Having a background of environment volunteer, I have quite a lot of interesting experiences in the world of the most passionate people who works every day to protect the future of our planet. This is one of the stories about them, and my friends too, in protecting the treasure of Danang: The Red-shanked douc at Son Tra Penisula, and you can have a chance you see them with your own eyes with the scientist guide at the end of this post.
Endangered specie next to a city
Meet a family of Red-shanked douc, they don’t know that they were classified as Endangered species in the Red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (UNIC) which means High risk of extinction in the wild. Their aren’t any exact number of wild Red-shanked douc as they live deeply inside the forests of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia but some recent researchs showed that their are around 1 thousand wild individuals in Viet Nam and 300 in Da Nang, nearly 1/3 of the total number of Vietnam.
Son Tra penisula was seen as one of the most special places with Red-shanked douc researcher, doucs in here have a great number in a small 60 km2 living area and easily to be watched as they aren’t sensitive with the human’s appearance. Futhermore, there are many cubs (babies) in the groups of Son Tra Red-shanked douc, it is a really good sign because it means their communities are stably developing. And this is a first time when the animal scientists can have a long-term research about this endangered animal in their wildlife in the most convenient place, next to a city.
The Queen of Langurs
“The red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) is a species of Old World monkey, among the most colourful of all primates. This monkey is sometimes called the “costumed ape” for its extravagant appearance. From its knees to its ankles it sports maroon-red “stockings”, and it appears to wear white forearm length gloves. Its attire is finished with black hands and feet. The golden face is framed by a white ruff, which is considerably fluffier in males. The eyelids are a soft powder blue. The tail is white with a triangle of white hair at the base. Males of all ages have a white spot on both sides of the corners of the rump patch, and red and white genitals” – Wikipedia
Name as “5 colors douc”, “queen of the douc” or “re-shanked douc”, the douc of Son Tra are the most colorful langur specie in the world. A family of douc usually has 5-10 members but some 50 members group was recorded in Laos. They usually are lead by a male and he is the only one who can do the breeding with the female in the group, the other males will compete with the leader to get his position and if they fail, they gonna join the other males in a whole male group to wait for their chance.
See the Son Tra’s Red-shanked douc by your own eyes
Meet GreenViet, the Not-for-profit organization in Danang is working hard to preserve our treasure. I first knew their creators around 5 year ago when they were struggling to create their organization in Danang and now they are the only organization in my city who is working professionally to protect the Red-shanked douc. GreenViet is focusing on protecting Son Tra Nature Reserve. One of their program is saving the population of the Red-shanked douc langur in Son Tra, as a flag-ship species to raise participation of local community in protecting their nature resources. Once they can understand the value of the species, they will involve in protecting their forest.
And they created a very special program to help you visit the Son Tra Mountain and see the Red-shanked by your own eyes, the “I love Son Tra journey”.The I Love Son Tra journey was an initiative idea of GreenViet in collaboration with Son Tra Ecotourism and Danang Beach Management Board to create opportunity for Danang people and tourist to raise their awarness about Son Tra biodiversity and the Son Tra doucs. The tour consists of a seminar at GreenViet office to learn about animals and plants in Son Tra, as well as its threats; and an observation tour in Son Tra to guide participants to see how the douc family communicate and act; at the end of the tour, the participants will spend their time to collect trash in Son Tra as a benefit to the Nature Reserve. And specially, your tour guide will be the real guardians who are watching them day by day to preserve their nature environment and raising the local awareness to find a long-term solution for their surviving.
Details: I love Son Tra Journey
Time: From 13:30 to 17:30 Sunday, 2 weeks once.
Purpose: Discovering the bio-diversity of Son Tra Penisula and the Red-shanked douc with the biologist of Green Viet.
– 13:30 to 14:30: Seminar about Son Tra bio-diversity at Green Viet center
– 14:30 to 17:30: Discover Son Tra penisula, watching the Red-shanked douc and the other animal in the forest and collect trash on Son Tra.
On leave a comment below my post or on their facebook page or contact direct to GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Centre:
Address: K39/21 Thanh Vinh 1, Tho Quang Ward
Son Tra District, Da Nang,Vietnam
Tel: 0511 3925824 / 0989875476
(Meet Trang, vice-director)