey was led by Fauna and Flora International (FFI)’s Viet Nam Primate Programme Biologist Nguyen Van Truong, and assisted by locally based community conservation teams and the University of Colorado Boulder’s research assistant team.

Fauna means animal life.

Flora means plant life.

Primates are the group of animals that include humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys. They all have hands and feet, short snouts (noses) compared with other animals and large brains, which makes them more intelligent than many other creatures.

Ongoing conservation at this site is believed to be vital to the continuation of this species.

If something is vital it is absolutely necessary.

The continuation of a species means it can carry on living, from one generation to the next. Parents, children and grandparents all belong to different generations.

Meanwhile, Dr Benjamin Rawson, regional Primate Programme Manager for FFI, said “To date, this represents one of the few examples of a reversal in decline of one of Viet Nam’s Critically Endangered species, and demonstrates that with the commitment of Vietnamese authorities and involvement of local communities, wildlife population declines can be reversed.”

When a species is in decline, its numbers are going down. When there is a reversal in decline, the speed at which the numbers are going down, slows down.

Commitment means being very dedicated to something and not thinking of ever giving up on it.

Also, Jake Brunner from the International Union for Conservation of Nature said, “This news confirms the importance of Khau Ca as the stronghold of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, caring for half of the global population.”

A stronghold is a place where something, like this monkey, can live safely because it is protected from things that threaten it.

A key next step is for the provincial government to provide additional financing to this area to make protection of this population a sustainable long-term proposition, he said.

Something that is sustainable is able to keep going.

If something is long-term, it will last for a long time.

A proposition is an idea that is put forward.

A sustainable long-term proposition, in this case, is therefore an idea that is put forward to protect these monkeys for a long time. The plan will be able to keep going and not run out of money.

WORKSHEET

You will have seen in the glossary that the plural of species is also species.

There are a number of words in English which have the same word in the singular and plural forms.

See if you can work out which words are correct in the plural in the following cases:

1. There is one sheep in the field. Which of the following is correct?

a. There are many sheeps in the field.

b. There are many sheep in the field.

2. The horse runs in a race. Which of the following is correct?

a. The horse run in the race.

b. The horses run in the race.

3. There is one deer in the forest. Which of the following is correct?

a. There are many deers in the forest.

b. There are many deer in the forest.

4. The fish swim in the sea. Which of the following is correct?

a. The fish swim in the sea.

b. The fishes swim in the sea.

5. The dog barks. Which of the following is correct?

a. The dog bark.

b. The dogs bark.

6. The snake bites. Which of the following is correct?

a. The snakes bite.

b. The snake bite.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2013

1-b; 2-b; 3-b; 4-a; 5-b; 6-a.

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