Endangered Asiatic Black Bear Found, Showing on-the-ground Conservation Impacts



Posted on 22 July 2014  | 
Asiatic black bear in Quang Nam (June 2014)
© WWF-VietnamEnlarge
QUANG NAM Province– Another Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) was recorded by one of the WWF-installed camera traps in June 2014, in Quang Nam Province which is believed to be an important indicator of results of on the ground conservation efforts to improve the quality of forests ranked as one of the world’s rich biodiversity spots.

WWF, in partnership with the provincial governments of Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue, have embarked on one of the most ambitious conservation assignments in the region’s history through the CarBi Programme, and its clear from this and other significant indicators, that these conservation efforts are showing the desired results.

The Asiatic black bear is listed by IUCN’s Red list of Endangered species. The Government also states in its Decree No.32/2006/ND-CP that it’s illegal to hunt, farm and trade this species.

The Asiatic black bear was captured on WWF’s camera trap for the second time since December 2012 when a number of camera traps were installed to support WWF’s and the organisation’s provincial government counterparts’ biodiversity monitoring to determine the presence of important animal species in this landscape, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the conservation measures applied through the CarBi programme.

Among more than12,000 recorded pictures, several valuable species have been found, including Sunda pangolin, Large- antlered muntjac, serrow, Annamite striped rabbit, black bear, and Saola, the country’s Crown jewel, which was rediscovered for the first time in 15 years, clearly indicating the positive impact of the current conservation measures applied in this important biodiversity hot spot of Vietnam.

“They are species affected by illegal hunting which our forest guard patrolling and Protection Area management activities should be limiting. Their existence is also dependent on good quality forest. I believe that these photographs are very important monitoring indicators of our conservation impacts, ” said Phan Tuan, Head of Quang Nam Forest Protection Department, Quang Nam’s CarBi project’ Director.

Together with the camera traps which are used to track wild animals and their habitat, WWF and our government partners also introduced a progressive forest guard model where local people are employed and comprehensively trained in law enforcement, patrolling and especially detecting and removing snares and dismantling illegal camps used by poachers and loggers, and to intercept illegal hunters and loggers when possible. The significant success of this approach is clearly shown by the more than 35,000 snares which have been removed from this sensitive landscape since the start of CarBi.

To directly reduce human pressure on local forest, WWF’s programmes are also targeting alternative livelihood options through mobilising local people in sustainable forest management and creating a link between trade demand and responsible forest management with promoting certified products, as well as restoring the fragile forests of the region.

“Habitat loss, illegal hunting and forest degradation are still severe threats to wildlife. More effective and uniform law enforcement efforts with regional and international co-operation are critically needed for wildlife conservation,” says WWF-Vietnam’s landscape manager Le Thuy Anh.

In the future, WWF will continues to provide Protection Area Management support to the Government partners and collectively look for the Government partners and collectively look for opportunities to expand the highly successful Forest Guard Model in other Protected Areas.
Asiatic black bear in Quang Nam (June 2014)
© WWF-Vietnam Enlarge

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